Plastic has always been considered as the bane of all things green and eco-friendly – however, a lot of creative minds have started to use plastic in rather unique and eco-friendly ways that are surprisingly beneficial and have a lot of uses. Below are just some of those ways, and how these can be used to contribute to the betterment of mankind without compromising environmental safety.
While some companies are developing ways to manage our problem with plastic waste, it definitely has grown to be a worldwide threat. Numbers from National Geographic states that while mass production of plastic has just begun in the 1960s, we already have a whopping 8.3-million tons of it in products that most likely end up as trash. This can be a problem given plastic waste degrade only after about 400 years – and only 12-percent of all plastic waste worldwide get to be incinerated. Of the 8.3-billion metric tons of plastic produced, as much as 6.3-billion tons become plastic waste, and of all of these numbers, only 9-percent get recycled. Its vast majority, or as huge as 79-percent, actually get accumulated in landfills or worse end up in the oceans. That 79-percent can actually be recycled, given enough creativity. So how do we reuse plastic?
1.) Make sneakers: What a lot of consumers don’t realize is that plastic is actually extremely durable and flexible at the same time. Adidas and Parley for the Oceans made a partnership line of running shoes. The Adidas x Parley partnership included eco-friendly shoes that were made out of fishing net nylon and recycled plastic. Adidas also offered football jerseys that were made out of the same materials.
2.) Get inside beach huts: SPARK, an international architectural design company, created a set of prototype huts made out of recycled plastic. Located in East Coast Park in Singapore, the huts were shaped like artichokes and ended up being brightly-colored spectacles in the region. Aside from being made from plastic, the huts will also be naturally ventilated and solar powered.
3.) Wear eyewear: When it comes to eco-friendly fashion, it’s not always about the big clothes. Accessories such as sunglasses can get the recycled treatment as well. Norton Point, an eyewear company, launched three signature glasses as part of its “Sea Plastic Differently” campaign. The sunglasses were made out of recycled high-density polyethylene plastic.
4.) Wrap it up: Method has made waves in the market for selling environmentally-friendly cleaning products. However, the company has recently made another surprise reveal when they decided to recycle ocean and post-consumer plastic into hand and dish soap bottles. Aside from being fully-recycled packaging, the products Method offers are also created using sustainable energy practices and ingredients naturally-derived from the environment.
5.) Pay with plastic: Vancouver-based Plastic Bank wants to try tackling the problem of poverty and plastic pollution with special exchange/repurposing centers where plastic waste is treated like money. The plastic that was collected will be transformed into packaging, 3D printing filaments, and other helpful materials based on how they’re sorted
6.) Wear plastic: New York-based startup Bionic Yarn has created various clothing such as shirts, hoodies, jackets, and jeans out of weavable fibers created from recycled ocean plastic. Pharrell Williams himself spearheaded the project, named RAW for the Oceans after its partnership with G-Star RAW. Interestingly, Bionic Yarn has also been tapped to create boat covers, and furniture from recycled materials.
Conclusion: Creativity Pays
If there’s anything the above can tell us, it’s that plastic actually has a ton of uses even after we consider them “useless” for their particular roles. Used toys, utensils, and other forms of plastic-based materials and objects can actually be transformed into other useful objects that are, in a way, “reusable.” Not only does this extend their proverbial shelf lives, but also make sure humanity has continued use for plastics that wouldn’t harm the environment.
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