How To Best Recycle Plastic

Plastic food containers

Plastic has, for many years now, been a part of our everyday life. Almost everything we use today has plastic in them. From food containers and trash bags, to the case of our monitors and televisions, plastic has been a very helpful material in our lives. The problem however, lies on how to dispose this new found friend. Almost all of the garbage of the world is made of plastic. And the sad part is that it takes many years before plastic disintegrates. So how do you dispose of plastic? By recycling the plastic of course!

Recycling is always the best way to reduce waste coming from non-biodegradable products. And since plastic is a part of this waste group, all you need to know is how you can recycle these things in the best way possible. Before you start doing those projects, you have to know the type of plastic you have. In every plastic container, there are numerous arrows pointing to each other with a number in the middle. This determines the type of plastic material they are made of. Here’s a list of those types of plastic and the best ways to recycle them. They are arranged in the order of the number found in the middle of the arrows:

  1. Polyethylene terephthalate (PET).  This is the type of plastic used in liquor and beer bottles, medication containers, soda bottles and water bottles. You can recycle PET containers by bringing them (or sometimes selling, for a more profitable way of saving the earth) to recycling centers. These can be made into different things like carpet fibers to luggage racks.
  2. High-density polyethylene (HDPE). Soap containers, bleach jugs, milk jugs and shampoo containers contain this type of plastic material. Bring them to recycling centers so that they can be recycled as oil containers, benches and tables, floor tiles and pens.
  3. Polyvinyl chloride (PVC). This plastic type is mostly found on plumbing pipes, but can also be a material for seat covers, cooking oil bottles and coffee containers. Recycling centers can set these things up and turn them into mudflaps, cables and different types of roadway materials
  4. Low-density polyethylene (LDPE). The plastic used in grocery bags mainly come from this type of plastic. You can personally recycle the grocery bags as trash bags, or you can hand them to the nearest recycling center. They turn things from these types of plastic into trash cans, floor tile, shipping envelopes and compost bins.
  5. Polypropylene (PP). This is the stuff that makes up butter or margarine containers, outdoor carpets, diapers and the well-known Tupperware brand of containers. PP products can be recycled into brushes, brooms, ice scrapers and car battery cases. How ever, if the product contains #3 or #7 (or sometimes both) along with #5, those things are not recycled at all. Limit the use for these things.
  6. Polystyrene. Polystyrene is used in making products such as the hot beverage cups, egg cartons, Styrofoam insulation and disposable cutlery. These types of products are virtually impossible to recycle in the United States.
  7. #7 label.  This is a mixture of some of the previous types of plastic. Things made from this type of plastic cannot be recycled, so refrain from using them.

Now that you know how to recycle plastic, get into motion gear and start recycling. Do not delay saving the earth, as well as saving yourself.


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