Doing your best to be an eco-friendly member of society is not enough if you are not informed about what you are recycling and if you are doing it right. Many times simply adding paper, glass, and plastic to the recycling bin after a house clearance spree to do your waste disposal is not enough. People overlook small things that hurt nature in the long run. If you want to be an active and responsible helper to all the green people in the world, then it’s time to learn a few things about waste recycling and how to improve it.
Lesson one should always cover the great recycling myths that go around. One of those myths concerns plastic. Many people urge you to recycle plastic because you are saving the planet, but guess what – not all plastic is recyclable! What, there is more than one type of plastic? Cue the Homer Simpson ‘DOH!’ Of course there is. And to help you learn more about that, here is a list of types of plastic and just how recyclable every item is:
#1 - Post-Consumer Polyethylene Terephthalate (PETE)
The most common type of plastic – one that you will see in most places and one that you are actually using all the time. This is the material most plastic bottles are made of and it can easily be recycled into bags, furniture, clothes, and so on.
#2 - High Density Polyethylene (HDPE)
Most of the containers of cleaning supplies are made of this, as well as juice and milk bottles. Can be recycled into more such items, as well as tiles, pipes, fencing, and so on.
#3 - Vinyl or PVC
Food packaging, cooking supply containers, and other household cleaning supplies are made of PVC plastic. When you handle the waste disposal properly, it can be recycled into mats, decks, shower curtains and others. However, it is not recycled by everybody, so pick the recycling centre carefully.
#4 - Low Density Polyethylene (LDPE)
Plastic bags, frozen food containers, clothing, furniture upholstery, carpet, hand bags, and so on. Unfortunately, this type of plastic is rarely recycled and the only thing it can be recycled in is other plastic bags.
#5 – Polypropylene (PP)
This type of plastic is what yoghurt tubs, Tupperware, straws, squeezable bottle tops and some caps are made of. This one is very hard to recycle, and whoever manages can only turn it into brooms, bins, trays, signal lights and suchlike.
#6 – Polystyrene (PS)
Most disposable items are made of this: disposable forks and knives, takeaway boxes, DVD and CD cases, some trays, and others. These are usually not recycled. The little that can be taken from it for recycling is used to make foam packaging and insulation.
#7 – Misc
In this category are all the plastic items that cannot be recycled. And this is there the myth that all plastic can be recycled is busted. Sadly, sunglasses, water cooler bottles, nylon, and other such items cannot be recycled, or at least the technology is not yet developed enough to do it. This is the type of plastic which you either have to find a way to repurpose, or it is doomed to pollute the environment.
With this lesson, you should be more aware of what sort of plastic you can deal with when doing waste clearance and what you are not. This is why there are different clearance companies and why some of them provide better clearance services than others. Not all recycling centres do a good job, but if you know what type of plastic you are throwing out, you should know what to look for in both the help with the junk disposal and the recycling centre. Be informed and do smart recycling to be as helpful to the environment as you can.