How to Recycle Plastic Waste
Plastics can prove to be a valuable resource since they can be recycled and reused right up to the end of their usability. Further, reusing them wisely can help reduce carbon dioxide emissions and in this way, protect the environment. Plastics are created out of a range of organic materials such as cellulose, crude oil, salt, natural gas, and coal. The processes used to manufacture the particular kind of plastic dictate whether or not you can recycle them.
Where to Recycle Wastes from Plastics
The authorities in your hometown probably have procedures in place to collect and recover used plastic containers so that they can be properly recycled. Many stores also have a collection bin at their entrances where you can deposit used plastic bags, cling film and other plastic wrapping materials. You could also check online to find out about the recycling centres around your home or place of work where you can submit used plastic containers and bags.
How to Sort Plastics before Recycling
Since each category of plastics have its own melting point, recycling plants group together specific categories before processing them. Thus, the particular shape of the bottle can indicate the process by which it was created and the special resin it is made of.
For instance, some plastics are opaque while others are transparent and have a seam running running across their bottom. Some transparent plastic containers might also have hard spot at the centre of their base. Check the collection facility’s instructions on how to sort containers before depositing them. Here are some examples of the kind of jars and containers that are acceptable in recycling plants. :
● Plastic jugs and bottles including soda bottles and laundry detergent jugs
● Soap bottles
● Milk jugs
● Plastic cups (ensure that you remove the lids and straws)
● Jars with screw top lids
● Containers for food and beverages
● Deli-style containers
● Clamshell take-out containers
● Grocery and retail shopping bags that are clean
Preparing Your Containers for Recycling
Before depositing your used plastics, you could prepare them a little for an easy processing. Here’s how:
● Clean the bottles and jars
● Remove bottle caps unless it has been specified on the instructions at the collection site.
● If you’re expected to deposit the lids, make sure you leave them on the bottles or they could get lost and end up in the trash.
● Many collection centers take lids, trays, and plastic tubs. Make enquiries and deposit them in the correct location.
● Look for Reverse Vending Machines in stores, schools, and other workplaces in your area. These machines allow you to exchange empty containers for cash.
Plastics That Cannot be Recycled
While recycling all you can is a great idea, do keep in mind that not all plastics can be recycled and it is very important that you follow the instructions at the collecting center carefully. This is because plastics like carry bags can damage the processing machinery. Some of the items you must not deposit:
● Containers that previously contained old paint should not be deposited because the paint could contain mercury. Any other plastic items that you might have painted with oils and acrylic paints must also not be submitted.
● Any kind of Styrofoam like packaging materials, beverage cups, food containers, and ice coolers are not acceptable.
● Items crafted out of polyvinyl chloride. Some examples are certain toys, window frames, piping, shower curtains, and so on.