Truth About Plastic and Recycling

Plastic is not TRASH,

if disposed and recycled responsibly!

Plastic is a miraculous material that human beings have invented from petroleum derivatives. There are myths around plastic being bad and causing negative impact on the environment by getting into rivers, oceans and landfills. However, in reality plastic is not a problem.

The problem is of irresponsible human behavior in disposing the plastic. If disposed sensibly, it can actually do well to the environment. If recycled, plastic can be made to form recycled polyester which in turn is made to produce a number of things like shoes, T-shirts, bags, etc. thereby causing less strain on natural resources. 

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PLASTIC HAS AN AFTERLIFE

Here’s how you can dispose & recycle plastic responsibly!

Of the 7 major types of plastics that are largely available, these 4 types of plastic are commonly recycled: PET, HDPE, PVC, LDPE. The plastic recycling process refers to the process of re-using plastic waste by means of reprocessing. Due to the low biodegradability nature of plastics, understanding of the recycling process has become imperative.

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Step 1

Collection

There are various ways in which plastic reaches the waste stream for recycling. Plastic items are separated from Municipal Solid Waste and sold to Kabadiwallahs who specialize in collection of plastic waste. Waste pickers also reach out to various channels like Schools, Colleges, Communities, Airports, Railway Stations, Hotels, etc. to make the collection. It is essential that plastic be segregated from other waste so that it can be recycled.

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Step 2

Sorting

The Kabadiwallahs get mixed-plastic waste. They run sorting operations, where people sort the waste on the basis of different kinds of plastic like polyethylene (PE), polypropylene (PP), milky PP, HDPE, LDPE, PET, etc. This is done mostly by visual inspection, by subjecting the plastic item to a series of improvised tests like touch, bending, snapping, applying solvents etc. The different plastics are segregated and sold to different traders.

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Step 3

Shredding

On arriving at the recycling unit, truckloads of plastic is opened and sorted, starting the cleaning process all over again. The bottles are put through various stages of manual, semi-automatic and automatic sorting, cleaning processes. All PVC labels, caps, metal components if any, are diligently removed. Different kinds of plastic is segregated. This process helps in ensuring that the different plastics are not put together or mixed up in the final product. Remember that different plastics are used to make different items. Once the segregation is done, they go through the shredder. The shredder cuts the plastic into tiny pieces.

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Step 4

Cleaning and Flaking

The shredder converts the plastic into flakes. Once that is done, the flakes are then subjected to further washing, drying and are ready to be shipped to the manufacturing units.

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Step 5

Extruding

This involves melting the shredded plastic so that it can be extruded into pellets, which are then used for making different types of plastic products. Different types of plastic like PET, HDPE, LDPE, etc. have different processes to make different kinds of products.

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Presenting Transformed
Recycled Plastics

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Reasons to Recycle Plastic

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    Conserves Natural Resources

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    Saves Landfill Space

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    Reduces CO2 Emission

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    Preserves Flora and Fauna

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    Job Creation

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