5 Fascinating Facts About Plastic Recycling

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5 Fascinating Facts About Plastic Recycling

Update Your Plastics Recycling Habits and Brush Up on Your Plastics Recycling Trivia
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Live Green by @Recyclebank: 5 Fascinating Facts About Plastic Recycling http://bit.ly/13TE9PV

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Tuesday, August 27, 2013 - 6:00am

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Chances are, you’re pretty virtuous about throwing those plastic containers in your recycling bin, and then you don’t give them much thought beyond that. But behind the scenes, your plastic’s life is far from over, and far from boring. 

Plastics go through an involved recycling process, eventually finding new life in a wide range of products, from carpeting to patio furniture to fleece sweatshirts. The entirety of the plastics recycling process is pretty interesting — there aren’t many other processes that focus on transforming one thing into something else completely different — but here 5 of my favorite facts about plastics recycling*: 

1. You may not have to remove those bottle caps anymore. Recyclers are working hard to make sure that recycling is as easy as possible for consumers, so that more people get on the bandwagon. And one way they’ve done so is by improving their equipment and technology in some areas, so that residents don’t have to separate recyclables by type. In particular, some new equipment can process bottles, caps and all, so you don’t need to go through the hassle of removing the cap and throwing it in the trash. 

2. Float, or sink? You can tell a type of plastic by what it does in water. Not all plastics are made the same; even if you’re able to recycle them together, they have to be separated at the recycling facilities by type (#s 1–7). The aforementioned bottles and caps you might be able to recycle together are actually made of different types of plastics — so how do they get separated at the facility? Before being separated, all of the plastics get shredded, and then the shreds are dumped into water-filled flotation tanks. One type of plastic sinks, and the other floats, making it easy to separate. The flotation tanks also separate out contaminants, as those materials also have different flotation rates, too. 

Read on for 3 more fun facts about plastics recycling.

Keywords: Responsible Production & Consumption | Co-mingled Recycling | Environment | Plastic | Recycling | Responsible Production & Consumption | live green | plastic recycling | recyclebank

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CONTENT: Blog

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