Thinking Green – Plastics Recycling – The public has it easier than industry

Published On: October 13th, 2015|Categories: Blog|

As the world gets greener, more and more people are getting on the bandwagon when it comes to recycling. Paper, cardboard, and plastics are all being collected and deposited into recycling containers. While paper products are at the easy end of the spectrum, thermoplastics and their numbering system are a little harder for the public to negotiate. The public is looking at the bottom of their thermoplastic container and seeing a recycling triangle symbol with a number in the middle of it, and they react accordingly.


Recycling Symbols

As shown, the number in the center of the recycling symbol corresponds to the type of plastic. Numbers 1-6 are predominately consumer oriented products or product/food packaging or handling plastics. To varying degrees, recycling entities around the country can handle some if not all of them.

Unfortunately, for PlastiCert and the vast majority of industrial product molding companies out there, virtually ALL of the plastics and composites we work with fall within the 7 category of “OTHER”. As such, there are few if any avenues to dispose of these thermoplastics in an environmentally conscious manner. Some customers have products in less demanding markets where they can allow some of the plastic scrap to be ground up and fed back into the process in a small percentage ratio to fresh resin. A ratio because each time a plastic is re-processed, (heated until melted so eth resin goes from solid to liquid and then cooled to return to a solid), some of its base properties, (strength for example) are degraded. All of PlastiCert’s customers sell into demanding product markets and as such do not allow regrind to be fed back in. Coupled with being some distance away from a major metro, we work hard to find avenues for conscientiously disposing of our plastics waste.


Other articles you might like:

Going Green – Latest steps at PlastiCert

The new era of energy and effects on plastic injection molding


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