Chopped by Trizah Akeyo
© TED-Ed

Reusing and Recycling plastic as a solution to plastic pollution

SDG 12

Plastic pollution has become one of the most pressing environmental issues, as rapidly increasing production of disposable plastic products overwhelms the world’s ability to deal with them. Plastic pollution is most visible in developing nations, where garbage collection systems are often inefficient or nonexistent.
The biggest issue of this problem is our severe dependency on plastic. It is incredibly difficult, if not nearly impossible, for us to abandon all dependency on plastic – it is simply too useful and effective for its numerous applications, and as of yet no other material has come close to matching its cost-effectiveness ratio.
Adopting a circular economy reshapes the economy from its current linear fashion of take, make, waste into a circular fashion of recycle, consume, reuse. Taking a plastic water bottle as an example, instead of producing a water bottle from virgin materials, using it once, then throwing it away to never be useful again, we could make a water bottle out of materials recovered from previous water bottles, use it, and then make that bottle useful again by turning it into a new bottle.
The key principle of the circular economy is that nothing drops out of the system as waste – every material, residue, by-product, and emission is made useful for one thing or the other. So in the circular economy, we no longer see discarded plastic as waste with no value, but rather as a resource with much value. When value is given to waste plastic, end consumers and corporations alike are much less willing to let it slip away and will focus efforts on recovery, reuse, and recycling these now-valuable plastic resources.

Chopped by

Trizah Akeyo

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