From Waste to Benefit: The Benefits of Plastic Waste for the Environment

Hyundai Motorstudio Senayan Park 2023.10.26
From Waste to Benefit: The Benefits of Plastic Waste for the Environment

The topic of plastic waste is a very important issue to discuss, given its significant impact on the sustainability of life on earth. Plastic waste is one of the types of waste most produced by humans.

According to a study published by Science Advances, global plastic production reached 448 million tons in 2015, and is expected to continue to increase along with population growth and industrial development. This, of course, is a serious concern for all parties who care about environmental sustainability.

Negative Impact of Plastic Waste

Poorly managed plastic waste can cause various negative impacts, both on the environment and on human health. Here are some negative impacts of plastic waste:

1. Impact on the Environment

One of the biggest impacts of plastic waste is on the environment. Plastic waste that ends up in the ocean, for example, can cause damage to the marine ecosystem. Plastic can disrupt marine life, both physically and chemically.

Physically, marine animals can get entangled in plastic waste or consume it, mistaking it for food. Chemically, plastic that decomposes in the sea can release harmful chemicals that can disrupt the endocrine system of marine animals.

2. Impact on Human Health

The negative impact of plastic waste is not limited to the environment, but also on human health. Microplastics, small plastic particles resulting from plastic degradation, have been found in the food and water we consume.

For example, a study published in the journal Environmental Science & Technology found that Americans consume more than 70,000 microplastic particles every year. This is a very concerning issue because the long-term effects of microplastic consumption on human health are not yet fully understood.

Potential of Plastic Waste

Plastic waste is often seen as a big problem that causes damage to the environment and human health. However, with the right approach, plastic waste can be transformed into a valuable resource. Recycling and reusing plastic are two main strategies that can be used to turn plastic waste into a resource. Recycling and reusing plastic can provide significant economic benefits.

According to the World Economic Forum, the market for recycled plastic is estimated to reach $120 billion in the United States and Europe alone. In addition, the recycling industry can also create new jobs and help reduce dependence on new plastic production, which certainly requires large natural resources.

Examples of Reusing Plastic

1. Products made from recycled plastic

There are many products that can be made from recycled plastic, such as clothing, furniture, and accessories. Some well-known brands, such as Adidas and IKEA, have used recycled plastic to make some of their products. Adidas, for example, collaborated with Parley for the Oceans to make shoes made from recycled plastic taken from the ocean.

2. Initiatives and projects that use recycled or upcycled plastic

In addition to commercial products, recycled plastic is also used in various initiatives and projects for the public interest. For example, in India, some roads have been made using a mixture of asphalt and recycled plastic. In addition, in some cities in the world, recycled plastic is used to make buildings, parks, and other public facilities.

How Individuals and Businesses Can Participate in Plastic Management

Every individual and business can contribute to plastic management to prevent adverse impacts. The following methods can be adopted:

  • Reduce Single-Use Plastic: Make an effort to reduce the use of single-use plastics, such as plastic bags, straws, and plastic cups. Use reusable products, such as cloth shopping bags, stainless steel water bottles, and washable tableware.
  • Utilize Recycled Products: Choosing to buy products made from recycled plastic can encourage the industry to increase the production of recycled plastic.
  • Recycle Plastic: Make sure to sort plastic waste and recycle it according to the facilities available in your area.
  • Proper Waste Management: Make sure that plastic waste does not end up in the wrong places, such as rivers or oceans.

Tips for Reducing and Processing Plastic at Home and Work

  • Use Reusable Products: Replace disposable products with reusable ones. For example, bring your own water bottle instead of buying bottled water.
  • Buy Products with Minimal Packaging: Choose products with minimal packaging or those packaged with recyclable or compostable materials.
  • Reuse Plastic Packaging: Before throwing away plastic packaging, consider whether it can be reused for other purposes.
  • Recycling: Understand the recycling rules in your area and make sure to recycle plastic according to those rules.
  • Composting: For biodegradable plastics, perform composting at home or work.

Hyundai's Commitment to Sustainability

In this era of globalization, the automotive industry is competing to create products that are not only sophisticated and comfortable but also environmentally friendly.

Hyundai, as one of the world's leading car manufacturers, does not want to be left behind in this regard. They have taken a progressive step by launching the Hyundai IONIQ 5, a car designed to minimize negative impacts on the environment.

The Hyundai IONIQ 5 is not only an emission-free electric car but also utilizes environmentally friendly and recyclable materials for the car interior, without sacrificing premium quality and comfort. Here are some innovative materials used in the manufacture of the Hyundai IONIQ 5:

1. Paperette

Paperette is a material made from recycled wood, shaped to resemble traditional Korean paper. This material is used for door and dashboard garnish, providing an elegant yet environmentally friendly appearance.

2. Recycled Plastic

Recycled plastic is used to make wool, which is then used as a material for seat and door upholstery. The plastic used is the PET type, often used for drinking water packaging.

3. Sugarcane

Sugarcane, a renewable resource, is used to process the Hyundai Ioniq 5 interior material. This material is combined with recycled plastic to create comfortable and environmentally friendly seat upholstery.

4. Flower and Corn Oil

To process these materials into leather-like seat upholstery, oil is needed. The oil used in this process is oil from flowers and corn, which is an environmentally friendly alternative to fossil-based oil.

By using these materials, the Hyundai IONIQ 5 contributes to reducing its carbon footprint and helps create a more sustainable future. Moreover, all materials used can be recycled again, making this car very low in pollution.

Plastic waste is a global problem that requires a global solution. However, each individual can contribute to solving this problem by changing their daily habits.

By reducing the use of single-use plastics, recycling used plastics, and supporting recycling and plastic reuse initiatives, we can help reduce the negative impacts of plastic waste.

Let's commit together to take real action in managing plastic waste for a more sustainable and healthy future.