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PLASTICS • • Because of the differences in their properties, they cannot be melted together to form new plastic. It is difficult (with current technologies) to collect and properly sort the different types of plastic from one another which makes recycling opportunities for plastics more limited than some other materials Recycling process for plastic containers includes: (1) sorting the containers by their resin types; (2) cutting the plastic into tiny pieces, called pellets; (3) melting the pellets; and (4) reshaping into new plastic objects.
What the Number Means: Abbrev. PETE HDPE PVC LDPE PP PS other No. Scientific Name Examples Environmental Qualities 1 polyethylene Terphtahalate soda & water bottles Recycled into fleece coats, carpet, surfboards high density Polyethylene milk, water jugs, juice, bleach bottles Recycled into plastic lumber, like picnic tables polyvinyl chloride detergent & cleaner bottles, pipes By-products from manufacturing are known to cause cancer; recycled into handrails, house siding low density Polyethylene 6 -pack rings, sandwhich bags, grocery bags Recycled in small amounts into bags polypropylene margarine tubs, screw-on lids, straws, car bumpers Used in the auto industry; difficult to collect for recycling; recycled into car battery cases Styrafoam, peanuts No longer made with CFCs, but the by-products from manufacturing cause air pollution; recycled into pencil holders, tape dispensers ketchup and squeezable bottles Layered aspects make this difficult to recycle; recycled into benches, marine pilings 2 3 4 5 6 7 polystyrene multi-layer
• Plastic Recycling Facts • In 2006, Americans drank about 167 bottles of water each but only recycled an average of 23 percent. That leaves 38 billion water bottles in landfills. • Bottled water costs between $1 and $4 per gallon, and 90 percent of the cost is in the bottle, lid and label. • According to the Beverage Marketing Corp, the average American consumed
PRECYCLING = the practice of reducing waste by attempting to avoid purchasing wasteful products • Carry a "precycling kit" with you (reusable container, silverware, cloth napkin or handkerchief and reusable water-bottle, all within a cloth bag that can double as a grocery/shopping bag) • Fix rather than toss broken products (especially electronics) • Chose products that are durable, reusable, recyclable and not overpackaged • Buy locally made products and food whenever possible Buyer’s Choice Checklist: ü Do I really need this? ü Is the product or packaging recyclable or reusable? ü Is the product made of recycled materials? ü How far did the product have to travel to get to me?