Plastics are widely used. The United Kingdom is only able to recycle less than 10% of the plastics used by its citizens. The non-biodegradable nature of plastics makes them find their way to water bodies and the soils leading to environmental issues. Providentially, the waste disposal companies and the local authorities have to find ways of reducing plastic wastes.
How to reduce plastic waste
The use of reusable and biodegradable bags should be considered. This encourages the phasing out of the disposable bags. It takes a long period for the disposable to degrade. Finding a substitute for it is a better idea. Cotton bags should opted for as they are good in terms of strength and can degrade.
Plastics are down cycled on most occasions in that they are put into other plastics of lesser value or fewer qualities after the recycling process. This process, however, absorbs less than 10% of the wastes collected. The local authorities and disposal companies should ensure that the plastics collected are cleaned and recycled so that we have fewer plastics released to the environment.
Recycling is a key component in integrated waste management.
Local authorities and waste disposal providers should ensure that the public is part of the decision-making process of managing plastic wastes. This project will bear fruits if members of the public are taught proper waste disposal methods, incentives are provided to people with fewer wastes and educating them on the social and environmental benefits that exist with proper waste management.
While it is important to reuse the waste products from an organization, it is also important to understand that using reusable bags will lead to laying off of employees in companies that make the plastic bags. The bags cannot be used to carry foodstuff with high water content because of their absorbent nature.
The recycling process is expensive as it involves the use of machines and power which may not be yielded by the type of the plastics produced aftermath.
The local authorities and disposal companies may have their profits reduced if they start giving incentives to citizens who consider the 5 R’s in integrated waste management that is Reduce, Reuse, Recover, Recycle and dispose of the Residue. In essence, the amount of plastic waste in the United Kingdom has reduced from 41 tons in a year to about 32 tons. This amount can be reduced further if the above suggestions are implemented.