There are some very important awareness events in July, having to do with the oceans and our natural environment. The AMS Green Team would like to inform readers about ‘Plastics Free July’. We have all seen and grieved at the sight of wildlife, and especially ocean life, being harmed and destroyed by plastics that have been discarded – not recycled, or not reused or properly disposed of.
From the website Plastic Free, we read the following: “Humans have been harming the ocean’s ecosystem for hundreds of years with plastics, toxic waste, oil spills, and much more. Land-based waste products end up in seas, oceans, and beaches. Ocean trash affects the health of wildlife, people, and local economies. The trash in the water and on the shore can be ingested by wildlife, or entangle animals with lethal consequences. Plastic also attracts and concentrates other pollutants from surrounding seawater, posing a contamination risk to those species that then eat it. Scientists are studying the impacts of that contamination on fish and shellfish as well as the possible impact it may have on human health.”
And here is the truth that really calls us to action: “Plastic has been found in 59% of seabirds such as albatross and pelicans, in 100% of sea turtle species, and more than 25% of fish sampled from seafood markets around the world.”
The website is doing an Ecochallenge for people to take in their own homes, with regard to their personal use of plastic. The challenge offers ways to refuse plastic and reduce single-use plastic for one month. We encourage readers to take the challenge at this link: HERE
AMS and Plastic Reuse and Recycling
The majority of the waste in a fulfillment services company will be corrugate and plastic stretch film (used for packing, wrapping, and shipping of many types of items). Corrugate is recyclable, and AMS recycles it. But plastic stretch film is not accepted in the majority of recycling centers unless it is bailed and in very large amounts. Stretch film is generally made with linear low-density polyethylene, which is denoted as category four in recycling programs.
The AMS Green Team felt they had to come up with a solution, as the stretch film was rejected for recycling and therefore it was ending up in a landfill, and it was quite a lot. Each of the AMS’ five facilities receive 60-80 stretch wrapped pallets a day. After some searching, the Team located a company that will pick up and recycle bailed plastic stretch film once it reaches 10K lbs. To solve this, AMS purchased 92 waste bins enabling the team to properly dispose of this waste so it could be bailed, weighed, and stored until the facility has 10K pounds, at which time it is recycled.
What’s really good about this plastic recycle option is that it qualifies for re-use as composite lumber. It can also be made into new bags, pallets, containers, crates, and pipe. That is the point of it all.
This is Plastics Free July, and the goal of being plastics FREE is a wonderful one. We know there are ongoing efforts to develop alternatives to plastic that will be bio-degradable. We’re keeping our eyes on alternatives to plastic as that is our goal as well. AMS is a Certified B Corporation, and the environment is a stakeholder in our decisions.
AMS bins of plastic stored for recycling