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Plastic Bottle Recycling: How To Keep Plastic Bottles Out Of The Landfills

Mar 27, 2008
It is an unfortunate fact that plastic bottles are piling up in the landfills rather than being given a second chance to serve another round on the market due to recycling. With bottled water growing in population, in addition to the countless numbers of soft drink bottles that are disposed of each day, the amount of plastic bottles being thrown into garbage cans all over the world has grown exponentially. However, since bottled water is being consumed more and more each year, it has become the largest growing beverage over soft drinks, juices, and alcohol and is also becoming one of the largest contributors to landfill waste in the form of plastic bottles.

It is said that in the last decade, the consumption of bottled water has increased to 22.6 gallons per person per year, which is up from 10.5 gallons recorded ten years prior. The number of bottles sold in 1997 was 3.3 billion, whereas the number sold in 2002 was 15 billion. This is incredible growth, which has resulted in a significant growth of the number of plastic bottles being thrown away. Most of this water, as well as other beverages, are not always consumed in the home. People consume these beverages in their offices and various other places where there is no way to recycle the bottle when it is thrown away.

It is said that only 12% of plastic water bottles even see recycling. That means there are around 40 million bottles being thrown into the trash each day or is thrown out a car window to the side of the road. However, in terms of soft drink bottles, there is a recycling rate of 30%, but the low recycling rate associated with water bottles brings down the number of all plastic bottles that are recycled. As of 1993, 19% of all types of plastic bottles were being recycled, compared to 53% just nine years before.

The best way to keep these bottles out of landfills is for states, cities, offices, and other businesses to implement recycling programs. If there were more curbside pickup services and programs within businesses, the percentage of bottles ending up in garbage cans would go down and the percentage of bottles being found in recycling centers would go up.

Some have even proposed that laws requiring bottle deposits would be the way to go. However, in terms of businesses, which have a high percentage of workers consuming beverages in plastic bottles each day would benefit from implementing an in-house recycling program. By placing recycling receptacles throughout the business in places such as restrooms and break rooms, employees would be more likely to recycle their empty plastic bottles. Once the receptacles are full, the business can engage the services of a recycling service to pick up the recyclables or can make arrangement for the bottles to be taken to the recycling center.

Since compensation for recycled materials is a great incentive for recyclers, a business can benefit from recycling plastic bottles. The money that is collected from recycling can be used to have an office party or some other reward that will create a great incentive for the employees to recycle. The same applies to homes. With such services as curbside pickup, residents would be more likely to recycle. Some communities do utilize these services, but not all.

Through taking a proactive approach toward recycling plastic bottles, the environment is benefitted greatly as is the pocket of the one doing the recycling. Every little bit of pocket change helps and it really doesn't take a lot of effort to designate a separate area for bottles. In the end the consumer is happy, the recycling center is happy, and the environment is happy.
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