Sharing my view as a plastics professional who sees the trash on our streets, landfills, polluting rivers and oceans from New Jersey to Montana to Georgia: All 50 United States need leadership enforcing the litter law and promoting plastics circular recycling.
In the last two years, my firm has helped clients promote mechanical recycling. For example, if a plant produces 500,000 pounds of waste and sends it to the landfill, it gets zero dollars and must even pay freight to get the waste to the landfill. However, if the plant can sell it to a recycler and get, say, 20 cents per pound, that results in getting $100,000.
One problem is that our educational system, along with visiting plastics recycling shows, are saying a lot of gibberish. Their specialized jargon seems nonsensical to outsiders. They're promoting chemical recycling and not emphasizing mechanical recycling.
Recycling is no longer an option but a necessity for plastics processors that want to thrive in the future. Public sentiment and policymakers' regulations will curb plastic usage as we know it today. The plastics industry faces increasing pressure to provide sustainable solutions that are environmentally friendly and economically viable.
There's vast potential for injection molders and extruders to take advantage of commercially sound solutions that not only reduce their environmental footprint but also boost their bottom-line results.
Lewis Yasenchak is a quality consultant to plastics processors.