The Need for Plastic Recycling- An Overview

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The Need for Plastic Recycling- An
Overview
Since recycling is one of the best waste management options we have, plastic scrap recycling
helps in reprocessing materials from old plastic products to create entirely new products. It helps in
recovering waste/scrap plastic and prevents excess deposition of scrap plastic into the oceans thus
preventing plastic pollution.
Why recycle plastic?
Plastic is one of the most durable and inexpensive materials readily available for making use of. It can
easily be molded into various shapes and forms thus making it apt for manufacturing various
functional plastic products. This has resulted in the increased and excessive use of virgin plastic
material. By recycling old plastic products, the need to use virgin plastic material is greatly reduced
thus decreasing plastic pollution considerably.
The production and use of plastic has increased in the last few decades. Around 100 million tons of
plastic is manufactured every year on a global scale. Moreover, 200 billion pounds of fresh plastic
material is extruded into millions of different products and packaging.
So, recycling calls for a plastic scrap buyer to purchase scrap material, reuse and recycle it into new
products. This whole process has great significance in controlling the ecological balance of the
environment we live in. It is this need for recycling that has led to the current worldwide plastic
recycling industry being vast in scope.
Which plastics are recyclable?
With vast scope come great opportunities and challenges. Although there is an abundance of plastic
material, not all forms of plastic can be recycled. So, plastic waste buyers only choose certain kind
of plastic materials to send for the process of recycling. Mentioned below are the different kinds of
plastic materials.
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PS (Polystyrene) - Finds application commonly in foam cups used to serve hot drinks,
disposable plastic cutlery, food containers and yogurt.
PP (Polypropylene) – Finds application in the manufacturing of lunch boxes, take away food
containers and ice cream cups.
LDPE (Low density Polyethylene) – Finds application in the making of garbage bins and
bags.
PVC (Plasticized Polyvinyl chloride/polyvinyl chloride) – Used in making cordial juice
bottles and cold drink bottles.
HDPE (High-density polyethylene) – Used in manufacturing shampoo bottles and milk
bottles.
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PET (Polyethylene terephthalate) – Used to manufacture storage bottles for fruit juice or
other cold beverages.
Out of all 6 of these materials, only PET, HDPE and PVC plastic products are known to be recyclable
and are recycled under curbside recycling programs. Materials such as PS, PP and LDPE cannot be
recycled since such materials get stuck in sorting machines and cause the equipment to breakdown
or stop. Even lids and bottle caps cannot be recycled for the same reason.
Should recycling of plastic products be done?
Well, this is a question that arises from the economic feasibility of recycling plastic products. Although
some recycling companies may be skeptical in doing so, there are also noble entities such as GPS
recycle that consider shouldering this responsibility as a major part of the recycling spectrum. It is
indispensable to recycle plastic so as to save the environment while also producing products such as
plastic bottles and carry bags among others. So, go green and recycle plastic.