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What Are the Current Options for Recycling Plastic?

As most people know, plastic is a non-biodegradable product, and just disposing of it into landfills is extremely harmful to the environment.

Recycling plastic also has huge energy savings with one ton of plastic saving up to 5,774 kWh of energy, 98,000,000 btus of energy, 1,000-2,000 gallons of gasoline, 685 gallons of oil, 30 cubic yards of landfill space, 48,000 gallons of water.

What are the options for other companies, or you as a consumer? Each type of plastic has different recycling processes, and the end product has different uses.

PET or PETE (polyethylene terephthalate).

This is the plastic typically found in drinks bottles and other food related products. This needs to be washed, and it is then flaked and dried.

This can then be melted and reformed into food-contact-approved recycled PET (RPET).

A growing market for RPET is also synthetic fabrics for the clothing industry.

HDPE

High-density polyethylene (HDPE) is often used for milk and juice jugs, as well as cleaning product bottles. It is typically downcycled into plastic lumber, tables, roadside curbs, benches, truck cargo liners, trash receptacles, stationery (e.g. rulers) and other durable plastic products and is usually in demand.

V (Vinyl) or PVC

Often used for windows and plastic piping, this can be broken down in a similar manor to HDPE and used to create building materials.

LDPE (low-density polyethylene)

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