Do you know the difference between Post-consumer recycled plastics and Pre-consumer recycled plastics?
Let’s start with the ones we usually generate, The Post- consumers. Indeed, the takeaway coffee you may have enjoyed this morning was served in a disposable plastic cup. Then, when you have finished your delicious drink, you have deposited this item in the rubbish. Bye plastic cup, no more use for you…
Oh wait, yes! Here starts the Post-consumers journey. After being discarded, these plastics are picked up, cleaned, and reprocessed at processing facilities, where they are converted into recycled plastics.
This process allows the reuse of plastics and converts them into new products, reducing the amount of plastic waste in the environment. For instance, at Sustonable, for every m2 of surface, we recycle 100 PET plastic bottles.
From an industrial perspective, when plastics are reused and made into new products, the production process is more sustainable and provides incalculable ecological benefits because it does not require fossil fuels as raw materials.
So, instead of introducing new plastics into the environment, Sustonable reuses an already processed material, forming a circular approach for our waste and protecting natural resources.
Pre-consumer recycled plastics is a rejected material before it was even ready for consumer use. Pre-consumer is reintroducing manufacturing discards (such as defective aluminum cans, or faulty plastic bottles) back into the manufacturing process. Pre-consumer waste is commonly practiced in production industries. It is often considered “production efficiency” rather than recycling because it usually is recovered material waste or excess product from their manufacturing processes.
Knowing the positive role Post-consumer plays for the planet, industries and public organisms should address their efforts to reduce Post-consumer plastic waste. We are well aware of the impact plastic waste has on our environment, so Post-consumer should be the number one priority. Global government legislations must facilitate post-consumer recycled plastics into manufacturing processes en encourage industries to use them to produce new consumer goods.
So remember, next time you have a coffee on the go, please place the disposable cup in a recycle bin, but, it will be much better if you use your own reusable mug; there are tonnes and tonnes of plastic to reuse already!