“Reduce, reuse, recycle” is a phrase often referenced as best practice for waste management around the world. However, not everything we produce can be disposed of in a way that satisfies one of the three Rs, and for those items, landfill is often the most common end point.
Plastic bottles are one prime example of this, with a 2017 article from The Guardian reporting that a million plastic bottles are purchased around the world every minute, a figure that is only expected to increase another 20 per cent by 2021. The majority of these bottles, which are fabricated from highly recyclable PET, end up either in landfill or the ocean. To make matters worse, only 7 per cent of the minority that are collected for recycling are turned into new bottles. Only 12 per cent of the average Australian’s total plastic consumption ends up being recycled.
These statistics represent not only a phenomenal waste of energy – with bottles made from 100 per cent recycled content requiring 75 per cent less energy to produce than virgin equivalents– but also an increasing threat to global ecosystems. While plastic does eventually break down into smaller and smaller components, this simply accelerates the spread of harmful toxins that are ultimately consumed by wildlife. However, the amount of time taken for plastic to fully decompose far outstrips the human lifespan, during which time plastic particles can make their way up the food chain and into our own food.
Taking these issues into account, brands such as Woven Image are taking their own steps to alleviate some of the pressure placed upon the environment by developing products that utilise recycled PET. Two such products are EchoPanel®, an acoustic wall and ceiling panelling system, and Mura™ wallcoverings. Made from 60 per cent post-consumer PET waste, EchoPanel® and Mura™ have diverted over 3532 tonnes of PET from landfill since entering the market in 2004 – the equivalent of almost 104 million plastic bottles. Furthermore, this number is on the rise as consumer awareness increases, with almost 17 per cent of that figure – 594.2 tonnes – being diverted from landfill in the last year alone.
Rather than recycling these bottles to maintain their quality of a single use object, Woven Image’s manufacturing processes focus on upcycling, guaranteeing a 10-year lifespan for EchoPanel® and Mura™ products while maintaining 100 per cent reusability and recyclability.
For more information on Woven Image and EchoPanel® and Mura™, visit their website today.