Five Important Reasons to Recycle Plastic Bottles

May 8, 2009 by  
Filed under Reduce, Reuse & Recycle

Plastic has made our lives very convenient, giving easy portability to our favorite beverages. Plastic bottles are lighter than glass, easier to pack for traveling, and virtually unbreakable. We don’t have to give up our plastic bottles to make a difference for the environment. The plastic used for most plastic bottles happens to be a recyclable material. With just a little effort, anyone can recycle all of their plastic bottles and make a tremendous impact for a cleaner and greener earth.

There are five main areas that stand to benefit with widespread recycling of plastic bottles. It can help to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, conserve oil, provide the means to reuse the material for a new purpose, conserve energy, and save landfill space.

Greenhouse Gas Emissions

The manufacturing process for new items requires a great amount of energy and emits pollution by releasing greenhouse gases into the environment. When items are recycled to make new ones, much less processing is required. There is an output of needed product with a great deal less pollution.

Oil Conservation

One of the greatest factors driving our economy is the price of a barrel of oil. It affects the price of other staples, including gas and food. Not many people realize that recycling plastic bottles saves oil. Consider that for every ton of recycled bottles, close to four oil barrels are saved.

Reuse Benefits

You might be amazed at what could become of that plastic bottle after it’s been recycled. They are broken down and used to make a variety of useful new items. Chances are there are items in your home that are partly made from post consumer recycled content. Used plastic bottles could be living on in carpeting, deck materials, or even a fashionable jacket. New products are produced with recycled materials without added costs or pollution.

Energy Conservation

Those plastic bottles that hold water and most soft drinks contain Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET). PET is a virtual storehouse of energy. By recycling only one pound of PET, you’ve redeemed up to 12,000 BTU’s of energy. Add that to the fact that it only takes a third of the energy to manufacture products from recycled content compared to new, and the energy savings is tremendous.

Landfill Preservation

Landfill space is unfortunately at a premium. There just isn’t enough room to put all of our garbage output. Any effort to reduce the amount of trash taking up space on our earth is well worth it. Plastic bottles are not biodegradable, and could continue to take up space in a landfill long after your children and grandchildren are gone. Think of the waste that could be eliminated and landfill space saved if everyone recycled their plastic bottles. For every ton of plastic recycled, close to 7.5 cubic yards of landfill space is freed up.

When you consider these areas that stand to benefit by recycling plastic and how imperative they are to the sustainability of our planet and a clean environment, there is no excuse not to recycle. There are programs in almost every community and local collection centers to make it easy. Start today to save those bottles and recycle them for a better tomorrow.