To understand Non-PET Recycling you need to understand the 7 types of recyclable plastics fall under the categories of PET, HDPE, PP, LDPE, PVC, PS, and Other. In addition to reducing plastic consumption and increasing the use of recycled plastic instead of virgin plastic, recycling responsibly is a key component in doing something about plastic pollution. HDPE plastic recycling is widely supported but it is difficult to recycle plastic 2 when the product is a plastic bag. However, many supermarkets have plastic bag recycling points to collect these items. On the other hand, materials with a recycling symbol of 3: PVC (Polyvinyl chloride) are rarely recycled and are usually only accepted at select facilities that work with PVC. Smaller items can usually be disposed of in recycling bins but when it comes to PVC from construction materials like gutters and windowsills, these are best left at larger recycling centers or ones working with the polymer specifically. Depending on the region and the infrastructure in place at recycling centers, 4 plastic recycling (LDPE) may or may not be widely available. Check with the recycling center near you about ldpe plastic recycling and dispose of film or bags at plastic bag collection points at supermarkets. Denoted by the number 5: PP (Polypropylene) is like PET in that it is widely collected, just make sure to rinse it out. If you are wondering “is 6 plastic recyclable” it is not. PS is unfortunately not recycled or accepted by most recycling facilities so try to avoid it! To recycle 7 plastic, it takes a bit more research and effort. Materials that fall under the 7-other category can’t be recycled through common recycling bins. In this case, see if you can find another use for it or sell it, otherwise it ends up in a landfill.

How to Recycle

Once plastic waste has gone through the collection and sorting process, the actual recycling and remanufacturing can take place. Depending on the types of recyclable plastic, the end use can vary. With this, the quality and composition of the recycled product can differ as well. The different recycling categories have different common applications and industries. Some are preferred by the packaging industry, such as PET, LDPE, HDPE, and PP. Others have higher demand in the construction and automotive industries, like PVC. Raw material that will be used for food-contact applications will require a more extensive process to ensure that it meets the standards for such applications. While materials that will be used for insulation in a home and not be as visible, won’t be held to the same standards. Companies that accumulate plastic waste can either use collection bins already in place for the entire community or set up an arrangement directly with recycling facilities and companies to have their waste picked up, sold, and repurposed.

What is non-recyclable?

It is important to be aware which are non-recyclable plastics in order to opt for an alternative product if possible. It is also important to understand the types of plastic recycling available near you to properly sort and discard your plastic waste, whether it be at home or at work. Businesses should also keep this in mind when manufacturing products and packaging or choosing what companies and products to work with. If more individuals and companies are educated on the subject, they can do more to support the polymers and processes that are most sustainable and can best aid the scaling of plastic recycling.