Currently it is estimated that our planet has a population of over seven and a half billion people living on it. This number has been exponentially rising as our technology advances and our cities grow larger. Naturally, a population of this size will create a lot of waste. In fact, we have created so much waste that there is a floating island the size of the state of Texas in the Pacific Ocean. Recently, researcher have discovered that microscopic plastic waste has started to enter our food chain, as well as our water supplies globally. This is due to properties of plastic polymers that prevent it from decomposition for decades to centuries. Lastly, scientists have estimated that less than thirty years from now we will have more plastic in our oceans, by weight, than sea life. All of these facts and studies are alarming and scary, but it does not necessarily mean that our pollution and waste problem cannot be solved.
Many marketing campaigns that promote environmental responsibility are sticking with three important words – repurpose, reuse, and recycle. If we had been following these three words from the beginning, then we would not be in our current situation. Many times when we find no more use in a product, we typically either trash the item or recycle it. Grant it that recycling is good, but before we recycle we should consider if the product could be repurposed. Many times we end up throwing away items that could have served for other purposes in our lives. This is not to imply that we should keep everything and never dispose of any of our belongings, but we should think responsibly before disposing of an item. Trashing an item should never be an option. There are rare cases that products have to end up in the trash, such as used syringes or biologically contaminated products. Almost all products can be recycled, and only the few that cannot should end up in the trash.
There are many companies benefiting from recycled raw materials. Companies like Fibertech Inc are able to utilized recycled plastics to fabricate new products for their customers. This benefits both parties, as the raw materials are less expensive. Companies also benefit from creating environmentally friendly products through its intrinsic marketing potential that comes with it. Studies have shown that companies who use recycled materials in their products are viewed by consumers as more responsible and trustworthy. This increases a company’s customer base and retains loyal customers to their brand. This is a great example of a win-win situation for a profit based company and the environment. Consumers also directly benefit from the use of recycled materials as the cost of the finished product is typically lower than products not utilizing recycled materials.
Recycling gives another opportunity for us to reuse materials that would have otherwise ended up in either a landfill or floating around in our oceans. By recycling we can begin reducing the waste buildup and potentially start the process to clean up our planet’s waste.