As we all strive to become more environmentally responsible, especially when it comes to our recycling practices, it is important to understand just what we can, and can’t, actually recycle in order to improve our impact on the environment. When one considers recycling, the things that spring to mind immediately are paper, glass, cans and of course plastic bottles; the everyday things that we are able to put out each week for our household rubbish collection.
Why is plastic recycling important?
Waste plastic is an incredibly versatile and recyclable material, in all its forms, from bottles to film recycling. This means that when it comes to recycling plastic waste we really should be doing more. There are a number of reasons why it is important that we recycle as much as we can:
- By recycling plastic rather than just throwing it away, we can conserve a huge amount of energy. Up to 80% of the energy that would typically be used to make new plastic bottles, containers and any other items could be saved.
- Plastic disposal through recycling reduces the amount of non-degradable rubbish that is put into landfill.
- Put simply, recycling plastics can be a valuable asset when you consider your corporate recycling policies, as well as making a big cut in the costs associated with waste management fees. Baled plastic, especially from plastic bottle recycling can command a high scrap value per ton.
What is the plastic recycling process?
The first step of the recycling process involves sorting the plastics and separating them out into the different resin types through a series of steps; shredding, sieving and eventually separating the plastics by rates of density. The shredded fragments are also put through a process that removes paper labels and any other impurities, such as the metal numbering and chips if one is shredding credit cards or debit cards. The resulting shredded bits are then melted down into pellets, which are then used in the manufacture of other plastic goods. Some plastic is sorted by colour before it is recycled.
When it comes to plastic recycling all manner of plastic items are recyclable, from polyethylene (PET) plastics (the sort used to make bottles) to low-density polyethylene (LDPE) (the plastics used to make garment bags, bubble wrap and even refuse sacks).
Recycling programmes can have a very positive impact and at Datashredders with our policy that 99% of our shredded paper is recycled, you can see how committed we are to our cause. We pride ourselves on doing things properly and the fact that a huge amount of the paper we shred does not make it to landfill, therefore reducing the impact on the environment. This is part of our commitment to best practice in terms of environmental management, which recognises that we have a responsibility to identify and improve the impact our business operations have on the environment. Whether it’s plastics or paper you’re looking to get rid of, have you considered the impact recycling could have for your business?