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Some Sustainable Thoughts

A Simple Way You Can Give Plastic Waste a Second Life

This Revolutionary, Closed Loop Solution is Diverting Millions of Pounds of Plastic Destined for Landfills Each Year

Every year for the past 50+ years, humanity has made more and more products with plastic. Some 299 million tons of plastics were produced in 2013, representing a 4% increase over 2012, and a staggering 620% increase since 1975. We’re good at making plastic. Getting rid of it? Not so much.

A March 2015 study published in the journal Science finally answered the question of how much plastic junk we toss into the sea: between 5.3 million and 14 million tons a year.

The National Resources Defense Council (NRDC) helped us put this unfathomable number in perspective: “Nine million tons of plastic is the equivalent of 136 billion plastic milk jugs. Stack them up and they’d reach more than halfway to Mars (when its orbit is at its closest point to earth).”

What happens to the other ~290 million tons of plastic?

It pollutes our land and piles in landfills worldwide, where nothing degrades. Landfills are anaerobic (without oxygen), and oxygen is necessary for biodegradation. Landfill researchers have found 150-year-old newspapers that are still legible.

We currently recycle only 14% of plastic packaging, according to a 2015 NRDC report. Packaging is the largest market sector for plastic resins; that is, materials designed for immediate disposal. We throw most plastic away after a single use. One simple thing you can do to help, starting now

Our reliance on plastic won’t be going away anytime soon. Walk into your bathroom, your kitchen, any room in your house, and notice the abundance of plastic—pens, bottles, toys, spatulas, even televisions.

Our waste will continue to grow with increased population and increased consumption, unless we shift the paradigm. The question is: how can we mitigate our plastic consumption?

By choosing products made with Post-Consumer Recycled (PCR) material.

PCR is a material that has served its intended use and has been diverted or recovered from waste destined for a landfill (the products people use and throw away).
Buy this, not that.

Choosing products made with the highest percentage of PCR material is a win-win. To explain why, I’ll use trash bags as an example.

Win #1: Products made with PCR material give discarded plastic a second life.

Most trash bags are made from ‘virgin’ (never used) resin. Virgin resin is manufactured from natural gas or crude oil, and has no environmental benefit whatsoever.

Evolution Trash Bags are made with a revolutionary, closed loop system using discarded irrigation tubes. We collect the tubing from farms throughout North America—saving 100 million pounds of waste from landfills each year.

Win #2: The process of turning recycled material into trash bags is much cleaner.

In a variety of ways, using PCR content results in lower environmental impact
compared to trash bags made with virgin resin:

  • 53% less depletion of nonrenewable energy resources, such as crude oil and uranium
  • 37% lower greenhouse gas emissions
  • 31% less impact on ocean warming, which is linked the collapse of coral reefs
  • 51% decrease in human exposure to soot, which is linked to cardiac disease and cancer

Evolution Trash Bags are manufactured with the highest percentage* of third-party certified** PCR material.

We have taken it one step further by becoming proud members of 1% for the Planet. For every sale from our Tall Kitchen Trash Bag and White Rhino Super Tough Trash Bag we will donate 1% of our revenue to nonprofit organizations dedicated to protecting the environment.

Kitchen Trash Bags exceed the guideline by 700%, and our White Rhino Super Tough Trash Bag by 940%.

**Evolution Trash Bags are UL ECOLOGO Certified for reduced environmental impact. Learn more about UL ECOLOGO Certifications.