Plastic waste is a major issue in the global environmental landscape, and it is increasingly being recognized by the common population. This has prompted an imperative need for managing the huge plastic waste that is piling globally and impacting the environment. However, the increasing usage and easy availability of plastics is making it difficult to curb down the usage of the same. Many government initiatives, fast-paced industrialization, and various advanced technologies is pushing the global plastic waste management market forward. New and innovative methodologies are incepting into the market, through which plastic can be recycled and the wastage of the same can be managed. The global plastic waste management is thus moving towards a positive direction in the near future.
Plastic waste is increasingly becoming a globally recognized issue. Although it is a highly important material in our daily lives, having multiple use cases, plastics take thousands of years to biodegrade. These plastics take up massive spaces in landfill sites and is majorly polluting the natural environment, particularly impacting the oceans. A quote from Recycling Technologies provides an idea concerning the depth of the situation “By 2050 there will be a tonne of plastic for every tonne of fish.’’
The Global Situation
Plastic is everywhere around us. It is cheap, light, and an extremely versatile material. A majority of the plastic waste is not reused neither is it recycled. Experts state that 50% of the plastic is for single-use only, which means it’s used only once before being discarded. These single-use plastics include plastic-based packaging, plastic water bottles, plastic grocery bags, and so on.
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It is also worth noting that most types of plastics are recyclable. However, most of the municipal governments do not have the requisite technology nor the infrastructure to carry out this highly energy-intensive process. The process of recycling plastic not only requires huge load of energy but also requires large quantity of water.
Although getting rid of plastic waste is one of the primary concerns related to the environment, the production process of plastics is causing carbon emissions, which is subsequently contributing to global warming. It takes lot of energy and several key resources to make plastic, with more than 90% of it being produced from fossil fuel resources. Creating a single bottled water takes more than 2000 times the energy than it does for producing tap water.
Plastic waste management is the solution that will help curb the situation and save the world from massive consequences. The recycling of plastics is becoming increasingly more important for the society. It not only safeguards energy recovery but also reduces the carbon footprint. Through every ton of plastic that is recycled, almost seven yards of land can be conserved from the landfills and close to 80% of the energy can be preserved for the production of all new plastic materials. Plastics are cheap and versatile material that is utilized for a number of products like bottles, garbage bags, carpets, containers, cloths, films, and others. This process of recycling plastic is expected to boost the global Plastic Waste Management Market in the coming years.
Various advanced technologies and systems are being used across the world for sorting, reprocessing, and collecting recyclable plastics. This is creating new opportunities for the market in accordance to the principles set by industrial, public health, preservation, and economics. Factors like increasing awareness concerning the environmental hazards, increasing urbanization, and industrialization are pushing the growth of the global plastic waste management market. Add to this, various laws and regulations imposed by the government on recycling plastics is also acting as a major driver for the market.
On the flip side, the existing plastic recycling processes are highly complex and require high cost. This can be a major restraining factor to the overall growth of the market. The market is in need of innovations to make the plastic waste management process far simpler and effective.
The plastic waste management program is most commonly seen being practiced in Europe and North America. This is due to the supportive regulations by the government therein and the growing awareness among the population concerning hazards related to plastic waste. Improved recycling rate is projected to offer an ideal opportunity for new economic activities across developing regions and create new jobs. Moreover, it is expected to provide an improved system of plastic waste management, curb down the consumption rate of fossil fuels, and considerably diminish greenhouse gas emissions.