Plastic, it's everywhere
It's everywhere in our lives.
At our fingertips as we use computers.
All around us in our homes and vehicles.
In or around most products we buy.
We buy it.
Whether intentionally or as a packaging around another product.
And when we are done with the plastic, it too often ends up polluting our environment.
Currently only 7% of plastic produced actually gets recycled.
Plastics are made up of many different resins, which are incompatable with each other.
Separating resins by hand sorting is unreliable.
Separation of resins by machine requires expensive equipment.
Plastic may contain any number of additives which make recycling difficult.
It blows away, is thrown away, dumped.
Largely, new production of plastic is so cheap.
Plastic is made from oil, oil byproducts or natural gas.
For many years, various companies have been working on machines to change this plastic back in to hydrocarbons which are very similar to fuels we use every day in our vehicles.
These machines break down the plastic in a sealed chamber using heat to "crack" the gasses in to different fractions.
Now these machines are becoming more available to purchase. So far, the most efficient I have found are the Blest machines available here.
The Blest machines can turn 1 kg of plastic in to 1 litre of oil using approximately 1 kWhr of electricity.
This means ~12 cents a litre from waste plastic!
That same plastic typically ends up being shipped to Asian countries where it can be hand sorted by extremely low paid labour under appaling working conditions.
In developing countries, workers hand sort plastic waste to retrieve the resins they can sell.
Most of the unwanted plastic is burned in open piles.
This results in polluted air and water.
Residents in areas like Wen'an province in China all have enlaged livers.
Wells are polluted.
What we are trying to do as an environmetal solution by sending all our plastic to the blue bins is actually causing an environmetal catastrophe.
This fact has been hidden from view for many years but there are some articles such as this one that show the results of our recycling habits.
Another article says:
"Wen'an was once famous for its peaches and fragrant soil. Today it's a wasteland."
Our recycling system is broken.
And it desperately needs to be fixed.
How are we going to do it?
Contact me to find out more.