500 billion pounds of plastic is produced worldwide each year, yet less than 3% is recycled. In the United States alone, an average of 63 lbs of plastic per person ends up in landfills annually. Dumping it into landfills is terrible for our environment, but what can be done? Reduce, Re-Use and Recycle. This is the most effective way to reduce plastics going into landfills and clearly helps to reduce our carbon footprint. Enough plastic is thrown away each year to circle the earth four times. In fact, in the Los Angeles area alone, 10 metric tons of plastic fragments, such as grocery bags, straws and soda bottles, are carried into the Pacific Ocean every day. It is estimated that a plastic bottle takes up to 450 years to degrade in the ocean. To put that in perspective, 450 years ago, the pilgrims had not yet landed at Plymouth Rock.
Protecting the environment is on the top of the priority list at Green Roots Play Equipment. We are dedicated to reducing our environmental impact by providing quality playground equipment created from Recycled Structural Plastic (RSP) in many of our playground designs. We are proud to be the exclusive Canadian Distributor of Play Mart Playgrounds, the leading manufacturers in sustainable commercial playground equipment.
So what does this have to do with the environment? Plenty! Play Mart extrudes 100% of its own proprietary Recycled Structural Plastic. Each play structure is made up of 80% to 95% recycled materials with picnic tables and benches at nearly 100% recycled content. The company only uses one type of plastic in their products, which is Pure High Density Polyethylene (HDPE). In order to recycle HDPE, Play Mart uses recycled milk jugs exclusively. Milk jugs are made of Pure HDPE. In fact, each of Play Mart’s average playset contains nearly 25,000 milk jugs, diverting millions of pounds of plastic from landfills annually. As the company continues to grow, it will need more recycled milk jugs to meet the demand for Recycled Structural Plastic. It’s a win-win situation and a great start to reducing the amount of plastic going into landfills.
But the story doesn’t stop here. Parents and teachers need to continue to educate our children on the benefits of re-using yesterday’s plastic. Sustainable development is “meeting the needs of the present, without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.” (Earth Summit, Rio de Janero 1992) Teaching the children now about the need to reduce, re-use and recycle ensures that future generations will regard this action as commonplace. Imagine what it will do for the environment if we continue to focus on this simple formula. The world will be a much cleaner, healthier place for future generations. It all starts with awareness and the action to Reduce, Re-use and Recycle.