The Problem with Plastics
Brits got through a staggering 1.5 million tonnes of plastic in 2015, but only 500,000 tonnes was recycled, less than half the plastic that could have been recycled. Statistics worsen for bags and food packaging.
Only 3% of plastic shopping bags get recycled each year as many consumers are still unaware they can recycle them. The same situation occurs with rice and pasta packets, baby wipe pouches and microwave dinners as people assume they cannot be recycled and put them in the bin. Most of these products end up in a landfill.
Plastic Doesn’t Decompose
The trouble with burying plastic in landfill sites is that it doesn’t decompose. Plastic bags have only been around for about half a century, so no one is exactly sure how long they will take to biodegrade, but the educated guess is, plastic can last somewhere around 500 years. As they clutter up the environment, they pose a danger to wildlife. A plastic bag was discovered at the deepest point in the ocean, arctic sea ice is contaminated with microplastics and a sperm whale that washed ashore in Spain was found to have 29 kilos of plastic in its stomach. The plastic blocked its digestive system, leading to its death.
The Health Hazards of Plastic
In addition to the environmental threat caused by plastic, plastics are endocrine disruptors. Babies exposed to baby bottles, plastic containers and the linings of tins may be more likely to be obese in adulthood. This is because plastics alter the effects of metabolic function. This could be one reason why obesity rates are rising.
Companies like LKM Recycling, can recycle plastic, so there’s no need to leave it to the dustman. They work with businesses and households to help them live and work ethically and none, or very little of their waste goes to landfill.
Recycling eases reduces the amount of rubbish in landfills, protects natural habitats and wildlife and reduces the risk of health problems in children, so everyone should pledge to make it their number one priority.