(Daily360.com) – As governments throughout the West insist on recycling and green energy for every industry no matter the financial or personal cost, we are seeing they may not be as wise as they position themselves. The plastic recycling mandates have been in effect for many years now, in most communities not adhering to local mandates will result in fines or worse from local municipalities. New research coming out of Dalhousie University Halifax in Canada and University of Strathclyde in Scotland indicate the process by which plastic is recycled may be doing more harm than good.
The methods appear to put putting microplastics back into the environment and its been found in water testing. The process of recycling plastic is a process that first has the plastic being cleaned by washing it with water several times, after which it is shredded and melted to create plastic pellets. The washing has been shown to release little microplastics back into the water. The team then studied the environment around these recycling facilities and found when the water used to clean the plastic is flushed out through sewage pipes, microplastics wind up all around. To quantify their findings they say these facilities are putting roughly 6.5 million pounds of microplatic into the environment each year.
The team looked at the facilities water supply for which they used a filtration system but found it only removed about 50% of this microplastic. Furthermore they only tested for plastic down to the size of 1.6 microns, but there are likely pellets much smaller than that which could be ingested and could wind up working their way into an animal’s cells once in the body. Despite all this and all the mandates only about 9% of plastic throughout the world is actually recycled and in the U.S. that number is only 5%.
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