All of the plastic waste in the U.S. is worth up to $10 billion

The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) has estimated up to $9.9 billion can be reclaimed from plastic waste in landfills.

@AdamHuntTT
Published Wed, May 4 2022 4:01 AM CDT

A study on the plastic waste titled "Quantification and evaluation of plastic waste in the United States" has been published in the journal Resources, Conservation and Recycling.

All of the plastic waste in the U.S. is worth up to  billion 02 | TweakTown.com
VIEW GALLERY - 2 IMAGES

The United States Department of Energy's (DOE) National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) has estimated that in 2019, the country sent an average of $7.2 billion worth of plastic to landfills. It has also been estimated that though the upfront cost of setting up recycling systems may cost more in the short term than cheaply disposing of plastic waste in landfills, a circular plastic economy could save between $4.5 billion and $9.9 billion.

The NREL estimates that plastic waste in the United States amounts to 44 million metric tons. A different methodology used by the Environmental Protection Agency estimates the amount to be 32.2 million metric tons. New recycling techniques would provide incentives to create a circular economy, reclaiming billions of dollars and the embodied energy of the waste plastics, the amount of energy used to manufacture them, equating to about 12% of the energy consumption of the country's industrial sector.

"For us to tackle plastic waste pollution, we really need to understand better where those resources are. We would like to bring awareness to communities about the potential for these materials. I'm hoping this paper also increases awareness for industry and investors to look for opportunities," said Anelia Milbrandt, a senior research analyst at NREL and co-author of the new paper.

"Plastic waste is not just an environmental issue. It's a waste management issue. It's also a land use issue because landfills are closing in many areas. What do we do with all that waste? It has to go somewhere. I believe local governments and industry developers will see a benefit of this report by providing them information to support decisions," Milbrandt continued.

You can read more from the study here.

Adam's Top 3 Recommended Articles:

Read more: Takers of the first-ever black hole photo have a massive announcement

Read more: World's first flying car airport opens in the United Kingdom

Read more: Giant VR-operated humanoid robot used to fix power lines in Japan

Buy at Amazon

Blue Medium Deskside Recycling Container With Universal Recycle Symbol

TodayYesterday7 days ago30 days ago
$89.40$89.40-
* Prices last scanned on 5/24/2022 at 1:48 am CDT - prices may not be accurate, click links above for the latest price. We may earn an affiliate commission.

Adam grew up watching his dad play Turok 2 and Age of Empires on a PC in his computer room, and learned a love for video games through him. Adam was always working with computers, which helped build his natural affinity for working with them, leading to him building his own at 14, after taking apart and tinkering with other old computers and tech lying around. Adam has always been very interested in STEM subjects, and is always trying to learn more about the world and the way it works.

Newsletter Subscription

Related Tags

Newsletter Subscription
Latest News
View More News
Latest Reviews
View More Reviews
Latest Articles
View More Articles