Packaging & Environment
We have previously mentioned the benefits of packaging and how it is essential for modern life.Since ancient times packaging has greatly benefited humans and it is up to us to make sure it does no harm to the environment.
In our country, it is forbidden to use non-recyclable materials in the production of packaging, in accordance with the regulation regarding Control of Packaging Waste. Therefore, this packaging that is made by recyclable materials needs to enter the recycling process after it completes its life cycle. At this stage society needs to act conscientiously and not treat used packaging as garbage.If society does not act conscientiously, then pollution starts.
Packaging wastes are in no way garbage.Often we place the packaging for fruit juice we drink, food we eat or the new computer we bought in the same container as our household waste.However, packaging waste is an important material that could be used as secondary raw material in many sectors. If we are not aware of the importance of packaging, we destroy our world's natural resources every day with our own hands. A more permanent solution needs to be sought considering that the limited structured storage facilities are being rapidly filled with household wastes.
There is one point we should not miss when we claim that packaging is a valuable material and not garbage.If each waste is processed correctly, it will not become garbage.
We can make use of all kinds of waste, not just packaging waste.The methods can be listed as follows:
Reuse: Explains that packaging can be used for the same purpose with the same shape or by re-filling without being subjected to any processes other than collecting and cleaning until it becomes impossible to use it again within its own life cycle.
Recycle: as a terminology, recycling is processing waste materials after usage with certain physical and chemical processes and re-introduce them to the production processes as raw material. For materials we know to be built using recyclable materials, recycling is a very suitable method of disposal.
Reenergize: is the process of burning alone or with other wastes flammable (having a certain calorific value) wastes in specially designed facilities in order to obtain heat and electric energy.
Compost: (Organic Recycle) Composting is the biologic breakdown of organic materials under controlled conditions. During composting certain organic materials are broken down with CO2 and water. This process occurs in specially designed sections that have 80-90% humidity at around 60-65°C. After the process waste looks like a dark colored, hummus-like rich soil type.This is how compostable waste can be used as energy source instead of fertilizers with this method.
Note: Waste that cannot be treated with the above methods due to technological and/or economic reasons along with wastes remaining after the use of above methods are taken to structured storage facilities to be disposed of there. Over time, unsanitary garbage storage fields (wild storage) are expected to be shut down and a full transition to structured storage system is expected to be done. However, both the high cost of initial startup of these facilities and the difficulty finding place for structured storage facilities makes the recovery and recycle of packaging waste.
What is Recycling?
Effective use and sustainability of natural resources have an increasing importance recently due to the imprints modern living is leaving on nature. Studies show that as the human population along with its needs increase, the importance of using renewable sources as raw material during production, increased using of green energy, bringing production processes up to par with environmental regulations, increasing recycle/recovery, minimizing the use of natural resources by developing studies that will allow for higher production with less resource usage has also increased.
Natural resources are not infinite and we will run out of them if we do not pay attention. Studies have been done on preventing resource waste and recovery and reuse of waste in countries that have experienced an energy crisis arising from efforts to increase life standards.
Recycling as a terminology, is processing waste materials after usage with certain physical and chemical processes and re-introduce them to the production processes as raw material.
With recycling, our natural resources are protected, energy is saved, and wastage amount is decreased.Recycling is an investment in the future and the economy.
Natural resources diminish rapidly with the increase of world population and the development of industry. Therefore recycling is the smartest thing to do in order to protect our natural resources and use them efficiently.
For example, recycled materials provide serious material and energy save by being used as secondary raw material in product manufacturing. We can report that using secondary materials in especially the glass sector has provided a serious advantage in terms of energy and cost.
Since industrial process in recycled materials is minimal, energy is saved. In the recycling procedures of metal drink cans, the metal is directly melted and turned into new product. Therefore the procedures needed to purify the ore and the ore used for production are no longer necessary.This could allow for a 96% energy saving in the recycle of aluminum cans.Similarly the energy necessary for re-processing paper separated in solid waste is 50% of the energy needed for normal procedure.Glass and plastic waste recycling can create similar energy savings.
Separating garbage and packaging waste results in a serious decrease in waste going into garbage.Less space and less energy is used to transport and store this waste.This allows for a more efficient use of structured storage areas that are already limited in number.
Recycling is an efficient economic investment in the long run.Decreasing raw materials and diminishing natural resources will create economic problems and recycling will have a positive effect on the economy at this point.It will create new employment opportunities and allow the future generations to make use of natural resources.
Using waste materials as raw materials is important for avoiding pollution.Using waste paper in new paper production decreases air pollution by 74-94%, water pollution by 35%, and water pollution by 45%. For example, one tone of waste paper used in paper pulp prevents the cutting down of 20 trees.
For an efficient recycling, packaging manufacturers, the companies that use packaging and the licensed recycling companies need to work in cooperation.This way the packaging will answer all the needs of the consumers while not creating any problems during recycling.