However, people have also found that energy issues, air pollution, marine garbage, food safety, and other current environmental issues are indistinguishable from plastic Relevant, began to reflect on abuse, and wind of plastic reduction. But is plastic forgiving? Is it the least environmentally friendly material? Research shows that this is not necessarily the case, so in addition to "plastic reduction", we should also pay equal attention to the importance of "remodeling" (recycling).
Why do people love plastic so much?
Plastic is widely referred to as industrial synthetic polymer substance, that is, synthetic resin. The English word is derived from the Greek verb "plassein", which means film-making or shaping. The emergence of plastics has replaced the use of the earth ’s limited resources such as wood, wool, metal, ivory, and other materials, liberating the limitations of product development and design. The synthetic plastic materials are ever-changing and can have various shapes, soft and hard according to product needs. , Elasticity, extensibility, color, and weight of materials. Due to easy mass production, cheap prices, and convenience, the production of plastics has subverted the consumer market. Low-cost plastic daily necessities have indeed reduced the consumption burden of people at the bottom of society, making them affordable and affordable.
Because of these excellent material properties, people seem to be crazy about plastic. In the 1960s, the average American consumed about 13 kg of plastic products a year. In the 21st century, each person consumed more than 136 kg of plastic products a year. Plastics, manufacturing sales of nearly $ 400 billion. The production and production of plastics are connected in series with a huge petrochemical industry chain, including the cracking of light oil for the production of basic raw materials, and the processing and production of plastics / man-made fibers / man-made rubber and other raw materials, to the development and production of various plastic products.
Seven-character motto: plastic reduction, recycling, reuse
Is plastic the least environmentally friendly material? We can find that, by examining various conditions, plastic is not necessarily the worst material. Even for the circular economy, the performance of plastic recycling is better than other materials.
The problem is still the use of behavior, too many disposable products cause unnecessary waste and garbage. The most comprehensive and pragmatic action plan to solve the plastic dilemma is "plastic reduction, recycling, and reuse". Among them, packaging, food containers, and tableware are the primary goals of reduction. The proportion of Taiwanese eating outside is high. According to statistics from the Environmental Protection Agency, we use about 18 billion plastic bags a year and sell about 1.02 billion cups of hand-made tea drinks. These wastes are generally unnecessary and avoidable. Another big trouble is that many outer packaging bags filled with food, to improve the waterproof and fresh-keeping functions, will use composite materials, which cannot be recycled, such as instant noodle packaging bags, seasoning packaging bags, various types of dry food Packaging bags, etc., cannot be recycled.
The first step in the practice of green living begins with weight reduction, including reducing the use of plastic packaging materials, carrying environmentally friendly bags, environmentally friendly tableware, and environmentally friendly cups, etc., all of which can easily be achieved by individuals. There have been many associations or groups to reduce plastics and no plastics. For example, the "non-plastic guest" community on Facebook has more than 60,000 members. Enthusiastic netizens share their reductions every day. Plastic experience and various DIY teaching. Also, unpackaged stores that promote the use of plastic bags and containers have become popular in recent years. The environmentally-friendly daily brand "Good Day" has also built an "innocent shopping map" online to collect stores that supply unpackaged goods. The Environmental Protection Agency has also announced that from 2018, the target of plastic bag control will be doubled from the original 7 categories to 14 categories, including drugstores, stationery stores, fruit shops, beverage stores, etc., all of them shall not provide free plastic bags.
With the sound of plastic reduction and anti-plastics, plastic has become the material with the least favorability, but why is it that people still can't get rid of plastic? Certainly not just a matter of preference, the key lies in the economic model of plastics. Plastic is easy to mass-produce, has high applicability, and is cheap, so it is irreplaceable for commercial consideration. Since it is an economic issue, it is necessary to start with the economic structure and enter the 21st century. The "full cycle" economic model brings new hopes. The circular mode reverses the linear linear "original raw materials → production → consumption and uses → discard" mode. To join the key role of recycling, let the originally discarded waste find new channels and turn it into use, forming a recycling and recycling mechanism. Therefore, in addition to paying attention to the issue of "plastic reduction", don't ignore the carbon reduction role played by "remodeling"!
The applications of plastic recycling, remodeling, and reuse are diverse. Among them, the PET material of the most common bottles, after regeneration, can be made into clothes, wigs, etc. In the 2014 World Cup, C Luo and other A star players wear All of them are eco-friendly jerseys made by Taiwanese manufacturers, which are remade from Bao Te bottles. The PE material of milk cans and yogurt jars can be recycled into shampoo bottles, trash cans, toolboxes, etc. The most well-known case recently is the 100% post-consumer cooperation between Oulaide and Dafeng Environmental Protection Technology. A recycled plastic bottle is the first 100% "HDPE post-consumer recycled plastic" on the Taiwan market. Its carbon emission is only 1/5 of the plastic bottles of the same capacity.
In the past, the application of recycled plastics was mostly the choice of the business community to save costs, not environmental protection considerations. Recycled plastics need to be more pure and stable before they can pursue more advanced processes. In these years, Dafeng Environmental Protection Company has invested resources and efforts to develop high-quality recycled plastics, The recycled bottle developed jointly with Oulaide is a new milestone. It is also working on the development of pure single yarns and flat yarns and even challenges the PP compound yarns that are currently unavailable, bringing more industrial recycling. possibility.
Most people know that used bottles and plastic bottles and cans are to be recycled, but they are not very clear. Then what? The grand journey of the plastic cycle starts with the moment it is recycled. One by one plastic container was thrown into recycling bins or disappeared in front of people following the resource recycling trucks. Then, they went to large recycling yards and sorting factories. With the use of infrared equipment, the machine can easily judge the properties of the materials, distinguish PP, PE, PS ..., not only according to the material classification but also to choose the color. After carefully classifying them, they are packed into bottle bricks of about 500 kilograms. Here, the first step of classification is completed.
Then, large bottles of bricks will enter the recycling plant. These vicissitudes of plastic containers have to go through multiple sorting, crushing, and cleaning procedures to ensure the quality of raw materials. Then, using high-temperature hot-melt technology, the plastic fragments are melted into a paste and then filtered and purified to remove impurities. Pelletizing by pumping materials, ultimately, so-called "recycled plastic granules". After the completion of the recycled plastic pellets, it has to go through layer-by-layer testing to confirm that no excessive heavy metals will be released, and conduct a "physical property" ability test on the plastic's melt index (MI). Understand which products are suitable for the production process of this batch of recycled plastics.
These regenerated "recycled plastic particles" will be manufactured into new products according to their respective "physical properties" and the needs of different manufacturers. Turn waste into use, let things circulate and endlessly. "Zero waste and full circulation" is the most pragmatic solution to the environmental problems in the 21st century. In the future, we hope that as little as personal plastic reduction practices, as well as the response support of the industry, government, and academia to the circular economy, can be persistent and firm, let The misplaced resources are put in place to find the best balance between convenient life and friendly environment.