About Plastic Recycling
As you may know, it takes hundreds of years to break down plastics. Just for your information, in 2007 the US produced more than 30 million tons of plastic waste. Luckily, there have been a lot of changes in legislation in the last decade, which reduces the landfills and the contamination of the seas. Plastic recycling is the process of recovering waste plastic and re-processing the material into useful products or new raw materials. There are many hurdles within the art of plastic recycling such as:
- low density
- low value (compared to metal recycling)
- Various technicial difficulties
Commonly recycled plastic types
There are a lot of different types of plastics and in addition a lot of different dyes, fillers, and other additives that makes plastic recycling even more tricky.
- PET - Post/Pre-consumer polyethylene terephthalate: Soft drinks and small consumer electronics
- LDPE - Low-density polyethylene: Frozen food bags, plastic wrappings, etc.
- HDPE - high-density polyethylene: Water pipes, plastic bottles and containers
- PP - Disposable cutlery, plates, cups, etc.
- EPS/PS - polystyrene. Usually needs some kind of compaction in order to get an efficient recycling solution. Plastic foam, etc.
All these different types of plastics can be combined, but it's better to sort them. The more your recyclables are sorted, the more money you earn, because it’s easier to recycle.