We had a great time at the 2015 Paper & Plastic Recycling Conference. Our thanks to sponsors Recycling Today and the PSI Chapter of ISRI for hosting this engaging and enlightening event. There was a wealth of great information shared during this conference, but there were 3 surprising stats that stood out from the rest. Read this article to discover what they are and why they stood out to me.
- Plastic is the new steel
Approximately 70% of the USA’s steel is manufactured using scrap steel, but only 14% of our plastic is manufactured with scrap plastic. Expectations are that we will meet our increasing demand for manufactured plastic products by dramatically increasing our use of recycled plastic. These statistics prove that plastic is here to stay.
- Plastic in the world’s oceans
Dr. Mike Biddle, CEO of Material Solutions, founder of MBA Polymers, and one of the world’s experts on plastic recycling said a significant percentage of the plastic in the oceans comes from the “horizontal smokestack”, street gutters, and storm sewers. I live in downtown Chicago, and every morning, many sidewalks are power washed and anything that’s on the sidewalk winds up working its way to the sea. It’s something I hadn’t thought about before. Click here for Mike Biddle’s TED talk. Check it out, it is pretty interesting!
- Just 5 countries account for 60% of the plastic in the world’s oceans
The 5 countries that contribute 60% of the world’s 8 million tons of plastic dumped into the ocean every year are: China, Indonesia, the Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam. There are many elements that contribute to this pollution, including rapid economic growth that leads to reduced poverty and an increased quality of life. This means that more plastic is purchased and utilized by the consumer. For more on this trend, check out the EcoWatch article.
To learn more about what was discussed at this year’s Paper & Plastic Recycling Conference, you can view the presentations on the conference website.
Thanks to everyone who took the time to visit our booth, we’ll see you all next year in Chicago!