OSC Recycling & Sustainability Service Group

A reflective blog exploring recycling & sustainability initiatives at the Overseas School of Colombo

Plastic Recycling at OSC

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High quality plastic at the nearby recycling center.

Plastic has been around for hundreds of years but it is only recently that it has become both a curse and a blessing. The first form of natural plastic was invented by Leonardo Da Vinci during the Renaissance period using animal and vegetable pastes as well as organic fibers and mixing them all together (Plastic Bottle). It is a great material to hold liquids such as water, soft drinks, milk, and shampoo.   There are many more liquid commodities  that require containment by means of plastic, and that is because plastic is a considerably cheaper material to produce compared to glass.  Plastic is a great resource because it is easy to use and used for a lot, but there are significant negative aspects. Here at the Overseas School of Colombo we try our best to recycle plastic bottles. We have made a commendable progress  in recycling our plastic but, there is still a monumental task ahead.

OSC is a relatively green school but we consume large amounts of plastic. Looking at the school canteen, two to three boxes of 500ml plastic water bottles get consumed every day. There are 24 water bottles in each of the boxes, which means that our school consumes roughly 969 – 1440 water bottles in four weeks of school, which could be reduced if more people would drink from the water fountains instead. The canteen manager estimates that 40% of the plastic that is separated within the canteen is not recycled, just mixed in with the other trash where it’s simply thrown out and most probably dumped at a scrap corner on the side of the road and burnt, leading to Bisphenol (BPA) toxins in the air which are harmful to both humans and the environment (Flint).  There are many different alternatives that could reduce the amount of plastic water bottles our school consumes; one being installing filters for tap water outlets in the bathrooms so students can re-fill constantly, but there will always be issue of keeping the filters clean. Another alternative is installing more water dispensers that are easily accessible around the school. The water will then come from a company, such as American Water, which takes the water containers that we use, replace them, and then re-use them. Lastly, bringing in your own water container that you can constantly re-fill would assist in our resource conservation.

Plastic bottles are over used within our school community. Improper use and disposal can lead to series of negative effects therefore; we must reduce the consumption rate of plastic bottles within the school through use of alternatives.  Though the majority of the plastic is recycled, we could still do more to use less of the toxic materials that are harming our planet and our bodies. As a whole, there is still much to be done and little by little we can find a strategy allowing us to consume less of plastic bottles helping not only ourselves, but mother Earth too.

Article Copyright: Constanze Klempin 2011

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Written by recycling1011

2011-04-22 at 3:21 AM

Posted in Plastics

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