Recycling and utilization of plastic resources
The trash picked up is called "high-value plastic," and pickers' favorites are plastic bottles or food boxes made of PP - consumers can see the triangular recycling arrow pattern around the letter "PP" on the bottom of mineral water bottles.
These "high-value plastics" are preferred because their composition and use are relatively single, interference, pollutants are relatively few, collection and temporary storage is relatively easy, recycling costs are low and they can be sold at high prices, so a collection and transportation system is formed.
Correspondingly, "low-value plastics" are not favored by scavengers, fundamentally because, from the waste recycling station to the resource recycling plant, the price difference between buying and selling is earned, and "low-value plastics" are often complex materials, large volumes take up space, difficult to clean, and the cost of recycled materials made by the resource recycling plant is high and difficult.
In 2019, Aobei launched a landing classification drop point in Beijing, promising to recycle plastic bags, plastic wrap, foam and other typical "low-value plastics". Residents scan the code in Aobei small program to receive sorting bags, classify the garbage at home, and send the full bag to Aobei's self-service drop point in the community. Aobei regularly recyles full bags, sorts and weighs them by class, and uploads classified data and earnings in the mini program. Residents can view carbon reduction data, delivery feedback and classified income through the mini program, and can withdraw cash to wechat or Alipay at any time.
Residents can reap the benefits of getting their home categories right. Compared with the squatting of waste recycling, this model saves labor costs, reduces the cost of recycling, and makes Aobei rich and residents have a sense of accomplishment. During the operation of Aobei in Beijing, the delivery point often burst the warehouse, and the largest recycling point only recycled 3.745 tons of plastic bag film, which is equivalent to recycling more than 1.8 million plastic bags according to the calculation of 2 grams of a plastic bag.
From the root point of view, the principle of "who pollutes, who pays" has not been implemented in the management of domestic waste, and the system of charging according to the amount of waste has not been established. After consumers throw their garbage into the trash can, the property rights of the garbage are transferred, and the garbage becomes public garbage, which can only be covered by the government.
"If the government can cover the bottom, it will become normal not to recycle." "You create a lot of low-cost, low-value plastic that ends up either being burned or discarded and ends up in the ocean and things like that." Wang Wang said.
Data show that China currently incinerates about 27.4 million tons of plastic waste every year, accounting for 45% of the total waste plastic generation. Incineration can make plastic disappear quickly, but "invisible pollution" can not be ignored.
Scientific research shows that the incineration of 1 ton of plastic to emit 2.75 tons of carbon dioxide, up to tens of thousands of microplastic particles, plastic incineration of nitrogen oxides not only aggravate acid rain, plastic rich in chlorine will make incineration smoke more toxic.
On the World Environment Day in 2023, the United Nations Environment Programme issued the "Plastic War Quick Action Guide", proposing that "to deal with the problem of plastic pollution needs systemic change, and must start from the whole life cycle of plastic products to solve its root causes, rather than only treating the symptoms."
Corresponding to the domestic, plastic pollution control can not simply rely on "a burn." It is necessary for producers, consumers, resource recycling enterprises, and government departments to make efforts at the same time, through the reduction, reuse and classification of plastic recycling, in order to ultimately achieve both symptoms and root causes.