Plastic is plastic, right? Unfortunately, when it comes to recycling, it’s not. There are many different types of plastic and very few of them are suitable for recycling. As a result, when you think you’re being helpful by popping that yogurt pot in with your plastic bottles, what you could actually be doing is ensuring that that bag of bottles is heading straight to incineration or landfill.
While plastic is a great packaging material, it’s not all that easy to recycle. Especially when you have different types and qualities of plastic all mixed together. The processes for recycling plastic differs depending on the type of plastic, and markets only exist for three types of reprocessed plastic:
2. Plastic bottles.
Plastic bottles in particular are easy to recycle. They’re manufactured using one of two methods, which are easy to detect using infrared technology. They should be empty but don’t require washing, and there’s no issue with regards to bottle tops, or colour, unlike with glass. So you can make a huge difference to the environment, just by separating out your plastic bottles.
3. Plastic films, such as plastic bags and shrink-wrap.
Plastic film requires high volumes and consistent quality to be cost efficient, but collecting it separately makes a huge difference to the amount that’s recycled.