Through presentations and gamification BarcelonaSail is exploring plastic commitment in Barcelona. We organize presentations followed by a plastic commitment game and corporate plastic incentive events. The feedback we receive from companies is beyond expectation, therefor we share a part of our presentation with you. Call us for a motivating awareness incentive event
The story of plastic is fascinating and exciting. Plastic exists for over a 100 years, but commercially plastic started to get traction in the 50ties, with reusable plastic Tupperware. With the development of plastic in the 60ties design furniture, floors and even bathrooms, also plastic toys entered the house.
During the first 20 year, plastic products were durable and reusable. That started to change in the ’70s with the first single use coffee cups. They were made of Styrofoam PS, similar material that is used for insulation material. Single use plastic bags followed quickly and, in 1973 Perrier was the first to start selling water in bottles, this new idea got traction ’80s. Glass bottles where replaced by plastic bottles in the ’90s when the quality and price of plastic bottles surpassed the glass option.
Engineered plastic starts to replace parts in cars, planes and bikes. With the arrival of 3D printing small scale plastic production became viable.
Future of plastic is bright, plastic will be used in the near future to build bridges with composite plastic materials, being stronger and more resilient than concrete. Plastic use is split in 6 segments, the largest three segments are packaging, construction and automotive.
Plastics are divided into 7 groups based on the material characteristics of the plastic. Each plastic product has a number 1 to 7 somewhere on the package. Some unusual products all made out of plastic, HDPE surfboards. More than 80% of all surf boards are made out of plastic.
PVC was used for toys in the ’60s until valid health concerns became public.
Agriculture segments uses a tremendous amount of single use plastics. It may better to say that these are single season plastics.
The last category, the #7 category is a catch-all for polycarbonate (PC) and “other” plastics. There are no standardized reuse and recycling protocols for this category. Acrylic, fiberglass, nylon are most known from this group.
Of primary concern with #7 plastics, however, is the potential for chemical leaching into food or drink products packaged in polycarbonate containers made using BPA (Bisphenol A). BPA is a xenoestrogen, a known endocrine disruptor.
There is a world wide market for plastic waste. Mostly western countries offering plastic and India buying it. China used to be a big buyer, but China stopped buying plastic because they have enough plastic waste. India consumes very little plastic per capital and has limited amount of plastic waste and therefore is a world wide buyer of plastic. The value of plastic is determined by how easy it can be reused. Plastic waste needs to be clean, nicely stated in bales and sorted by the resin numbers. The quantities for recycling are still small, but the fact that there is a world wide market for plastic waste is promising.
Micro plastics are everywhere and will never leave. Micro plastic is in water, honey from bees and in our bodies.
Plastic is energy intense product. The energy needed to produce the single-use plastic water bottles is the same as the total Spanish petrol consumption in one year.
Exploring plastic commitment in Barcelona and Spain is necessary because Spain is the only European country that shows less interest in plastic waste challenge. The last 10 years people in Spain collect 7% less plastic waste than before.
From the plastic that is collected, 36% is “recycled”, this includes sending plastic to African and Asian countries, and 17% is used for energy recovery and 46% is land filled. Land filling means dumping plastic with the other waste in a dedicated location on a big mountain and letting it rot.
What can you do? Well that is easy, get your reusable water bottle, coffee cup and bag. Use it all the time and ask BarcelonaSail to come and do a presentation with game at your company.