The way in which plastic is being manufactured is changing. A large amount of this material is being recycled and reconstituted – and it’s creating a cleaner and less polluting industry.
Every industry has to consider its carbon footprint, thanks to both governmental and public pressure. Major retail outlets have reduced their carbon footprint by a sizeable sum, while large companies have seen ballooning profits thanks to cutbacks in their carbon output.
Environmental expert and writer Naomi Klein says in her book, The Shock Doctrine, that the needs of capitalism will always usurp those of the environment. Her solution – shut down the free market and create a system based on the conservation of energy.
In California, the Hollywood sign is barely visible thanks to the pollution that hangs in the air. In Japan, large numbers of the population wear gas masks to protect their lungs from the noxious gases all around them. In the UK, fracking is being pushed by the government despite protestations from numerous organisations.
Within the realm of the plastics industry, recycling is making some headway in addressing the problems of the environment.
According to the CIWM Journal, “significant improvements have been made by local authorities, the recycling industry and the wider supply chain towards achieving a circular economy for plastics.
“This includes a sharp increase in recycling of plastic packaging (up more than 50% since 2009), the introduction of mixed plastic collections by the majority of local authorities (up to an estimated 67% in 2014/15) and light-weighting by brands and retailers.”
Creating a sustainable economy on recyclable plastics is a process which takes tact and time. Although some industries might not be able to manage it, plastics are heading in the right direction.
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