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Is Recycling Plastic Bottles Really The Answer?

June 14th, 2011 · 2 Comments

Is recycling plastic bottles really the answer. Jaymi Heimbuch wrote this essay 2 weeks ago suggesting that plastic bottle recycling might not be the answer to the problem of plastic solid waste


Watch: Video showing the steps in the long and energy intensive process of plastic bottle recycling.

As you may have noticed, we’re a big fan of recycling in this blog. There are times, however, that we need to question our own basic assumptions about the best ways to protect the environment. One of these assumptions – plastic bottle recycling – may need to be reexamined after several years of limited results.

Jaymi Heimbuch at Tree Hugger wrote this interesting essay a couple of weeks ago suggesting that plastic bottle recycling might not be the best answer to our continuing problem of plastic solid waste. Commenting on a video about an EcoStar recycling facility in Wisconsin, Mr. Heimbuch pointed out the intricate process and the many steps in plastic bottle recycling. The end product can no longer be used as food or beverage container and the amount of energy it takes to recycle plastic bottles is just “mind-boggling.”

Mr. Heimbuch concludes that while recycling is a very important part in the waste management cycle, it should be our last “line of defense” against waste. He reminds us about the basic concepts, the steps in the loop – reduce, reuse, recycle. Oftentimes, our emphasis is on recycling only when in fact, the other two are more important and can help more than recycling in reducing waste.

What do you think? Do you agree that it’s more important to reduce consumption and our purchases first and try to extend the life cycle of the products that we use through reuse and upcycling?

The plastic cases of most cell phones are coated with brominated fire retardants (BFRs) that are harmful to the environment and to our health. Pacebutler, in cooperation with American Cell Phone Drive, can help you recycle your old cell phones.

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Tags: Plastic Recycling

2 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Pet Bottle Flakes // Jun 18, 2011 at 6:33 pm

    Established in 2007, Pinnacle Recycling Pvt Ltd. has become leading players in Pakistan for the export of Hot Washed PET Bottle Flakes. Our persistence of consistent quality and High standards have made us a symbol of trust with our buyers all over the world in different market segments.

    We are currently meeting the requirements of Various PSF (Polyester Staple Fiber), POY ( Polyester Oriented yarn ), PET Sheet ( APET and PETG) and PET Strapping companies requirements with different grades of Qualities.

    Our current plant has a capacity of 1500 Tons / Month. Our standard quality available is as follows:

    Pinnacle PET Bottle Flakes
    Size: 12 MM
    Contamination: <200 PPM
    Color: Clear, Green and White Blue Mix Pet Flakes
    Moisture: <1%

    Our main markets for export are:

    - Central and Eastern Europe
    - China
    - Korea
    - Taiwan

    At Pinnacle Recycling our primary focus is producing only high quality Pet Bottle Flakes and consistently focussing on improving our product quality.

  • 2 shredding Houston // Aug 12, 2011 at 10:25 pm

    You are also doing good for the environment because you become more practical and you do note waste to much paper, plastic or even electronic products.