Plastic is all around us and we use it every day of our lives. From shopping bags and food containers to garbage bags and industrial projects, the use of plastic is inescapable. According to the United Nations Environmental Programme, usage has gone from 5.5 million tonnes in the 1950s to 110 million tonnes by the year 2009. But where does all that plastic go? What are we in Australia to do about it? And what does Dolphin Plastics do about it?
Where Does All That Plastic Go?
Australia is responsible for producing more than 1.3 million tonnes of plastic per year. If you just took plastic shopping bags alone, an estimated 21,000 tonnes of plastic bags are placed in landfills every year. Most types of plastic take an incredibly long time to break down (some up to 1,000 years).
Landfills can pollute and poison soil as well as run into waterways and further pollute the ecosystem. They also produce a large amount of methane – a greenhouse gas that contributes to man-made climate change.
It’s estimated that over 100 million tonnes of plastic marine debris is floating around the ocean worldwide – wreaking havoc on ecosystems.
Recycling Plastics and Sustainability
Plastic is made from petroleum or natural gas in a complex chemical process that can result in various different compositions of plastic. Unfortunately, this means that not all plastic is simply ‘plastic’ and can’t be broken down and recombined together.
That’s why our own Queensland facilities have incorporated a recycling machine so that we can directly ensure that waste plastic is recycled and incorporated into other products.
In addition to that, Dolphin Plastics runs an onsite recycling program that sorts plastics we cannot dispose of into categories to send to the proper recycling plants; or is re palletised and manufactured into other plastic products.
Currently, much work is being done worldwide into developing ‘biodegradable’ plastics – plastics that break down naturally in the environment (rather than simply taking up space for up to 1,000 years). As technology develops, Dolphin Plastics seeks to keep at the forefront of environmentally sustainable practices.
‘Energy recovery’ refers to any process whereby overall energy use in a system is reduced by diverting it from one part of the system to another part of the system. That sounds complex but it can refer to any number of measures – such as Dolphin’s recycling machine that converts used plastics into ‘pellets’ that can be re-used – reducing the overall amount of plastic and energy that is used.
Dolphin also makes use of ventilation machines at our plants that minimise the amount of carbon monoxide that is produced in the extrusion process – we know that the more we preserve the environment now, the less work every one of us will have to do later. It’s good for the environment and good for business.
Get In Touch for More Information
Dolphin Plastics & Packaging is a reliable and reputable, family owned Queensland business, and we have an ongoing commitment to developing and implementing the most sustainable environmental practices for our business and our community. Contact us today for sustainable plastics solutions!