Plastic recycling is the way the world must move ahead if we have to find a way to manage our plastic problem. Recycling has a variety of economic impacts. For densely populated cities with overflowing landfills, plastic recycling can save much money on municipal budgets. For companies, recycling can provide another means to resell new products and earn money. Economic analysis across several research papers have shown that plastic recycling generates three times more revenue per ton of landfill waste and six times as many jobs.
Recycling of plastic generates significant economic benefits for people and communities. Recycling employs low, medium, and highly-skilled workers across a variety of jobs. These include materials handling, processing to high-quality product manufacturing. The drive to handle plastics efficiently, and use recycled materials innovatively spurs new jobs and economies, a key to long-term economic growth. Investments in recycling equipment and the companies themselves, besides job upskilling and micro-markets filters through the economy and contributes to overall growth.
When it comes to jobs, plastic recycling creates a number of them at a micro level. A range of activities are associated with the recycling and processes around it. They include:
- Collection of materials
- Segregation, cleaning
- Processing of materials
- Transforming materials into usable and marketable products
- Distributing, storing, retailing and delivering recycled materials and products
Additionally, recycling activities can also include;
- Direct and on-the-ground, in which case the entail recycling materials and transforming them into products that are marketable.
- Indirect, which pertain to activities like collecting, sorting, transporting materials around their reuse and recycling.
All of what the above do, besides of course the main task of recycling, is the generating of employment for local communities, building economic growth for the marginalised and finding newer avenues for employment.