For years we have been told to recycle our plastic bottles and other plastic waste. Most of it, anyway. But it turns out that recycling plastic is not easy.
Despite the introduction of a not-so-helpful coding system, the average residential consumer is at a loss to know what plastics can or cannot be recycled. Turns out most of it never is anyway.
Swimming In a Sea of Plastic Waste: A National Recycling Dilemma
The sad fact is that our current rate of plastic recycling is hovering somewhere just above three percent, according to the more pessimistic sources. In other words, almost 97 percent of all the plastic waste generated in the United States ends up in landfills, gets incinerated, or worse.
The "worse" is quite often ending up in our oceans and various other illegal dumping grounds.
As one recent Time magazine article pointed out,
The world is in the midst of a plastic waste crisis. Every year, the world produces about 400 million tons of plastic. In the U.S. barely 6% of that waste was recycled last year, down from around 9% in 2018, as nations like China stop taking U.S. plastic.
The story goes on to add that the vast majority of the waste ends up as chemically indestructible junk that, when it breaks down into microscopic fragments, enters our bodies with unknown health repercussions.
Adding to the global plastic waste crisis is the apparent misinformation that has been put forth for years about our ability to recycle most of the waste that is disposed of each day.
In fact, enough disturbing information has come to the forefront of the public's notice that California’s Attorney General recently opened an investigation into fossil fuel and petrochemicals companies. The goal is to determine if they have indeed been perpetuating a decades-long disinformation campaign.
We've long known that waste plastic is an environmental and biological hazard for wildlife, especially sea life. What is now coming to light is that humans are being literally infused with microscopic plastic particles.
According to a report on a scientific study recently completed, the data collected in the study,
"...supports the hypothesis that human exposure to plastic particles results in absorption of particles into the bloodstream."
So, What to Do About Plastic Waste?
Some plastics can be easily recycled, but not enough of those types are.
If just one ton of plastic is recycled, it could save 13.8 barrels of oil and 810 cubic feet of landfill space, according to some estimates.
The good news is that there are alternatives to plastic waste intentionally, or as is more likely, unintentionally ending up in the oceans. While these are not the "perfect" solutions for the green and environmentally safe disposal of non-recyclable plastics, the include:
- and Bioremediation
That last one is simply a fancy, technical term for the use of either naturally occurring or deliberately introduced microorganisms or other forms of life to consume and break down environmental pollutants such as waste plastics.
When it comes to the everyday waste plastic that we all deal with on a regular basis, the key is to know what can truly be recycled and ensuring that it ends up in a proper recycling receptacle, and reducing our use of other types of plastic products, when possible.
So, what kinds of plastic can be comfortable knowing will most likely be recycled?
According to Consumer Reports,
"PET plastic bottles (the bottles that water and soda are usually sold in and are labeled as number 1 in the recycling triangle) and HDPE milk jugs (the plastic jugs milk is sold in that are labeled as number 2) are recycled most consistently among the different categories of plastic due to their economic viability."
For those large quantities of plastic waste such as broken-down, old lawn or patio chairs and similar molded plastic items that won't fit into your recycling bin, you need a junk removal service. Which is one of the reasons Junk King specializes in sorting and recycling as much of everything they pick up as possible. Every day. Everywhere.
Why DIY When It's Far Easier to Call on the Pros?
Yes, you can do your own bulk recycling.
And we encourage it, actually. The more citizens get actively and personally engaged in the process of recycling, reuse, and repurposing of all waste products the better. But we also know that some tasks are more involved or difficult than others.
Taking those half-dozen plastic bags full of crushed aluminum cans to your local recycling center can be a chore, but it is often a manageable chore.
Taking 500 pounds of large plastic waste items or scrap plastic material? Not so much.
The good news is that this material doesn't have to be secreted into a dumpster somewhere at night, or quickly tossed into your industrial waste management bins at work. That's a course of action that may seem easy, but there's no guarantee where or how all that plastic will be disposed of once it's out of sight.
As the nation's waste management industry struggles with the crushing weight of waste plastic that must be dealt with somehow - without further damaging our environment - we can do our part by being conscientious consumers, reusing or repurposing as much as we can, and taking the time to properly dispose of plastic waste all the time.
The bright side of all this plastic waste dilemma is that new technologies are now within reach that bring the promise of environmentally beneficial and affordable plastic waste treatment and on a mass scale.
In the meantime, Junk King is working hard to recycle as much plastic junk and debris as we can through our proprietary sorting and recycling facilities.
Recycling Plastic and Renewable Waste with Junk King
At Junk King, we believe that recycling and reuse are the most important alternatives for plastic waste disposal. But "do-it-yourself" recycling of plastic waste and other junk items isn't easy for everyone.
Which is why Junk King offers a truly simple and efficient option for all your recycling needs.
Junk King provides professional junk hauling services to remove any types of junk including anything made with glass, metal, paper, and plastic - and we'll even remove your old furniture, yard waste, and excess garbage, as well.
Whatever type of junk you have, we will always try to recycle everything and anything you have. We provide an eco-friendly junk removal service to help you get rid of any unwanted junk, large trash items, or any old appliances.
Our professional and insured junk removal team will show up at your home or office, and we'll call 15 to 30 minutes before we arrive. Once there, we’ll give you a free estimate based on how much room your junk takes up in our truck.
You point and we haul your unwanted items into our junk removal trucks, with no hidden fees.
So, got recycling? Junk King can help you get rid of it. It’s as simple as 1, 2, 3.
Make an appointment with us by booking online above or by calling 1.888.888.JUNK (5865).