Closed Loop Plastic Recycling

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From November we will change our name and become Recorra.
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From November we will change our name and become Recorra. Click to find out more.

Tuesday 26th September 2017

The Secret Life of Plastics

Plastic is one of the most popular and versatile materials of modern times. In the UK alone we use more than 35 million plastic bottles every day, according to Recycle Now. With only an estimated 19 million recycled currently. And this is just plastic bottles…

It’s not always easy to see the bigger picture, most of us are guilty of throwing away plastics into the general waste and not thinking about where it could end up.  However, when you think about it, the plastic bottle you drank from during your football game could be recycled and used to make the football shirt you are wearing. In fact, it’s more and more common for plastics to be transformed into new products such as tables and chairs, kitchen utensils, flooring, furniture and of course more plastic packaging

The benefits of recycling plastics go further than just transformation, it takes 75% less energy to make a plastic bottle from recycled plastics in comparison to using ‘virgin materials’ – your efforts really do make a difference. Today we are asking everyone to think about the plastics you use every day and think about ways to let your plastic be fantastic! Whilst we are all used to recycling items such as paper, when it comes to plastic it can become confusing with so many different types, all with very different chemical and physical properties. Here are a few of our plastics myth busters to help you confidently recycle more plastics.

Plastics Myth Busters

  1. Can black plastics be recycled?
    Technically yes, however currently no. Black plastics are an industry wide problem, packaging is coloured using black pigments which don’t allow light to pass through. This means it is undetectable by the optical sorting equipment commonly used at sorting facilities. There are detectable black colourants that can be used, and are being trialled, however these are not used in the market yet. This is mostly due to the associated costs.
  2. Can plastic wrap/film go into my mixed recycling stream?
    Yes, this can go into the mixed recycling stream, just make sure its not contaminated with food waste.
  3. Surely plastics that have had hazardous materials inside such as bleach/cleaning products cannot be safely recycled?
    In fact they can! Just make sure that the containers are empty, and give them a quick rinse. Top tip: use leftover washing up water for rinsing containers.

So be fantastic with your plastics, extend their life cycle and let them be transformed into something new!

Jessica Parrilla

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