500 B.C!!! Yes!!! The concept of recycling was born then in Athens, Greece. The local law was to dispose all the waste about 1 mile away from the walls of the city. The use of plastic has gone up tremendously in the last couple of decades, and the disposal of plastic is creating a huge hazard for the environment.
Plastic is a lightweight, inexpensive and durable material that can be easily molded into a wide range of products. Production of plastic utilizes a huge amount of energy, fuel and when disposed incorrectly, it harms the environment. In late 1980s, began the journey of plastic recycling, today it has become a norm. The year 2014 witnessed an uptrend in recycling of plastic bottles, plastic film and plastic 'rigids' (food containers, caps, lids, tubs, buckets, drums, casing) in the USA.
History of Plastic Recycling
1972 - the year when the first recycling mill began operations in Conshohocken, Pennsylvania that accepted residential plastics.
1980's - U.S. cities began a program to collect plastics and other recyclables.
1984 - in the history of the USA, it was the first time that plastic recycling topped 100 million pounds.
1986 - Rhode Island was the pioneer state to mandate recycling of plastic bottles and containers.
1988 - the recycle symbol was accepted to identify and sort plastics, though now high-tech sorting equipment is used.
1988-1992 - saw an increase of curbside recycling programs and plastic collection.
1990 - Coca Cola gave new life to use plastic by blending the recycled plastic into the beverage bottles.
1993 - Clothing was made from plastic from recycled bottles by cleaning, melting, stretching and weaving in into soft durable fabrics for outdoor gear by Patogonia.
Mid 1990's - most grocery stores began to collect plastic bags and later all re-cyclable paper towels, diapers, water cases etc for recycling.
1997 - National Recycling Coalition founded America Recycle Day to encourage daily recycling.
1997 - saw toothbrushes, containers, kitchenware made from recycled polypropylene by Preserve. The earth friendly bags were also invented, which are biodegradable.
2000's - saw the increase in recycling of plastic awareness amongst the citizens. A program to collect all bottles by the curbside simplified the process of recycling bottles. Recyclers began all recyclable material include glass, metal and paper.
2013 - drop off locations were designated for the convenience of the people to drop off the plastic bags, grocery bags and convenient for the recyclers to pick this material.
2018 - studies show that America is recycling more plastic than ever before.
Recycling Plastic has offered great opportunities to reduce greenhouse emission and reduce oil usage thereby saving the environment and creating a great option for manufacturers for a new business avenue.