Industrial Plastic Recycling: Remaking the Future

Plastic Crates

You’ve probably seen reports of plastic debris filling up landfills and harming natural ecosystems, resulting in plastic straw bans, tighter regulations, and more. As the effects of environmental damage continue to gain attention, recycling is top of mind for businesses and consumers alike. For most, recycling everyday bottles and cans is second nature, but the proper disposal of waste created by industrial and manufacturing companies is equally significant. In fact, industrial plastic recycling in Michigan is a key in expanding sustainable practices statewide, nationally, and globally.

These three trends showcase how recycling your company’s industrial plastic scrap can contribute to a better, more environmentally-friendly future while driving your business.

1. Today’s Consumers Demand Sustainability

Consumers value sustainability more than ever before. Research from Neilson shows that most consumers would change their consumption habits to lessen their environmental impact, and Toluna reports that 37% of consumers would spend up to 5% more money on sustainable products. This shows that reducing your company’s ecological footprint with responsible recycling practices can attract purpose-driven and sustainability-minded clients.

This shift has already inspired a renewed focus on businesses’ environmental impact, leading many large companies to make public commitments to sustainable practices. The resulting demand for environmentally-friendly manufacturers presents a unique opportunity for businesses that choose to adapt, and the right plastic recycler can help your business get ahead of the curve.

2. Moving Toward a Circular Economy

Many are looking to the circular economy—a regenerative industrial system focused on eliminating waste and the “end of life” of a product—as the future model for sustainable manufacturing that’s best suited to address pressing environmental concerns. While in a linear economy, products are manufactured, used, and discarded, the circular economy model ensures that waste is collected, recycled, and reused instead.

For example, if a business works with plastic buyers to recycle industrial scrap, these materials are transformed and reused in new products, rather than ending up in a landfill. This “closes the loop,” establishing a circular supply chain. As an additional environmental benefit, when more plastic is recycled, that also means more products can be made from post-consumer recycled plastic, rather than raw materials.

3. Measurable Goals Making an Impact

Measurement and transparency are essential to achieving true sustainability. That’s why the United Nations (UN) Sustainable Development Goals serve as a guideline for many corporate sustainability plans. The 17 goals were created to provide a better, more sustainable future and address global issues like climate change, environmental damage, and more. As part of Goal 12, “Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns,” the UN aims to substantially reduce waste generation through prevention, reduction, recycling, and reuse by 2030.

Locally, the manufacturing industry plays an important role in Michigan’s goal to triple its recycling rate from 15 to 45%. Last year, plastic recycling in Michigan amounted to more than 121,600 tons, compared to about 53,300 tons in 2017, according to data from the Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy. The report notes that much of this increase can be attributed to the inclusion of organizations that process commercial material, highlighting the need for a stronger focus on industrial recycling.

The new norm of sustainable manufacturing is changing rapidly, but there’s no doubt that recycling is a key part of remaking the future and protecting the environment. Whether you’re driven by consumer demand, innovative business models, or government goals, examining your supply chain and recycling practices is a great place to start. When you’re ready to redefine your company’s sustainability journey, contact the experts at Seraphim Plastics LLC to help recycle plastic in Michigan.