With plastic dominating the world today in the form of packaging, products, tools and many other items, there is the important factor of plastic waste to consider. With many households throwing out tonnes of plastic packaging from their food and household products each year, a significant amount of this is going into landfill and the environment.
The environmental impact that this plastic scrap has should not be underestimated, along with the energy consumed and pollutants expelled under production. Due to their own ‘green’ initiatives, therefore, as well as due to increasingly restrictive regulations put into place by local and national governments, manufacturers are using recycled plastic scrap more and more in their products.
The technology for reprocessing and reusing plastic scrap is rapidly developing, with new processes being created all the time; this means that commercial and industrial customers and consumers alike can benefit from the booming recycling industry. There are currently several different types of plastic resin that can be recycled, and the processing and use of them differs.
One of the most common plastics that comprises a large amount of the plastic scrap that can be found the world today is Polyvinyl chloride, also known as PVC. This is widely used in the construction industry and for packaging. This is a recyclable material which many leaders in plastic scrap recycling have been reprocessing for years.
Typical items that can be made using PVC include pipes, fencing, shower curtains, bottles, toys and many more. Many kerbside recycling programs do not collect this kind of plastic for recycling, so domestic customers will need to seek out a specialist recycling company, of which there are several nationwide.
Polyethylene is another type of plastic that makes sup a large amount of the plastic scrap around today, along with PVC. This comes in several different types, from Low Density Polyethylene to High Density Polyethylene. These are categorized as separate resins and are widely used in both industrial and domestic applications.
Polyethylene is typically used in the manufacturing of crates, containers and drainage pipes. This kind of plastic scrap is fully recyclable, although it needs to be fully processed first in order to remove contaminants and any hazardous substances that it may contain. These are also often collected in kerbside collection programs as HDPE is also used in many plastic packaging for food products.
Polypropylene is another plastic that is widely recycled. This kind of material is widely used in engineering products, particularly in the automotive sector. This type of plastic scrap can be recycled up to 50 times, making it extremely cost-effective. The recycled material will retain its original strength when it is reprocessed and reused, crucial for its engineering applications.
Polystyrene is another type of plastic that is used commonly for insulation and packaging, but has traditionally been difficult to recycle. Industry leaders are, however, now able to recycle and reprocess plastic scrap in this material for reuse.
Items that are commonly manufactured from Polystyrene are desk accessories, cups, plastic utensils, toys, packaging peanuts, insulation board and many more. This type of plastic scrap is often re-purposed to make new plastics for the building industry.
These are just a few of the main plastics that can be recycled and reprocessed so that they can be used again, having not only a positive impact on the environment but also providing a cost-effective solution for the commercial and industrial sectors who will find that recycled plastic scrap is often excellent value for money.
Other plastics that can be recycled and reprocessed include: Polyethylene terephthalate, acrylic, polycarbonate and several other specialty plastic resins. For large companies and manufacturers looking to reduce their environmental impact, recycling providers in your area will be able to advise on which materials they can buy and reprocess or supply to meet your plastic needs.