Last Updated on February 25, 2023 by asifa
As the world is facing an unprecedented plastic pollution crisis, businesses are desperately looking for ways to eliminate unnecessary waste and switch to sustainable packaging. Post-consumer recycled products are made from materials that have already served a purpose.
You may be wondering whether PCR materials can improve your environmental footprint. Here is what you need to know:
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What Does PCR Mean?
PCR materials are recyclable materials that have already achieved a single use. Because the recycling process requires products to be broken down and treated before reuse, recycled materials are normally reconstituted into simpler products. This process is called “downstream recycling.”
A few types of materials, including aluminum, plastics, and cardboard, are commonly reused to expand their overall lifecycles. While the PCR process depends on functioning recycling warehouses, places with adequate recycling services can often break down large volumes of material for reuse.
For businesses, using PCR materials can be a relatively simple and cost-effective way to minimize the amount of waste entering global landfills and waterways. This is both ethically sound and good for business, as customers are increasingly aware of the effects their purchasing decisions have on the environment.
Post Consumer vs. Biodegradable
The question of whether PCR is truly environmentally friendly depends on your perspective. Because PCR plastics are unable to degrade within reasonable time frames, they cannot be tossed away or composted like biodegradable products. On the other hand, more than enough plastic products already exist to justify the extended use of PCR.
How PCR Is Helping The Environment
The main benefit of PCR is that it significantly expands the lifecycle of production materials. Where a single-use plastic might spend under a year on a shelf before winding up in a landfill, PCR plastics can survive as long as they remain recyclable. This drastically decreases the amount of plastic needed to serve consumers’ needs.
The current excess of commercial plastics is one of the most pressing problems for conservation worldwide. Already, significant efforts are underway to remove floating ocean pollution and purge natural areas of manmade waste. These efforts seem likely to succeed, but only if the production of new products slows down. This is where PCR materials come in.
The more businesses adopt PCR packages for popular products, the slower the stream of plastic waste products into oceans and other natural areas. This gives lawmakers and environmental engineers crucial time to address manmade refuse.
At some point, it may become possible for governments to keep the areas under their jurisdictions free of excessive plastic pollution. This would have a cascade of positive effects, potentially allowing threatened plant and animal habitats to recover. As humans depend on intact food chains and biodiversity to survive, eliminating pollution is extremely important.
PCR recycled plastic isn’t a perfect solution to global pollution or the decline of natural habitats, but it does offer the world the chance for a breath of fresh air. Plastic products are essential for food packaging, healthcare devices, and other such vital applications. Instead of eliminating them from your workflow entirely, consider using PCR materials with a better environmental footprint.