Plastic is an immensely versatile material with many uses but the overuse of this material is causing environmental pollution which has become a major environmental problem. It fills up landfills and remains in oceans for centuries. Recycling is the only effective solution when it comes to dealing with plastic pollution. Recycled plastic products such as recycled plastic mats, and rugs are a result of this effort.
They even offer several benefits over traditional mats and rugs made from natural materials as they are cheaper, very durable, and actually help our environment. And buying one of these rugs helps you support small companies that are trying to bring some positive change when it comes to dealing with the plastic waste problem.
Environmental Benefits of Recycled Plastic Mats and Rugs
Here is a list of a few key benefits of recycled plastic products:
Helps in Energy Conservation
Making new plastic from scratch requires more energy and resources as compared to recycling already present plastic into a new usable product. From raw materials to the burning of more fossil fuels for plastic factories and material transportation, everything uses more energy. When we recycle plastic for rugs and mats, we reduce the overall demand for plastic for these products. This also helps in saving a lot of energy.
Reduction of Landfill Waste
Plastic waste landfill takes up a lot of land, causing land pollution. The plastics sometimes ignite, whether deliberately lit or accidentally, and produce harmful fumes that end up in the air, causing air pollution. Additionally, these landfills become breeding grounds for several diseases, off-gassing and micro-plastic production. Landfill waste thus contributes to global warming.
But all of this can be prevented if we recycle plastic into useful products instead of dumping it into the land. Creating rugs and mats using recycled plastics helps in reducing landfill waste. Consumers can play an important role by choosing to use recycled plastic mats and rugs so that less waste would end up in landfill and less waste is created.
Reduction of Plastic Pollution
Used plastic is a pollutant that will never go away unless we do something about it. Putting it in a landfill, rivers or the ocean is obviously not a solution as it would never decay in a reasonable time. Instead, it would stay there for many generations and cause further problems to entire ecosystems. But when we recycle, we reduce the amount of plastic that is actually available to pollute our waters and land, as we lower the need for new plastic, and thereby lower the total amount of plastic made.
Reduces Emission of Greenhouse Gases
Creating new plastics requires burning a lot more fossil fuels, which in turn produces a problem of greenhouse gas emissions. But when the existing plastic is used for making rugs, and mats, the need for new plastic manufacturing goes down. That helps in reducing the emission of greenhouse gases.
Ethical Benefits of Recycled Plastic Mats and Rugs
Here is a list of the ethical benefits of recycled plastic mats and rugs:
Recycled plastic products are more animal friendly as they do not involve using animals for any process, meaning no harm to animals during the manufacturing process. Also, from a fit-for-purpose standpoint, you can buy these mats and rugs for your pet to sit, play, and sleep, with high expectations for cleanliness and durability. These are safe to be used for and around pets, not trapping dust mites and other little nasties. So, by buying them, you can support businesses that are ensuring the safety of animals.
Support For Fair Labour Practices
Most of the companies that do recycling often support fair labour practices. They make sure that their workers are paid fairly. So, by purchasing these recycled mats and rugs, customers can support these companies in their mission. Many plastic recycling companies are now Fair Trade Certified™, which is a testament to their beliefs in providing equal pay. Waste2Wear and The Renewal Workshop are two examples of such companies that recycle plastics and also support fair labour practices.
Creation Of Jobs
Recycling plastic into usable products such as rugs and mats requires a workforce to do several tasks, such as collecting, sorting, cleaning, and processing. That is how these companies create jobs and help the local economies flourish.
Supporting Local Economies
Another benefit of buying recycled plastic mats and rugs is that by doing so, individuals can help the local economy. Buying from these recycling companies helps them generate revenue that circulates into the local waste plastic bottle collectors' and sorters' economy. It may not be a large sum, but it still helps.
How Are Recycled Plastic Mats and Rugs Made?
The process of making recycled plastic mats and rugs is simple and is divided into these steps:
- Collection: Plastics are collected from recycling bins, waste management facilities, and companies. It is then transported to the facilities for further processing.
- Sorting: As you know that plastic has several different types. It is sorted before further processing based on color, size, and shape.
- Cleaning: Once sorting is done, the plastic is sent for cleaning so that all contaminants including dirt, bacteria, labels, and adhesives can be removed.
- Shredding: It is a process of cutting plastic into small pieces. It is done with shredding machines.
- Melting: Shredding plastic is heated so that it can be given a different shape for different products.
- Manufacturing: This is the final step, where melted plastic is woven into a rug, floor mat, or doormat.
By selecting recycled plastic mats and rugs, you can support sustainability and ethical consumerism. These mats and rugs are not only a practical investment but also a stylish and eco-friendly addition to any home or business. Also, the production of these rugs and mats creates jobs and helps and supports local economies and communities. These companies not only turn trash into a new usable product but also take measures for the protection of their employees.
But these efforts will only be fruitful if consumers support them by making an ethical choice and going for environmentally friendly rugs and mats. So, please make sure that the next time you buy a rug, floor mat, or doormat, buy it from those who are offering these recycled products.