It's earth day. At MeCycle, everyday is earth day but we say yahoo to anything that draws eyes to issues facing our planet. The one issue that everyone seems to be focusing on these days is climate change. And rightly so. If we don't address it we will be spending many trillions of dollars dealing with its impacts. To tackle climate change, the biggest issue we need to solve is to cut our carbon emissions, reduce our dependance on oil. Solar, wind, and sexy electric cars! Yes, yes and yes please.
But - here's a thing you might not be really thinking about. Plastic is oil. Yes, it is made from oil. And when we talk about "virgin" plastic (instead of using recycled material), we are talking about drilling for oil. And, plastic is considered the new "growth industry" for oil companies getting hit from all sides in their other revenue streams.
In fact, more than a dozen multi-billion dollar new plastic production plants are being built as we speak, mostly on the Gulf Coast (Texas, Louisiana) area. This will drive up plastic supply, which will reduce prices (remember that supply/demand curve from Economics 101?) and make it even harder for recycled material to compete.
So - on earth day, as you sip that cool water from that nice clean looking plastic bottle, remember you are sipping from a package made from oil. And if it does not get recycled, and goes to landfill, you are encouraging the oil producers to drill for more to keep up with your demand.
Plastic is oil and oil is carbon emissions. Recycled plastic generates 90% less CO2 than virgin plastic. Let's stop drilling for oil to make new plastic and use what we have. Let's keep it out of landfills and oceans. We've got this folks. It just takes a min a day.