The Environmental Toll of Plastic Pollution

At Pyrogen, our dedication to a more sustainable future is what continues to drive us to help businesses reduce their environmental footprints.

Recently, the Government Service issued an article explaining the impacts plastic granulate waste is having on the environment. It highlights the importance of managing waste properly.

Plastics are known to be one of the most difficult waste sources to identify as there are so many different types. Therefore, it is important to ensure plastics of the same type are not mixed together as combining another form could be harmful for the process as waste plastic has to be melted before it can be recycled to form new products.

Generally, the size of hard plastics must be reduced before they can be melted down and recycled into new products. Often, shredding can reduce the size by a few inches, whereas granulating will reduce the size even further, into millimetres, making it ideal for the next stage of the process.

Some brokers are marketing this particular form of granulate waste as a base material for horse maneges and track surfaces despite there being no legal route on offer for its use for this purpose except with an Environmental Permit. However, it has become apparent that granulated waste could potentially put horses and their riders in danger, as it can contain Persistent Organic Pollutants (POP’s), phthalates and lead stearate. Essentially, this granulate is being sold to be used as a cheap replacement for clean plastic granules derived as a by-product from plastics manufacture or granules specifically produced for horse maneges.

Despite the hazards of granulated waste imposed by brokers, there is also a potential threat that could be caused due to the effects of weathering. The effects of this can lead to leaching of these toxic substances into the wider environment, potentially causing contamination to land and groundwater. Some waste plastic granulate may even be cross-contaminated with non-plastic elements such as metal fragments and glass, making surfaces where it’s used potentially harmful for horses and riders.

Plastic pollution within the environment can be reduced by:

  • Pre-preparing plastic waste
  • Ensuring there are wash/granulation facilities available at certain sites for contaminated plastics
  • Packing products into new big bags to ensure no external contamination

At Pyrogen, we’re determined to eliminate avoidable waste and we do so by offering a simple and efficient process whereby we convert waste produce into energy. See how we can help your business be green and save money.