There are 7 types of plastic widely used in the world. The most important features that distinguish plastic types from each other are their usage areas. So not every type of plastic can be used for everything. Therefore, they differ in size, color and characteristics of being recyclable plastic waste. The issue of recycling brings up how much of which type of plastic can be recycled or whether it can be recycled. Another question is which products are recyclable plastics used as raw materials for later.
Recycling and the Challenges It Faces
Theory and practice are not always parallel in the recycling of plastic. For example, in theory all types of plastic can be recycled. The reason why this does not happen in practice is due to economic reasons. That’s why not every plastic can be recycled. When a plastic cannot be recycled:
* There is more than one type of plastic in the same product. Each type of plastic goes through different recycling processes. Separation of plastic types in this same product is a very costly process. Recycling should not cause economic damage in the recovery process.
* It is not clean enough. Plastic used for food and other items may be too dirty to be cleaned. The structure of the resins may deteriorate. In this case, although economic costs are taken into consideration, plastic has lost its recyclable quality.
* The recycling facility cannot survive economically. Like other production facilities, the operation of recycling facilities below their capacity reduces efficiency and increases costs. On the other hand, the establishment of these facilities is equivalent to millions of dollars. In a region where the demand for plastic recycling is low, these facilities will not exist, so plastic cannot be recycled in these regions.
Apart from this negative picture, which types of plastics are theoretically not an obstacle to recycling?
HDPE stands for High Density Polyethylene. HDPE is recycled all over the world. Because it is a polymer that is very easy to recycle. Recycling companies collect the products made of HDPE and send them to the facilities. Although PET is known by people as transparent or colored, HDPE can also be transparent or colored. Post consumer HDPE products are used in the production of all kinds of non-food packaging materials after they are recycled.
Sometimes it is used for products that need durable plastic such as roadside borders and benches, depending on the quality level.
PET ranks first among recycled plastics in the world. For example, the amount of pet collected for recycling worldwide in 2011 is around 7.5 million tons. The most important positive aspect of PET is this: When a PET bottle is recycled, another PET bottle can be produced.
It is not a type of plastic that can be recycled.
It means low-density polyethylene. LDPE is also called number 4 plastic. It is a grocery bag, and these bags are not well remembered. Although theoretically recyclable, these plastic bags are very likely to cause the recycling machines to malfunction.