Two other features plastics are commonly tested for are their melting point and color.
These are determined by collecting and analyzing samples from each batch of plastic particles [1,2,3]. The final step in the recycling process is often considered the most exciting because it is when the plastic particles are made into recycled materials usable for future production.
Why is plastic recycling important?
Compounding is when the small particles are smashed and melted together into plastic pellets. The pellets can then be used in the production of other plastic products . Throughout this process the plastic may be moved to different plants that specialize in different steps of the process. It can be energy intensive and the better educated we are about the process the more we can reduce the time and energy it requires.
In order for your plastic water bottle to get from your recycling bin and made into new products, it goes on a long journey! Your water bottle will now be given a new life as something else! Plastic bottle recycling is then definitely worth your effort. Despite the efficiency of most recycling facilities, there can still be some difficulties involved with the process of recycling plastic. Materials such as dyes, heavy metals, pharmaceuticals, and sometimes pieces of biodegradable plastic can potentially contaminate an entire batch of petroleum-based plastics and it will all need to be thrown away.
This is why it is very important to follow the guidelines of your recycling company regarding which plastics can and cannot be accepted. The first step in the recycling process is one of the most crucial. First, keep in mind that almost all plastic bottles and food containers can be recycled. When we recycle these containers it is important to wash them or shake them out to reduce the amount of food waste that is being sent to the recycling center . Second, remove the screw caps from any bottles you are recycling.
The caps are made from a different type of plastic than the bottle. If we do not remove them they must be removed by employees at the recycling center before they can be processed .
Not all types of plastic can be recycled, but how do you know which can and which cannot be recycled? On most plastic containers and bottles you will find a small number denoting the type of plastic that it is. This code is not required, but it is becoming more and more common.
These plastics are different types of polyethylene and polypropylene. They are used in items ranging from water bottles and toys to grocery bags. These plastics are the most common types used. These are PVC, polystyrene, and all other types of plastics not mentioned. These plastics have been shown to contain toxins and chemicals that cause human health problems .
Since the mass production of plastics began in the s, we have produced over 8. Out of the remaining 91 percent, around 12 percent has been incinerated and 79 percent is currently in landfills . This plastic will sit in landfills for the next hundreds of years before it degrades if it even will and during that time even more plastic will accumulate.
Over the last 10 years more and more products have begun to be produced using recycled plastics.
Plastic Recycling Essay - Words - BrightKite
These products span a huge range: from skateboards to reusable bags to even sunglasses . The opportunity for more and different types of recycled plastic products is nearly endless. The amount of recycled plastic products is ever increasing. This is a positive sign that people are becoming more environmentally aware of the negative impacts of plastics and benefit of recycling them.
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- Essay on The Importance of Recycling;
- How to Eliminate Plastic;
Almost all of the plastic we use becomes waste and a huge amount eventually reaches our oceans, rivers, and terrestrial habitats. We already know this waste has huge implications for our natural ecosystems and cannot be allowed to continue. As a species we need to acknowledge this problem and work together to actively conquer it. A good start to this battle is recycling the plastics that we already use and being positive role models for our peers.
Reducing your use of plastic is best, but recycling your plastic whenever possible is the next-best solution! When it comes to recycling, making sure that the correct kind of plastic can be recycled can make a huge difference between sending the plastic off to a recycling plant and it ending up in a landfill. If one is sincerely concerned about the finite supply of fossil fuels, insist on biodegradable plastic made only from agricultural sources. Boycott plastic made from oil or natural gas.
Food costs will skyrocket but we will not have a plastic planet. Yes, I have read about a few projects of this type. For example, the Guardian published an article about chemistry professor from India that has been re-purposing non-recyclable plastic waste into roads. I think, there are many researchers that feel intrigued by this problem and are trying to find a solution.
I believe the best solution and cheapest solution to our plastic dilemma is too embrace the fact that it is a product that we cannot do without. Recycling should be made easier and simpler which should be easy todo nowadays via simple communication. We need to cut out plastic misuse ie certain packaging, however packaging is not a problem if curtailed to a set number of moulds. If all the stores printed a number on the packaging so it could be easier stacked taking up less space and easier stored etc. Is there a way that legislation can be introduced to place a deposit on water bottles?
In Michigan there is a 10 cent refundable deposit placed on soda and alcohol containers.
Plastic water bottles are becoming a growing segment of the municipal solid waste stream in the United States. The American Chemistry Council estimates that the average consumer uses plastic water bottles each year and that 2. While plastic water bottles offer convenience, they also create unnecessary waste in landfills. By recycling your plastic water bottles, you can positively impact the environment in several ways.
Landfill space is limited, and the conditions in landfills make it nearly impossible for anything, including plastic, to biodegrade.
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Recycling plastic water bottles helps to conserve space that can be used for other waste. According to Earth, 7. Recycling can also help reduce the number of plastic water bottles that end up as litter in roadways and water sources.
Recycling plastic water bottles helps to conserve natural resources, specifically oil, which is a nonrenewable natural resource available only in limited supply. The Environmental Protection Agency estimates that recycling one ton of plastic conserves approximately 3. In , 2. Creating new materials from existing materials uses significantly less energy than using raw materials.