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Benefits of Plastics Recycling Equipment

May 21, 2015

If your business operations entail the production or heavy use of plastics, you may not have thought too much about the influence you are putting on the world around you. Consider these facts from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency:

  • Approximately 4 percent of the U.S.’s total energy consumption is used in the production of all plastic products.

  • As of 2009, a mere 7 percent of U.S. plastic waste was recycled.

There is good news and there is bad news regarding these statistics. The upside is that some of the energy expended on plastics production can be recovered if plastics products are recycled at the end of their useful lifespan. The downside, as already pointed out, is that less than 10 percent of such plastic is currently being recycled.

Plastics recycling equipment can help turn these statistics around. Equipment for recycling plastics runs the gamut from sorting equipment and size reduction machines to washing equipment, separating equipment and pelletizing machines. The cost involved with owning such equipment can be prohibitive for some businesses, but it’s hard to put a price tag on something that has such a profound impact on the environment. Fortunately, plastics recycling equipment (e.g., blow molding, cast film, compounding, dryers, downstream, single and twin screw extruders, mixers, pelletizers, shredders, winding, etc.) can be bought used or reconditioned at a substantial cost savings to the end user.

If you are still on the fence about whether such an investment is worth your financial resources, consider these benefits of recycling plastics.

The consumption of less crude oil or natural gas – Stanford University’s Recycling Center estimates that 16.3 barrels of oil are saved for every one ton of plastic that is recycled. Because oil and gas are non-renewable resources, recycling plastic could have positive impacts for generations to come.

Energy savings ­– Here again, the Stanford University Recycling Center equates one ton of recycled plastic with a savings of 5,774 kilowatt-hours of electricity. Although energy usage is still involved in the recycling process, it amounts to substantially less than that involved in the manufacturing of new plastic.

Waste reduction – When plastic is not recycled, it ultimately winds up sitting in landfills. There, it can take centuries to decompose. In fact, the EPA puts the biodegradable timeline of a plastic bottle at 450 years.

In combination, all of these benefits can actually result in long-term savings in a wide range of manufacturing processes. Now that you’ve seen the resounding effects that recycling plastics can have on the earth—not to mention your bottom line, equipment for recycling plastics probably sounds like a much more appealing investment. To take even more of the sting out of the prospect, consider purchasing reconditioned or used plastics recycling equipment instead.