Plastic Waste A Growing Segment of Solid Waste Stream
World Getting Innovative with Recycling Ideas to Save the Planet

Plastics are one of the most ubiquitous and useful resources widely used by humans – for instance, in the clothing that we wear, the pen that we write with, the chair that we sit on, the computer that we work on, and so on. The problem is we are using them only once and throwing them after its purpose is met. So where do you think is the use and throw attitude going to take us?

Plastic waste is a growing concern at present. It is causing several grave environmental issues as it does not decompose easily. It has now become so abundant that the earth is screaming out with increased zeal, asking us to recycle and reduce plastics. With several recycling benefits available, we need to hear out our planet seriously, to avert the impending crisis.

To meet its sustainability goals, Evian, a Paris-based mineral water brand partnered with Loop Industries, Inc., a Canada-based waste and recycling technology company in March 2018. With the partnership, Evian aims to make all its plastic bottles made from 100% recycled or reusable plastic by 2025.

To achieve the goal, Evian uses Loop’s technology. Loop’s depolymerization technology involves decoupling PET/polyester plastic from fossil fuels by depolymerizing all types of waste PET/polyester into its base building blocks or monomers. The monomers are then again polymerized into virgin-quality polyester plastic, allowing a pure circular economy.  The technology fosters low value and no value waste. It mainly targets PET/polyester plastic enabling the removal of all waste impurities, such as colors, dyes, labels and non-PET/polyester plastic waste. “Rooted in its pioneering spirit and long-lasting commitment toward sustainability, Evian will drive a step change to address the critical issue of plastic. We want to use the power of our global brand to take a leadership position, drive collaboration across the industry and, together with partners, transform our approach to plastic,” said Patricia Oliva, global brand director for Evian, in a statement.

Several other packaging companies, leading brands, and retailers are working towards using 100 % reusable, recyclable or compostable packaging by 2025. They include Amcor, Ecover, L’Oréal, Mars, M&S, PepsiCo, Nestlé, Colgate-Palmolive Company, The Coca-Cola Company, Unilever, Walmart, and Werner & Mertz. Hence, it’s a welcome news that efforts are being taken worldwide to address the growing issue of plastic waste.

Volvo Cars, a Swedish vehicle manufacturer recently disclosed its plans to use 25 percent recycled plastic in every new car from 2025. It unveiled the specially built version of its XC60 T8 plug-in hybrid SUV that resembles the existing model but is made with a number of recycled plastic components.

The special Volvo XC60 features a tunnel console built from renewable fibers and plastics from discarded fishing nets and maritime ropes. The carpet on the floor contains fibers made from PET plastic bottles and a recycled cotton mix from clothing manufacturers’ offcuts. The seats are also made from PET fibers from plastic bottles. In addition, used car seats from old Volvo cars had been used to create the sound-absorbing material under the car bonnet. Håkan Samuelsson, President and CEO of Volvo Cars said, “Volvo Cars is committed to minimizing its global environmental footprint. Environmental care is one of Volvo’s core values and we will continue to find new ways to bring this into our business. This car and our recycled plastics ambition are further examples of that commitment.”

The aim to reduce plastic waste has become a worldwide initiative. It is the need of the hour. Though the various efforts made to eliminate plastic pollution are still in their infancy stages, their ability to inspire further action is important to save our planet.