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World Environment Day

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“Beat Plastic Pollution”

Happy World Environment Day!

World Environment Day has a rich history of various communities coming together to make a difference. The holiday was created by the United Nations General Assembly in 1974 and has been gaining momentum ever since. Millions of people in 143 participating countries around the globe have engaged in efforts to clean and protect mother Earth. Originally starting with the idea “Only One Earth”, the focus of awareness has changed each year to tackle various environmental issues and concerns. This year, the event has kicked off with the topic Beat Plastic Pollution!

This theme was chosen to raise awareness of how much plastic the everyday consumer uses. It’s no surprise that America uses a considerably high amount of plastic, however, it’s never too late to make small changes and try to get involved.

When most people think of cutting down on plastic, they think of switching their water bottle or using a reusable container. These adjustments are great, but a little-known resolution may not only help our environment but local businesses and charities as well. One way to positively impact our environment is to get rid of the junk car that is taking up space in your driveway.

There are many positive impacts of donating and recycling a vehicle. Your old vehicle is a large, mechanical resource that can be reused or repurposed by someone else. The most obvious resource utilized by donating and recycling a vehicle is the steel. Over 18 million tons of steel is generated by recycled vehicles every year. This benefits our environment by utilizing a resource that typically would take up space in a landfill and economically helps your local businesses who profit from recycling the steel. However, plastic is another material that is becoming increasingly common in the automotive industry that can be recycled! For more information on the Environmental Impact of Auto Recycling see our detailed blog post by clicking here.

According to the Civil and Environmental Engineering division of University of Windsor “The percent plastics by mass in an average vehicle has gone from 6% in 1970 up to 16% in 2010 and is expected to reach 18% in 2020”. This is extremely important to recognize when taking a look at the vehicles that are no longer in service by the public. The reason we are seeing this shift to plastic is the lightweight properties in comparison to its steel counterpart. CO₂ emission reduction is increasingly important and to reduce the weight of the vehicle also reduces the CO₂ emissions during the use phase of the vehicle. We as a society must shift our focus to how these vehicles are processed and the benefits that plastic recycling can have.

One type of plastic becoming increasingly common is Polyurethane which is used in seats, dashboards and under the hood of a vehicle. Luckily, this type of plastic is easily converted and recycled. Our reliable direct licensed buyers and scrapers can take these plastic pieces to recycle them.

The biggest bonus to donating a vehicle is the ability to reuse the pieces for other vehicles. Parts like steering wheels, batteries, seats and many more can be reused. However, the most lucrative piece of plastic you can find on a vehicle is their bumper covers. Fascia is useful for recyclers and dismantlers because it is large and can typically be reused on a new vehicle. Who knew that your junker had such a helpful bumper?

The benefit of donating a vehicle is you are in control of who receives the proceeds. Our charity car donation programs return the highest percentage of the gross dollar from each vehicle donation to your charity. These charities can be directly helping our environment like the American Oceans Campaign or National Council for Science & the Environment (NCSE). Donating your vehicle will get money back for the charities you care about, you will receive a tax receipt and will get the eyesore out of your yard. All around, it’s a win!

The recycling and automotive industry are ever changing. In the spirit of World Environment Day, it’s important to be informed of these changes and how they impact our world around us. If we can reduce, reuse and recycle in new and contemporary ways we can try to beat plastic pollution!

References:

Miller, Lindsay, et al. “Challenges and Alternatives to Plastics Recycling in the Automotive Sector.” Materials 2014, 15 Aug. 2016, pp. 237–265., doi:10.1201/b19941-15.

Elise HayesWorld Environment Day

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