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Decreasing Plastic Furniture Pollution

18.04.2019, 13:26

Decreasing Plastic Furniture Pollution

The need for plastic has increased substantially since the first fully synthetic plastic, Bakelite, was invented in 1907.

Figures now show almost 100 million tonnes of plastic is consumed every year, with 20,000 plastic drinks bottles being purchased every second, and less than 50 per cent of these ending up being recycled1 – at a time when estimates suggest a single drinks bottle will take 450 years to biodegrade!

Plastic waste often ends up in our oceans and landfill sites, and scenes of marine life entangled in items such as six pack rings and plastic bags are now all too common. Plastic items in the ocean degrade with sunlight and waves into small microplastics that are often ingested by marine life or washed up on our shores. Garbage patches are now a very real issue for the world’s oceans with the largest, The Great Pacific Garbage Patch, covering an estimated surface area of 1.6 million square kilometres.

The effect of non-recycled plastic on the Earth is vast and has become a major global issue in recent years, with governments and businesses vowing to reduce plastic waste entering the natural environment.

High-Density Polyethylene (HDPE)

HDPE is one of the world’s most popular plastics due to its versatility and is commonly used to produce items including bottles, plastic bags and plastic lids. This type of plastic is suitable for recycling and is befitting to long-life products such as outdoor furniture. Furniture manufacturers are increasingly using 100 per cent recycled HDPEm as the material offers a traditional look similar of timber but lasts approximately 5 times longer. Outdoor furniture, fencing, planters and play items will not rot or produce splinters and can be wiped clean for easy maintenance.

The benefits of recycled plastic in your outdoor spaces

The initial outlay of outdoor furniture made from recycled plastic can be slightly more than traditional timber equivalents, but without the need for maintenance or replacement for at least 25 years; these products provide significant cost savings over their lifespan.

By choosing recycled plastic options you are helping to drastically reduce emissions of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere and the consumption of non-renewable fossil fuels such as oil, used in plastic production, as well as assisting in saving ever-diminishing landfill sites from plastic pollution.

Reducing plastic pollution

In 2018 alone, UK-based NBB Recycled Furniture saved 27.4 million plastic bottles from entering landfill sites. This is set to drastically rise in 2019 and 2020 as the desire for recycled furniture soars. Tables, picnic-sets and benches accounted for over 50 per cent of the saved bottles with organisations such as holiday parks, hotels and schools opting for recycled plastic for its safety, maintenance-free and eco properties.

NBB Business Manager, Sharon Jenkins, says:

“We have seen a significant rise in sales of recycled plastic products over the last five years. Consumers are now very aware of the environmental impact of plastic waste and would rather opt for a hard-wearing, low maintenance option that largely contributes to the reduction of plastic pollution.”

1 BBC News: Seven charts that explain the plastic pollution problem.

CAMFIL HVAC Filtration Solutions

Staff Reporter covers the latest news, trends and opinion from the facilities management (FM) and corporate real estate (CRE) sectors. The FM market is currently estimated to be worth USD 1 trillion annually and is projected to grow at a compounded annualised rate of approximately 5% between now and 2026.
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