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How to Break the Curse of Plastic -- From discarded fishing nets and plastic bottles

July 21, 2023
How to Break the Curse of Plastic -- From discarded fishing nets and plastic bottles

Today we are going to discuss an environmental issue that is as old as it is difficult: plastics.


Plastics have changed the world since their inception, but they have also become a chronic problem that we can't get rid of - after they are used and consumed, they are buried in the earth, floated in rivers, and sunk in the sea, unable to decompose, and even splitting up into smaller fragments that are bouncing around the earth and in our bodies.


In order to deal with the plastic problem, countries have issued various bans for this purpose, however, the bans can't stop the production, use and disposal of plastics, because it is impossible for human beings in modern life to really get rid of the convenience brought by plastics.


However, there is a solution that lies not in banning, but in pioneering. Plastic and its hazards are not an unbreakable curse, but an opportunity for environmental protection and innovation.


A video that has been widely circulated on the Internet that has left many heartbroken and stricken - it took a team of scientists 10 minutes to remove a 10-centimeter-long straw from the nostril of an injured sea turtle ......

Team of scientists try to pull straw out of sea turtle's nostril




Since the birth of the world's first piece of plastic - "cellulose" (nitrocellulose plastic) in 1869, more than 150 years later, "cellulose" has evolved into more than 140 kinds of commercial plastic Varieties, with corrosion resistance, durability, waterproof, lightweight, insulation and other advantages, while the global plastic production capacity from 1.7 million tons / year in 1950 to 460 million tons in 2019, an increase of more than 270 times.


Behind the drastic increase in numbers is that the natural degradation of discarded plastic products is extremely slow, and it takes hundreds of years before it can be completely degraded. Can not be degraded in a short period of time, most of the plastics are landfilled or abandoned, a small portion of the incineration, and part of the four directions into the sea, with the ocean currents convergence into a "growth" in the garbage drift group, or sunk into the deep sea.


A landfill in operation. Source: Visual China


Plastics that are burned, landfilled and run off into the ocean do not disappear, but continue to decompose - the plastic turns into plastic fragments, which decompose again into smaller fragments, and eventually into microplastics that are less than 0.5 millimeters in diameter. Micro-plastics are not easy to be detected, they will be ingested by marine organisms, circulate in the marine ecology, and enter the land as food, and ultimately enter our bodies.


In the face of the plastic problem, China as early as 1999, we launched the "Plastic Restriction Order" "State Economic and Trade Commission issued (99) Order No. 6", put forward by the end of 2000, a comprehensive ban on the production and use of disposable foaming plastic food and drink utensils; in 2007, the State Council issued a "notice on the restriction of the production and sale of the use of plastic shopping bags", put forward in the Nationwide ban on the production, sale and use of plastic shopping bags with a thickness of less than 0.025 millimeters, the implementation of the system of paid use of plastic shopping bags, etc.; after the 2020 is the intensive out of the policy on disposable plastic food packaging, known as the "history of the most stringent ban on plastic," if you think back, it is from that time onwards! If you think back, it is from that time onwards, the market to buy food no longer have free supply of non-biodegradable plastic bags, some people began to take the environmental protection bag to stroll in the supermarket.


Overseas, since 2008 to date, the European Union, France, Germany and many other countries have also introduced different policies, including banning different single-use plastic products, limiting the per capita consumption of plastic bags by the public, levying a tax on single-use plastic bags, and so on.


However, the public is concerned, and a single ban can hardly stop the production, use and discarding of plastics. Because we - to be precise, human beings in modern life - can't really get rid of the convenience brought by plastic.


Photo: Small tomato in a PET plastic box



Photo: Small tomato in a PET plastic box


We can say that plastic is the greatest curse ever invented by mankind. It has changed many things in the world, but it has also become a chronic disease that we can't get rid of, in the earth, in the rivers and lakes, in the oceans and in our bodies.


The disease is hard to get rid of, but it is not without a cure. There is a solution, not in the prohibition, but in the creation, plastic and its harm is not an unbreakable curse, but the opportunity for environmental protection and innovation.


When our company was doing international trade in the early days, we often had to go abroad and met many foreign brands who found that they had the demand for environmentally friendly products and asked if we had any related materials. So slowly, our founder also began to understand this topic. 2017 we got the certificate of GRS (GlobalRecycledStandard, an international, voluntary and comprehensive recycled material product standard), and officially began to make environmentally friendly products.


Recycled fishing net waste can be made into the following materials:

1. Recycled Nylon : Fishing nets are usually made of synthetic fibers such as nylon or polyester, so they can be recycled and processed into recycled nylon. Recycled Nylon is an environmentally friendly material and its production process reduces the need for virgin resources and energy consumption.


2. Recycled Polyester: Some fishing nets may be made from polyester fibers, which can also be recycled and converted into recycled polyester. Recycled polyester can be used to make fabrics, ropes and other textiles.


3. Recycled Plastic: In addition to being used in textiles, fishing nets can be recycled into recycled plastic through the process of plastic recycling. Recycled plastics can be used to make a variety of products including bags, shoes, furniture and more.


4. Recycled Rope and Netting: Some nets may be directly processed into recycled ropes for various purposes, such as equipment ropes, ship bollards, etc. In addition, the structure of the nets allows them to be used for a variety of purposes. In addition, the structure of fishing nets also makes them suitable for making rope nets, which are used for fencing basketball courts, soccer fields and other venues.


5. Recycled Fiberboard: The fibers of fishing nets can be compressed and combined to form recycled fiberboard, which can be used to make furniture, partitions and so on.


Using the raw materials generated from the recycling of these nets, we can apply them to the rollers in the trolley ice packs.


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