Naturally, it can take up to hundreds of years to biodegrade! You can see the effects of a material thrown away, just look at the Pacific Ocean’s Garbage Island. How can we curb plastic waste? We find ways to Reuse, Organize, Clean & Return your plastic goods and packaging.
Unlike other recyclables, plastic is the most challenging to process. Processing recycled plastic requires unique heat treatments and depolymerization. Heating alone cannot break down some plastics, making it a very difficult for it to be re-used and re-manufactured for the public. Like oil and water, different types of plastics tend to separate when melted, make it a very costly for a recycling plant to process. Fillers, dyes, and other additives also provide a unique challenge when recycling plastic.
Reuse or Upcycling when possible is ideal. It has environmental benefit by negating any need for energy used to collect and remanufacture recyclables. Here are some of our favourite upcycling ideas.
Hundreds of plastic soda bottles repurposed into miniature garden planters for simple greenery in the front patio of this colorful residence.
Its likely your outlets are not near desks and countertops & you have a mess of cords and gadgets.
Harness the destructive powers of your kids with these plastic bottle bowling pins!
30% of waste is recycled in Canada. Help with this trend by recycling. Most plastics will have a number printed somewhere on it. This number will be between #1 and 7. These plastics will require different procedures to be recycled. Plastic labeled with the #7 are the hardest to recycle, because it consists of a combination plastic types.
Some grocery chains will have #4 grocery bags. They will usually have a recycling center, allowing you to return these bags for recycling.
Depending on your local plastic recycler, cleaning can aid the recyclability of plastic. Here are some helpful tips:
- Make sure to clean the plastic with soapy water.
- Remove labels & any stickers.
- Run the plastic under hot water for any that are difficult to remove.
- Then use a Brillo pad or a blunt knife to remove the sticker.
- Spray tops and bottle caps can be thrown away or categorized if its plastic number is present.
Here is a list of plastics that best benefit from reusability & recyclable through returning to the manufacturer.
People may not know this, but foam can be properly recycled. Typically it falls under a #6 plastic, requiring special processing. Proper recycling of foam packaging will ensure that it will not be leaking into the environment, where it can negatively impact the local ecosystem.
#6 plastics, like in many bicycle helmets, contain certain materials that cannot easily recycle.
Computers & E-Waste
Computers tend to have #7 plastics. Deconstructing a computer and locating these #7 plastics can be daunting to some consumer. In areas where E-Waste recycling is not available, it is best to return the maker or manufacturer.
Ready start? Help out the environment by recycling or finding crafty new ways to reuse plastic & feel good doing your part.Image 1: http://www.architectureartdesigns.com/diy-creation-of-modern-garden-with-upcycling-plastic-bottles/
Image 2: http://www.apartmenttherapy.com/an-upcycled-plastic-bottle-charging-station-make-it-and-love-it-166194
Image 3: http://www.pinkstripeysocks.com/2013/03/guest-post-sumo-plastic-bottle-bowling.html