Top 10 Plastic Packaging Facts

Australia generates around 2.5 million tonnes of plastic waste a year, with much more created throughout the world. Plastic has played a significant role in revolutionising the processes of many industries around the world, from food packaging to medical services, devices, containment and primary healthcare. There are many challenges in dealing with the potential consequences of utilising plastic, mainly our capacity to reduce, reuse and recycle it. While we are making progress thanks to technological advancements and a greater focus on sustainability, however as a community there is still much more to do. We've made a list of 10 facts highlighting the dangers and opportunities we face when it comes to producing and using plastic packaging.

10 Interesting Plastic Facts

  1. 11 per cent of household waste is plastic, 40 per cent of which is plastic bottles that can be recycled
  2. Recycling plastic takes 88 per cent less energy than producing plastics from new raw materials
  3. Around 50 per cent of plastics are currently thrown away after a single use
  4. According to a report by ACC and APR, around 30.9 percent of plastic bottles are recycled
  5. Around 25 per cent of plastic waste is recycled in Europe
  6. 25 recycled PET bottles can be used to make an adult’s fleece jacket
  7. The energy saved from recycling one plastic bottle can power a 100-watt light bulb for almost an hour
  8. It takes around 450 years for one plastic bottle to break down
  9. A plastic cup can take between 50 to 80 years to decompose
  10. China currently imports around 56 per cent of waste plastics generated around the world

Key Considerations

The first big takeaway from those facts is that there is still far too much plastic getting thrown away, which is unacceptable because it is possible to recycle all plastics. Many plastics are being thrown away simply because it is not logistically or economically feasible to collect and recycle them for recycling companies. With the right government incentives, initiatives like REDcycle and continued public demand for action on waste, this can change. The other big challenge facing Australia relates to the last fact. Until recently, the majority of our plastic waste was sent to China, but they are now halting their importation of plastic waste. This means we have to find new ways to reduce, reuse and recycle the plastic waste we already produce.

Innovations in Plastic Recycling

Plans for an ACT plant to convert plastic waste to fuel are in the works, and the company involved has proven the technology works in Europe and the US. It is likely to be deemed viable here too, as falling exports drive down the price of plastic waste. Takeaway cups are a big contributor to waste, with more than a billion ending up in landfill every year. Newly developed technology that removes the plastic lining from the paper cup means that both materials can be recycled, allowing us to reduce this problem.

Sustainable Plastic Packaging in Queensland

Dolphin Plastics & Packaging is a leading plastics manufacturer based in Queensland. We are committed to producing sustainable plastic packaging solutions for organisations in a variety of industries across Queensland and down the east coast of Australia. To find out more about how we can help you, call Dolphin Plastics & Packaging today on (07) 5610 5278 or contact us online.