Plastic waste has become a fast growing environmental challenge in our world today. Its effects are threatening to the stability of our planet and our overall health and wellbeing. It has therefore become imperative for plastics to be recycled.
Every plastic sent for recycling, ends up as an unusual and innovative product. However, the recycled plastic depends on the making of the original plastic product.
This knowledge is very valuable for the choice of a plastic recycling machine. Therefore if every plastic is labelled with an SPI (Society of the plastics industry) number, so as to give one a guide on which plastics to recycle and what to do from them. There are seven (7) SPI codes and each of them represents a different type of plastic.
SPI 1 plastics are used to manufacture most plastic drinks bottles, water bottles and jars used mainly in the kitchen are made from PET, and when recycled, they are turned into textile fabrics and fibres which can be woven to make carpets, bags and warm clothing etc.
This type of plastic is usually regarded as very safe, because it does not give out toxic or harmful chemicals. They are used for making containers for bleach, shampoos, detergents and motor oil etc. they are recycled into crates, flower pots, plastic lumber, partition materials etc.
The PVC is popularly used for pipes, tiles and other plumbing materials. When they are recycled, they are used for flooring and wall materials
The LDPE is durable and soft plastic that usually serves as material for food packaging and storage.
Also used for plastic bags. Although it is not easily recyclable, upon recycling, it is used for making furniture and household products, garden furniture and rubbish bins.
This plastic is used for making bottle tops, prescription bottles, Tupperware and stadium cups etc. It is frequently not recycled, however, whenever it is recycled, it works out for making very durable materials, such as rakes and ice scrappers.
Polystyrene also called Styrofoam is a plastic that is not easily recyclable. Because it requires a lot of energy. However, when it is recycled, it is used for making insulations and objects such as rulers.
Every other plastic that does not fall under the other categories (1 to 6) falls under this category. Polycarbonates and polylacticides are common examples here and they are difficult to recycle.
They are used for making compact discs, storage containers etc. Polylactides are used in 3D printing. When recycled, they are used for plastic lumber which has multiple industrial uses.
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