What does post-consumer recycling (PCR) really mean? Why should we use it? What are the benefits of using PCR plastics over virgin plastics? Today, we’ll answer all of these questions and provide insight into the pros and cons, energy efficiency and environmental impact of virgin versus recycled plastics. Virgin plastics are new resins produced directly using natural gas or crude oil without any recycled material. Post-consumer recycled or PCR, on the other hand, as the name implies, is a product that is recycled after it has been used as a consumer product (i.e. water bottles, milk containers, detergent bottles) and made into a new product. There are many benefits to using post-consumer recycled plastics and once more and more companies and brands start to realize and adopt the concept of circular economy as a model that can save and restore our planet, we will be operating on a sustainable system that will benefit us, the planet and future generations. In a 2020 study, “Life Cycle Assessment Energy Profiles and Life Cycle Assessment Environmental Burdens of Virgin and Recycled Plastics,” the Association of Plastics Recyclers compared the energy profiles and environmental impacts of virgin and recycled plastics. The study found that “comparing the energy consumed by recycled PET, high-density polyethylene (HDPE) and polypropylene (PP) alone shows that virgin plastics consume 1.7, 3.0 and 3.0 times more energy than post-consumer recycled plastics.” The study also analyzed several environmental influences on virgin plastic production and PCR plastic pellet production. These factors include. Total energy, water consumption, solid waste, global warming potential, acidification, eutrophication (excess nutrients in water bodies due to runoff) and smog. The results showed that in addition to the 4% increase in water consumption required, the environmental impact of PCR plastic production was reduced by 46-79% compared to the production of virgin plastics. This apparent reduction shows that using recycled plastics instead of virgin plastics can greatly help the environment, and that’s just considering the direct manufacturing impact of recycled plastics. When we look at the bigger picture, there are even more benefits to using recycled plastics, such as removing plastic waste from landfills where it would otherwise sit for hundreds of years, continuing to pollute the earth and oceans, and giving them new life and value. In a closed-loop circular economy, where products are designed with their ultimate lifespan in mind and can continue to be recycled and regenerated into new products, our planet’s resources will no longer be exploited and wasted after just a few (sometimes just one) uses. In order to achieve this on a global scale and for us to truly see change, it will take the effort and willingness of everyone on the planet, both at the consumer and corporate level, as it is part of our obligation and responsibility to care for our people, our planet and our future generations. In order to see change, we must make changes in the way we live our lives. As individuals, there are simple ways we can embrace a circular lifestyle and help reduce the plastic waste in our daily lives. This is why recyclable plastics or products containing recycled plastics are now such a big seller, especially アールピーイー玩具、化粧品、日用品などの包装に多用され、幅広い用途で使用されています。