Most curbside bin packages gather inflexible plastics (suppose water bottles, takeout containers). These plastics are despatched to recycling services the place they’re cleaned, processed, and sorted by their sort. Each class of plastic is then shredded and cleaned earlier than being melted down and compressed into tiny pellets that may be reused to make new merchandise.
The pellets generated through the recycling course of aren’t used to create the identical plastic merchandise as its authentic type, notes Stephanie Hicks, supplies sourcing supervisor at Trex, a decking firm that makes use of recycled supplies. Instead, they’re bought in bulk and became supplies like automotive elements, furnishings, or clothes.
Now, you may assume that skinny plastic baggage could be recycled utilizing the identical course of. And who may blame you; recycling guidelines are complicated! A latest survey commissioned by recycling program Covantra revealed that the majority Americans are responsible of putting issues that are not recyclable within the recycling bin (in any other case often known as “wishcycling”). But sadly, throwing plastic baggage within the bin with arduous plastics places a pressure on recycling methods.
“Many people think that since other types of plastic (namely No. 1 and No. 2) are recycled through municipal programs, that means plastic bags are also accepted,” says Alex Payne, North American public relations supervisor at recycling firm TerraCycle. “This is false and actually leads to the bags clogging the highly tuned recycling machinery, leading to losses in time, money, and the otherwise recyclable material that the plastic bags become intermingled with.”
The further labor required to repair the equipment and the gear downtime makes recycling packages much less worthwhile over time.