Learn these simple tips for recycling plastic
If you are among a group of people who find it confusing to recycle, you need to educate yourself on the matter. This is especially true when it comes to plastic items because those are part of our everyday lives in various forms. To better handle this kind of material, you need to know more about it.
First up, you have to know the different types of plastic items you use
Know that there are seven different types of plastic items. You can tell them by a small symbol with looped arrows and a number in the middle. You will find this information on the label or packaging. The symbols with numbers 1, 2 and 5 are all easy to recycle and should, therefore, be put in the appropriate containers. Numbers 3, 4 and 6 are somewhat difficult to recycle, although possible. Number 7 is essentially nearly impossible to recycle and usually ends up in the landfill.
In regards to the plastic, you can and should recycle, you can adopt the following tips for better recycling. Only by doing so can you make the recycling process more efficient.
Put the lid back on
This is a tip you can adopt for plastic containers with lids and straws in cartons. This is because both the lids and the straws are rather small and cannot make it through the sorting machines, which usually reject items that are narrower than 40mm. Bear in mind this is only the general case. This guideline varies depending on what your local authority usually collects. It may well be the case that these items are taken for recycling even on their own.
Squash the bottles before recycling them
Before you put plastic bottles for recycling, you should squash them. This not only saves space but makes it easier to put on the conveyor belt of the sorting machine.
Empty and rinse plastic containers
If you have food containers that can be recycled, you need first to empty the food residue and rinse them. While you don’t need to make them sparkling clean, you cannot toss a half-full container for recycling. That will contaminate other items in the recycling bin, making them unrecyclable.
Recycling at the supermarket
Many big supermarkets possess recycling points. You can take carrier bags, plastic film and other such items there for recycling.
Taking steps to reduce plastic use
Apart from the recycling, one of the best things you can do with plastic is to reduce the amount of plastic you use. Following are some easy tips to help you with that:
- Get a reusable bottle, instead of relying on single-use plastic bottles.
- Don’t wrap food leftovers in clingfilm. Better use beeswax wraps or Tupperware boxes.
- Take a reusable coffee mug to your coffee shops, instead of a takeaway coffee cup.
- Opt for loose produce when you buy groceries, instead of packaged foods.
- Support local shops and supermarkets that allow filling of dry products, such as pasta and rice, in your own containers.
- Recycle plastic materials properly. Whenever you need to use them, you can make sure you separate them and prepare them properly for recycling.
- Instead of toiletries in plastic containers, opt for products that come in solid bars.
- Cut the use of plastic straws. Specifically, ask for no straw the next time you are at a restaurant or bar.
- When you do groceries, bring reusable bags with you to the shops.
Becoming more effective at recycling is often a question of adopting these simple tips. Make sure to implement them in your daily life.