Go Green Series: Plastic Recycling

Recycle Logo Original Plastic Recycling

Go Green! Plastic Recycling

Go Green! Plastic Recycling

Plastic recycling or plastic waste recycling is the process of recovering scrap or waste plastic material into useful products. For example, by melting down the soft drink bottles, and transforming into plastic chairs and tables. Basically, all types of plastic can be recycled. But, products made from recycled plastics are often not recyclable. Other than that, a plastic is not recycled into the same type of plastic, but a different one.

Check your garbage!

What rubbish that you throw-away are made from plastic?

Milk bottles? Soft drink bottles? Water bottles? Grocery bags? Shampoo bottles? Disposable cups and plates? Jam jars? Dish-washing containers? Microwavable wares? Take-away containers? Cosmetics containers? … … …

Do you notice that most of them are plastic bottles and plastic bags?!

Do you know, all of these are recyclable?

Now you know the large proportion of household waste are plastic goods!

Most families throw away about 40kg-50kg of plastic per year, which could otherwise be recycled.

Other than that, you will see lots of plastic rubbish especially in drains, rivers, parks, beaches, and streets!

So, plastics waste recycling is very important!

Go Green Jakartaku River Pollution

This is what I saw few months ago when I travelled to Jakarta! Go Green Jakarta Signboard vs River pollution right under the bridge. I hope to see something different on my next trip.

Why Recycle Plastic?

Why? Because it is a MUST! It create lots of environment impacts, some people called this as PLASTICS POLLUTION.

1. Recycling Plastic Saves Energy

  • Recycling is an excellent way of saving energy and conserving the environment. Recycling plastic saves twice as much energy as burning it in an incinerator.
  • Recycling plastic requires only a tenth of the energy needed to create new plastic from raw materials, according to Mike Biddle, president of MBA Polymers.  Studies show that between 7% and 8% of the world’s fossil fuels are used in producing new plastics. Even the plastics industry view plastic as ‘too valuable to throw away’!
  • Besides, the energy saved by recycling a single plastic bottle is enough to power a single 60-watt bulb for six hours.
  • During their life cycle, plastic bags require about one-third less energy to make than paper bags.

2. Plastic Never Die But We Do

  • Plastic can take up to 500 years to decompose. 500 years? Yes. Imagine, if Leonardo Da Vinci drank a soft drink someday when he was composing his masterpiece, Mona Lisa, and he buried that plastic bottle, the Legendary Bottle will survive until today, together with “Mona Lisa”.  But of course, plastic’s history is only 100 over years, and soft drink born after 17th century senyumkenyit
  • So, it is important to recycle the plastics!
Original-Mona-Lisa-by-Leonardo-Da-Vinci-16th-Century

“Mona Lisa” by Leonardo Da Vinci

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3. Plastic Kills Animals

  • No matter direct or indirect, it is a fact. More than 1 Million animals such as dolphins, seabirds, turtles, whales, penguins, and many aquatic life! OMG…
  • These animals probably mistook the plastics for food and ingested them, and therefore die.
  • Some of them become entangled in plastic.
Plastic Ocean-Plastics-Kills-Animals-Turtle-eats-plastics-pelican-entangled-plastic

Plastic Kills Animals

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Plastic Pollution

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Plastic Identification Code (PIC)

We all know that different types of plastics need different type of recycling process, that is why we can see a single digit ranging from 1 to 7 and surrounded by a triangle of arrows right at the bottom of plastic containers. Before recycling, the plastics are sorted according to their resin type.

In 1988, Society of the Plastics Industry (SPI) developed resin identification coding system. It is used worldwide.
The main purpose of the codes is to allow efficient separation of different polymer types for recycling. Separation must be efficient because the plastics must be recycled separately.

What Do Recycling Symbols on Plastics Mean?

Plastic Recycling Symbols-Code 1 to 7-PET,PETE,HDPE,PVC,LDPE,PP,PS,ABS

What Do Recycling Symbols on Plastics Mean?

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How To Choose Food Safe Plastics Based On PIC

Patty Kim, Correspondent, National Geographic’s The Green Guide

  • Find the number inside the recycling arrows on the bottom of the plastic product. Safe food containers are made from number 1, 2, 4, and 5 plastics.
  • Number 3 plastics are made out of PVC, polyvinylchloride, which can leech hormone-disrupting phthalates and lead into your food. Some plastic wraps contain PVC as well.
  • Number 6 is found on things like Styrofoam containers. Avoid these for food storage because they contain styrene, a possible human carcinogen.
  • Number 7 is a miscellaneous category that includes polycarbonate plastics made with the chemical Bisphenol-A (BPA), which is believed to interfere with behavioral and reproductive development in infants. Even though baby bottles containing bisphenol-A are the most common on the market, there are safer alternatives, or BPA-free. Just choose glass baby bottles or plastic ones with the number 2, 4, or 5 on the bottom.

Don’t forget: You must use even safe plastic food containers correctly for them to be truly safe for your health.

  • A container that’s labeled ‘microwave-safe’ might not melt, but could still emit contaminants while cooking. Opt for ceramic or oven-proof glass containers for microwaving.
  • Don’t wash plastic containers in the dishwasher frequently. Over time the material can break down and increase the risk of chemical leeching.
  • Abrasive detergents can cause scratches on plastic which become hiding places for bacteria. Glass, ceramic, or stainless steel containers for food storage are the best option as you can safely wash them in the dishwasher.

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Top 4 Strategies To Reduce The Environment Impact Of Plastic

1. Reduce

 It is the easiest way. Just reduce / refuse the usage of plastic as packaging material, such as plastic bags.

 ‘No Plastic Bag Day Campaign launched on Jan 1, 2010  means that selected hypermarkets and retailers no supply plastic bags on Saturdays, all around Malaysia. This campaign saved 4 Million plastic bags! But some customers rather pay extra money for the plastic bags!

No Plastic Bag Campaign Saturday Malaysia

“No Plastic Bag Campaign” Every Saturday

2. Reuse

First, use the reusable shopping bag or Green Bags! Go Green! Use Green Bags!

Original AEON jusco reusable shopping green bag

One of the biggest retailer in Malaysia, AEON, with its Green Bag! The AEON Reusable Shopping Bag is an alternative to the current plastic bag used at AEON stores. Reduce the usage of plastic bags, adopt the versatility of the AEON Reusable Shopping Bag into your daily activities.

Second, reuse containers. Container reuse can lead to a substantial reduction in the demand for disposable plastic, and reduced use of materials and energy, with the consequent reduced environmental impacts. Besides, plastic containers can be used to store or keep  items. Generally, my mom will use plastic bottles to store her precious garbage enzyme.

3. Recycle

Needless to say. Do not litter. Recycle the plastics. Go Green. Save our environment.

4. Clean Up!

Do not litter. Do you know that there is a day call “International Cleanup Day” (国际海洋清洁日)?

It falls on 2nd week of September every year.

There’s 100 million tons of illegal garbage lying around the world. Waste is everywhere – in cities, beaches, oceans, forests. To change this we have to come together and create a real global change.

Here is another 3R for the day: RESCUE. RESTORE. REVIVE.

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Constantin Joshua is founder and co-author of Veganlogy. He is a creative and multi-talented marketing consultant. He is a freelance writer who enjoys producing WOW contents. He is a chess champion, top sales, marketing talent and inspirational leader. Subscribe to Newsletter