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EPA is an agency of the US federal government that is dedicated to protecting the environment and human health. The main source of data on plastics production is the American Chemistry Council.
Plastic has long been an integral part of our life. Unfortunately, it is difficult to imagine our life without plastic packaging, bottles, phone cases, container bags and more. However, most people know practically nothing about plastic and how rapidly growing it is nowadays. Read on to learn more about plastic, and its use.
Plastics, Waste and Recycling
Primarily, plastic is a fast growing part of municipal solid waste (MSW). Moreover, plastic is also present in all major MSW categories, and as a result, in 2018, the largest volume of plastic tonnage in the container category was about 14.5 million tons. This category includes everyday items such as sacks, wraps, bags, other types of packaging, as well as polyethylene terephthalate jars and bottles, high-density polyethylene natural bottles and containers. Moreover, even manufacturers use plastics in a variety of durables (appliances, furniture and so on).
Also, you should be aware that plastic is also contained in nondurable products that we regularly use in our daily life. These include trash bags, disposable diapers, cups, utensils, and a wide variety of household goods. If we are talking about plastic food appliances that are often used by people on hikes or in nature, then they are made from clear or foamed polystyrene. However, the usual garbage bags are made from high or low density polyethylene.
You should also pay attention to plastic resins, which are also used in our daily life. For example, plastic resins are used to make of containers and other packaging products (PET bottles, HDPE milk and water bottles and so on).
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
EPA (U. S. Environmental Protection Agency) is an agency of the US federal government that is created to protect the environment and human health. This agency was proposed by the 37th President of the United States, Richard Nixon, and became operational on December 2, 1970. The Environmental Protection Agency is headquartered in Washington DC and has 27 laboratories. It is also important to note that the EPA has about 15,000 employees. However, what does the Environmental Protection Agency do?
EPA measures the recycling, composting, generation, combustion with energy recovery and land filling of plastic materials in municipal solid waste. In simple words, the agency conducts environmental assessments, as well as conducts research and educational work. It is also the responsibility of the Environmental Protection Agency to monitor the implementation of accepted norms and standards. The main data source on the generation of plastics is the American Chemistry Council. Surely you will be shocked to learn that in 2018 plastic generation was 35.7 million tons in the United States alone. This figure is about 12 percent of the MSW generation.
Environmental Protection Agency used data from the American Chemistry Council and the National Association for PET Container Resources to measure plastic recycling. Unfortunately, not all plastic can be recycled. In general, the amount of already recycled plastic is also not so great – about 3 million tons. It is also important to pay attention to the fact that recycling of some specific types of plastics is more important than others. In 2018, the recycling rate of PET bottles and jars aged 29.1% and then increased to 29.3%.
The following figures will also surely surprise you, as the total amount of plastic combusted in MSW in 2018 was over 5.5 million tonnes. In 2018, landfills also received about 27 million tons of plastic.
On the Environmental Protection Agency website you can find a wealth of information about the environment. There you will find a large number of environmental topics such as Air, Environmental Information by Location, Chemicals and Toxics, Greener Living and so on. You can also read basic information about the Environmental Protection Agency and contact them if necessary.