The action of recycling plastics is able to produce a substantial difference, and customers need to comprehend the favorable impact of recycling from the ecological and financial point of view. Consumers of plastic goods have the chance to create a gap, and companies and brand owners may direct the charge. By using a suitable plastic recycling strategy, companies can reduce toxic waste output and reduce waste management costs.
At first, recycling plastic can have several other advantages apart from reducing the amount of plastic waste requiring disposal. This includes reduced consumption of energy, reduced amounts of solid waste going to landfills, conservation of non-renewable fossil fuels (plastic production uses 8% of the world's oil production), and reduced emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2), nitrogen oxide (NO) and sulfur dioxide (SO2) .
Post-consumer recycled (PCR) materials are materials extracted from waste separation, that is, materials from cities or companies that are subsequently separated in specific waste treatment facilities. The separation is usually done manually, as the different thermoplastics on the market may be similar in density or vary in their properties depending on the additives. Products produced from post-consumer recycled resin close the loop, directing used plastic away from landfills and toward recycling facilities .
1. Reduced Carbon Footprint
Choosing more sustainable packaging materials reduces waste and lowers carbon footprint by requiring fewer emissions than virgin plastics. As we strive for a more circular economy, the post-consumer recycled resin is the superior packaging material for future industries.
Greenhouse gases are an important reason behind the rising pollution levels in our surroundings. Because the entire process of plastics production requires burning oil, this generates a huge quantity of greenhouse gases. Recycling plastic rather than producing it from scratch consequently significantly reduces the emission of poisonous greenhouse gases. This means that less energy is used and natural resources are protected: the production process of virgin polymers requires natural resources such as water, oil, natural gas and coal as raw materials. Therefore, recycling polymer materials conserves valuable organic resources.
About 40% of the petroleum consumption from which conventional polymer materials are made can be easily reduced by recycling old and discarded plastic waste. Research has shown that post-consumer recycled resin has a much smaller carbon footprint than virgin plastics. The use of post-consumer recycled resin can also help solve one particularly important problem: microplastics in the environment. Microplastics derived from plastic waste dumped into the environment are small, artificial pieces of plastic with a diameter of 5 millimeters to 100 nanometers. These tiny pieces fill the oceans, seas and waterways, penetrating the organisms that live there. Microplastics have also been detected in the atmosphere, both in indoor and outdoor environments, as well as in our food chain [3, 4].
2. All the Benefits of Normal Plastic
Plastic is also used as a packaging material because of its superior performance. In comparison to other packaging alternatives, such as paper or cardboard, plastics offer a number of advantages, including:
- increased durability and product protection;
- stronger, rip-resistant packaging;
- greater water and weather resistance .
3. Improved Customer Relations and Retention
Sometimes all you need is good marketing. With over 73% of consumers saying that they will make a consistent effort to choose more sustainable products, there's no better time than now to switch to more consumer-friendly plastics. These customers are also more likely to continue choosing your brand and products in the future if you have a more eco-friendly message, allowing you to not only gain new customers, but also to keep the ones you already have.
Research has shown that consumers will actually pay more for products made from post-consumer recycled resin. According to an international study conducted by Nielsen, 51% of respondents between the ages of 50 and 64, and 72% of respondents between the ages of 15 and 20 said they would pay more for products and services coming from companies that are dedicated to making a positive impact on the environment. In essence, a producer who invests in the post-consumer recycled resin can realize a return, especially if this investment is properly published .
4. Higher ROIs
While companies once took an economic hit by choosing post-consumer recycled resin over virgin polymers, times have changed. In fact, companies can now expect a far greater return on their investment by choosing recycled plastics instead of virgin ones. As the costs surrounding petroleum-based materials continue to rise, the cost of post-consumer recycled resin is projected to stay the same. So, while other companies have to deal with rising prices for plastic, you can keep your costs steady and protect your bottom line.
The fee for post-consumer recycled resin has been a bit greater than for virgin polymer. This can be because of the considerable washing, sorting, and processing necessary for recycled materials. However, as the total cost of petroleum-based raw materials is constantly increasing, we expect the cost of post-consumer plastics to remain the same. In addition, as more consumers recycle plastics, the law of supply and demand will make post-consumer plastics very attractive compared to virgin plastics .
5. Better Margins
Not only are people more likely to choose the sustainable option when picking from a sea of products, but you can also use greener packaging to help justify a higher price point. The majority of consumers are also willing to pay more for sustainable products over typical plastics, highlighting the potential for increased profits.
There are many benefits of using post-consumer recycled resin that matter to business, including:
- better branding,
- better customer relations in fulfilling consumer demands for sustainable products;
- better margins with higher price points, again due to the demand;
- long-term sustainability for economic growth .
6. Long-term Sustainability
In addition to the environmental sustainability of post-consumer recycled resin, you can also achieve long-term economic growth and sustainability by choosing recycled materials over virgin resins. PCR will continue to be the better packing option over non-recycled plastics, both economic and branding.
Post-consumer recycled resin is becoming increasingly important when it comes to choosing sustainable materials. In the face of imminent environmental threats, the plastics industry is gradually being transformed to take account of environmental and economic sustainability. The need to develop methodologies that can help achieve long-term sustainability, such as recycling and upcycling, is more crucial than ever. This requires thorough integration over the value chain .
7. Regulatory Compliance
Every state and local government has its own rules and regulations surrounding packaging and recycled products. By offering a more sustainable option, the post-consumer recycled resin is more regulatory-friendly, allowing you to easily meet any ecological requirements put on your business by the government.
As companies around the world strive to meet sustainable initiatives, demand for food contact-compliant recycled plastics is increasing. Government and regulatory agencies around the world are calling for an increase in the percentage of recycled materials used in products and packaging to reduce the amount of solid waste sent to landfills. Due to strict legislation, some industries may be affected. Manufacturers of packaging for food, medical and cosmetic products that use products containing post-consumer recycled resin must ensure the safety of their products for the health of consumers and must comply with packaging regulations worldwide .
Did you know that our own brand products – Organko Daily and Bokashi Organko Essential – are made from post-consumer recycled plastics? This means that both loops are closed – the loop of reusing plastic and the loop of reusing organic waste as a new resource.
 Life Cycle Assessment of a Plastic Part Injected with Recycled Polypropylene: A Comparison with Alternative Virgin Materials
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