Plastic recycling facts

Reduce. Reuse. Recycle. We have all become accustomed to hearing this mantra over the years as fears about waste and plastic pollution across the world increase. While all of us are familiar with the reasons why we need to recycle, to benefit the environment and reduce plastic waste pollution, not very many of us are well versed in plastic recycling facts.

Here are just a few facts about plastic recycling:

  1. Plastic packaging isn’t always recycled into new packaging

When plastic is recycled, it is cleaned, shredded and extruded into small plastic pellets. These pellets are then sold back to plastic manufactures who can do as they will with the pellets. Therefore the recycled plastic from packaging could be manufactured into an entirely different product depending on the plastic manufacturer.

  1. Recycling downgraded the plastic’s quality

The same plastic can be recycled between 2-3 times before its quality starts to deteriorate. Its quality will eventually decrease so much that it can no longer be used. However, when being manufactured into a product, virgin plastic is added to the recycled plastic in order to increase the quality of the plastic.

  1. Recycling plastic helps save resources

One ton of recycled plastic saves around 5,774 kWh of electricity, 685 gallons of oil, 98 million Btu’s of energy and 22.94 m3 of landfill space. Therefore, recycling plastic is environmentally-friendly in multiple ways.

  1. Recycled plastic can be made into clothes

Recycled plastic bottles can be and often are turned into woven fabrics for clothing and textiles. After the PET plastic has been cleaned, it is shredded and melted. The melted plastic is then stretched into thin threads of plastic. These tiny threads are then woven together, which produces rolls of material. This material can then be manufactured into bags, t-shirts and jackets.

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