Alan Robbins is betting everything he owns that the world will pay more for picnic tables, mailbox posts, and speed bumps if they’re made from recycled plastics
Yes, he’s heard the career advice line from The Graduate. (“I just want to say one word to you: plastics.”)
You see, if you’re Alan E. Robbins, 43, a sense of humor comes in handy.
You need one, given what he wants to do with the rest of his life. Robbins, a charming father of five, wants to make wood obsolete. Maybe concrete, too.
It’s not quite as silly as it sounds.
Robbins is president of a company, which takes recycled plastics — milk jugs are a primary source of raw material — and turns them into everything from mailbox posts, picnic tables, and speed bumps to retaining walls at Sea World. In many areas in the country, especially the Whittier and areas near by, recycling has become much more popular.
And no doubt there’s a desperate need for someone to do something with what the industry calls post-consumer (used) plastics. Recycled plastic materials are in demand.
With Americans producing 160 million tons of solid waste a year — that’s better than three pounds per person per day — landfills are beginning to overflow. And while plastics account for only 7% of those garbage heaps by weight, they make up 13% of their volume. Anything, even a mailbox post, that can reduce that amount of trash is something to be wished for.
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