Monday, April 16, 2012

Weekly Trivia on Plastic: 3 Misconceptions about Plastic Recycling

Below are 3 general misconceptions about plastic recycling.


The chasing arrows symbol means that the plastic is recyclable. 



Not necessarily. The arrows symbol you find at the bottom of plastic goods doesn’t necessarily convey the meaning that the plastic item is recyclable. What is more important is the number inside the cashing arrows. These numbers tell you whether the plastic you are using is recyclable or not. Learn more about these plastic resin numbers here.


Plastics that are collected in the curbside get to be made the same plastic product they were before.

Not necessarily. There is little chance that the plastic bottles or plastic containers collected in the curbside will be recycled into plastic containers again. They are more likely turned into secondary products like textiles, lumber, etc. that are – unfortunately – unrecyclable.


The existence of curbside collection will make an impact on less plastic wastes at the landfills.


Again, not necessarily. If recycling plastic is done just for the sake of making you feel good that you’re not throwing away plastic goods, and then you keep buying new plastic things, there’s perhaps no decrease in the plastic wastes at the landfill. Unless you participate in plastic recycling in all senses, reducing plastic wastes at the landfill won’t work. Recycling plastic in all senses means you’re not only getting the plastic transferred to the curbside, but you need to also REDUCE the use of these plastic packaging or things (say goodbye to plastic bags!) and REUSE the existing plastic containers, if applicable.

If you had these misconceptions before, I hope the article clears up the confusion. Happy recycling!

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