Finding new methods for recycling is vital if we want to manage our impact on the planet. Plastic recycling, in particular, is important because we use so much non-recyclable plastic that ends up in the oceans. While awareness of the plastic problem has led to reduced usage, there is still a big issue in the business world and companies need to find new plastic recycling solutions. Innovation is the driving force behind this change and there are already people out there finding new and inventive ways to recycle plastic and other materials. These are some of the most interesting recycling concepts from around the world.
Plastic recycling is one of the biggest challenges we face right now and while a lot of plastic products, like bottles, are made from recycled materials, there are still plenty of non-recyclable plastics in circulation. Plastic films are a big problem, but there is a simple solution. An eco-brick is made from a plastic bottle with compacted plastic film inside. People can make them at home by cutting up plastic film into small pieces and then pushing them into the bottle. A large 2-litre bottle can fit around a month’s worth of non-recyclable plastics inside once it is compacted. These bricks can then be surrounded with cement to give structural integrity to a wall. Once made, they can be deposited at a collection point and from there, they will be sent out to be used in community building projects around the world.
Pepsi’s Dream Machine
The Pepsi Dream machine is like a reverse vending machine that encourages people to recycle instead of throwing their bottles and cans into the normal waste bin. It works by giving people points and prizes when they put their empty bottles and cans back into the machine. It is a very effective recycling strategy because it gives people more recycling options when they are out and about, and it rewards them for disposing of their waste in a responsible way.
A recycling company called CReSE in Argentina has come up with a new and exciting way to deal with plastic waste by turning it into furniture in public spaces and highlighting problems with plastic waste at the same time. Large blocks in parks are used as waste bins for recyclable plastics but they also double as benches or even art installations. They are clear, so they demonstrate the quantity of plastic that is being thrown away and the potential that recycled plastic has as a raw material.
Flip Flop Art
The plastic waste in the ocean doesn’t just consist of bottles and wrappers. When a marine conservationist came across a beach covered in old flip flops in Kenya and noticed children making toys from them, she had an idea. This was the beginning of Ocean Sole, a company that collects old flip flops from the beach and turns them into stunning pieces of art to be displayed in the local community.
These are just some of the exciting and inventive ways that people are recycling plastic around the world right now.