Recycled plastic products can be reused by a wide variety of industries. The plastics recycled make stronger and more durable replacements in many cases for example the life of outdoor plastic furniture compared with more traditional wooden products is much longer.
Other spillover effects are the production of new jobs as some of these are technical in nature they may benefit the local economies as transportation costs are likely to undermine any benefits of lower labour in less developed countries. The Asian recycling industry will boom regardless of importing waste from abroad due to the massive manufacturing capacity of the Asian powerhouse. Local supply chains will be fed by new plastic products developed locally as the production wages will filter back into the local marketplaces stimulating regional growth.
A growing awareness of the potential for renewable energy sources and materials in Europe and the US which has been highlighted recently by the BP oil spill which has made alternatives to oil and more carbon intensive energy sources much more attractive certainly in the eyes of a more environmentally aware group of consumers. Recycled plastics will help win over the ethically minded consumer recycled plastic does not require constant weather treatment so will reduce the strain on the environment further with no need for chemical weather treatment.
The majority of plastics are themselves now recyclable and consumer awareness will continue to push the loop closer to closure with supermarkets continuing to push for the removal of plastic carrier bags. Similar innovations exist in the agricultural sector where farm waste plastic is used to produce agricultural plastic products and many other industries are starting to follow suit.