Plastic Recycling

History

Belgian chemist Leo Baekeland went out to invent insulator, but he created the world's first true plastic. He created a material he called "Bakelite" It was the first all 100% original plastic! Eventually people found out that "plastic" could be moulded into different things. The chemical name of plastic was polyoxybenzylmethylenglycolanhydride. After the First World War, improvements in chemical technology led to an explosion in new forms of plastics. Among the earliest examples in the wave of new polymers were polystyrene (PS) and polyvinyl chloride (PVC). Baekeland promised that plastic would be one of the world's most useful resource and his promise came true. In the last few years there was almost 47 million tons of plastic produced. If we didn't have plastic then every time you dropped a cup it would be broken, there wouldn't be any toys inside our Happy Meals.

POLYMER IDENTIFICATION CODE:


POLYETHYLENE TEREPHTHALATE

PRODUCTS: Cold Drink Bottles, Juice Bottles,Water Bottles, Dishwashing Liquid Bottles, Lemon Juice Bottles, Mouth Wash Bottles, Salad Dressing, Oil Bottles, Some food trays, Beauty Products, Baby Oil.

CAN BE RECYCLED INTO: New Plastic Drinking Bottles, Fibre for Polyester Carpet, Fabric for T-shirts, Hollow-Fibre Filling for Jackets, Duvets, Pillows and Sleeping Bags. Green Bottles are turned into building Insulation.


HIGH-DENSITY POLYETHYLENE

PRODUCTS: Milk Containers, Some Household Detergents, Shampoo and Conditioners, Body Washes and Liquid Soaps, Motor Oil Bottles, Bottle Caps, Baby Powder, Lotions, Face Wash.

CAN BE RECYCLED INTO: Pens, Detergent Bottles, Buckets, Floor Tiles, Drainage Pipe, Lumber, Outdoor Furniture, Benches, Picnic Tables, Fencing, Irrigation pipes, Doghouses and Kennels, Refuse bins, Refuse Bags and Plastic Shopping Bags


POLYVINYL CHLORIDE

PRODUCTS: Wire Jacketing, Medical Equipment, Piping.

CAN BE RECYCLED INTO: Its use is currently being phased out – in many cases it is being replaced by PET. Try to avoid buying products with PVC packaging Door mats, Decks, Hoses, Panelling, Garden Fencing,
Mud-flaps, Car Mats, Shoe Soles, Flooring, Cables, Mats and Carpet.

LOW-DENSITY POLYETHYLENE

PRODUCTS: Bread Bags, Sqeezable Bottles, Frozen Food Bags, Milk Sachets,Dry Cleaning and Shopping Bags.

CAN BE RECYCLED INTO: Bin liners, Floor Tiles, Pallet Sheets, Shipping Envelopes, Construction and Building Film, Compost Bins, Lumber, Landscaping Tiles, Bags, Irrigation Pipes, Containers.


POLYPROPYLENE

PRODUCTS: CAN BE RECYCLED INTO:
Syrup Bottles, Microwave Dishes, Garden Furniture,
Medicine Bottles, Lunch Boxes, Straws, Ice Cream Tubs,
Detergents, Butter and Margarine Containers. Battery Cables, Auto Battery Cases, Pegs, Paint trays, Oil Funnels, Buckets, Crates, Pipes, Pallets, Brooms and Brushes, Rakes,Bottles and containers,
Garden Furniture, Ropes, Bins, Trays


POLYSTYRENE

PRODUCTS: CAN BE RECYCLED INTO:
Meat and Vegetable Trays, Disposable Plates and Cups, Egg Cartons, Take-Away Containers, Protective Packaging. Picture Frames, Curtain Rails, Seedling Trays, Light Switch, Cornices, Rulers, Insulation, Hangers, Foam Packing, Egg Cartons, Take –Away Container.


OTHER PLASTICS

PRODUCTS: CAN BE RECYCLED INTO:
This is not the type of plastic you're likely to recycle at home. And, according to the Plastic Federation of SA, it is not recycled in South Africa at the moment, so you can try and reuse it or put it in the dustbin. Plastic Lumber, Custom-Made Products, Automotive
Components.


What happens at a plastic recycling plant?

Plastic products are separated by identification and colour before they are recycled. It then goes to the shredding machine. These shredded fragments then undergo a process to eliminate impurities like paper labels or any other kind of dirt particles. This clean shredded material is melted in an extrusion machine and often extruded into the form of pellets which are then shipped to manufactures where new products are made and used in our homes.

 

Facts

• Approximately 88 percent of the energy is saved when plastic is made from plastic rather than from the raw materials of gas and oil.

• Annually, approximately 1 250 000 tons of plastics are converted into products, of which 573 000 tons are converted into packaging. Approximately 228 000 tons are recovered and used in the manufacture of new products. 18.3% of total polymer produced is recycled, with 28.9% of packaging produced being recycled.

• Most families throw away about 40kg of plastic per year, which could otherwise be recycled.

• Plastic can take up to 500 years to decompose.

• 1 recycled plastic bottle would save enough energy to power a 60-watt light bulb for 3 hours'

Rhino Recycling Recycles the following :






Our Process

You begin the recycling process when you set apart your plastic bottles or containers from your household garbage and place it into the Blue bags we provide to you for our weekly collection. We combine your plastic with plastic from other households and sell them to a plastic dealer who, because of the volume of material purchased, often operates out of a storage warehouse. The dealer then sells quantities of plastic to a user. This is where the actual recycling-manufacturing one product into a new product--takes place.