As we already mentioned in this post, an environmental management system is necessary. And we are aware that 3.5 billion plastic products are sold every year. Something that undoubtedly contributes to environmental pollution. In fact, almost 2.2 billion tons of plastic ends up in rivers and seas around the world. In addition, 90.5% of the plastic produced has never been recycled, and it is estimated that in 2050 the planet will have about 12,000 million tons of plastic waste.
Without clear visibility and traceability on the production of plastics and their recycling, it is and will be impossible to control pollution. Not only on an international scale, but simply on a local scale. Therefore, accountability policies and procedures are needed to create public awareness of both the situation and the progress made.
FORTAPS environmental management system: Which plastics?
It is true that there are many prejudices in society and, at the same time, a lot of misinformation. Unfortunately, given concepts that are already deeply rooted, it is very difficult to change public opinion. In the mind of the public – and this is partly true – plastics are linked to oil and, in general, to traditional chemical products and refineries. These are responsible for large amounts of pollutants released into the atmosphere, water and soil, and the largest accidents in the world.
Without a doubt, this generates mistrust towards this material and its production processes, aggravated by the fact that it is difficult to eliminate. Furthermore, it is one of the most difficult types of waste to treat and manage at the end of its useful life. Something that is correctly related to conventional plastics.
However, plastics, like all products, have evolved over time and continue to do so in this period, both in terms of processes and finished products. Process and product innovation is proceeding rapidly, also thanks to the discovery of new raw materials and additives that can achieve environmental friendliness.
In fact, we use environmental management in FORTAPS based on the zero-waste model, also called “zero waste” to avoid polluting waste, as we have already explained in the article “In FORTAPS we have zero-residue cycle”.
Not all plastics are derived from petroleum
Traditional plastics are derived from petroleum, a material that is already known to be running out. This raw material must be preserved for future generations and allowed to be used for future developments. Or, if there are no other solutions that can lead to synthesis by alternative routes. For this reason, at FORTAPS we apply another environmental management system based on improving energy efficiency in plastic injection.
In this sense, to obtain polymers suitable to produce plastics, processes that do not require chemical synthesis from fossil sources can also be used. And it is that, nowadays, there are several synthetic polymers that are not derived from petroleum. We can start from starch or sugars and, therefore, from vegetable substances.
There are also certain bacteria, such as Shewanella oneidensis, that can naturally synthesize polymers without genetic modification/manipulation; what turns them into so-called genetically modified organisms (GMOs). These microorganisms accumulate plastic precursor polymers such as polyhydroxyalkanoate as reserve material in their cellular structures (vacuoles). Something that opens a new frontier for plastics, including bioplastics. On a large scale, this can be achieved using bioreactors, i.e., biomass incubators. At the end of the cycle, the biomass is treated in a suitable way for the required purpose.
FORTAPS environmental management system: we recycle
And what is essential to complete an environmental management system at FORTAPS: we recycle and use recycled plastic to prevent environmental pollution.
If you are interested in being informed more about what environmental management is like in FORTAPS, you can ask us without any commitment. We will be delighted to speak with you.