Can Beach & Ocean Plastic Be Recycled?

Upcycling ocean and plastic in it’s natural state can be a challenge because it undergoes a process known as photodegradation when exposed to certain environmental conditions.

 

Plastics left on sunny sandy beaches can undergo accelerated photo-oxidation quicker than plastic floating around in the ocean which is maintained at lower temperatures. Nonetheless both suffer photodegradation which breaks down the bonding chemical in plastic material.
Plastic Bottle Caps Collected From a Beach.
If plastic breaks down then why bother recycling?

 

Even when plastic is exposed to direct sunlight the process of photodegeneration can take fifty years or more to break down plastic entirely. If photodegeneration occurs under dark water conditions such as in the ocean then the process will take even longer than that!. Recycling plastics from beaches requires cleaning before it can be processed into pellets ready for manufacturing into new produce.
Not only is this process costly and time consuming it does not address the problems surrounding plastic pollution on beaches around the globe. So although the recyling of ocean plastic has it benefits the best solution would be to actually replace it with sustainable solutions such as using biogradable materials.
Hopefully we will see the use of traditional plastics much less as new innovative eco freindly materials replace them.


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