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You may begin to wonder why plastic is so widely used and produced when we are frequently reminded how bad it can be for the environment and how difficult many forms of plastic are to recycle.


Well, there are two main driving factors behind the material’s mass global adoption, and that is that it is cheap, and that it holds many useful properties depending on the desired properties (such as being transparent, strong, malleable, etc). Without a doubt, your business will come into contact with plastic on a daily or weekly basis and it is your responsibility as a UK business to ensure that you are recycling as much of it as you can.


In this blog, we will discuss the various types of plastic and how you can best prepare your organisation for successful plastic recycling.



How Is Plastic Recycled?

In general, plastics are recycled through the following process, they are:


  1. Sorted into polymer type (to separate them by plastic properties)
  2. Shredded into small pieces
  3. Washed thoroughly to remove non-recyclable material or contaminants
  4. Melted into a goo which can be moulded
  5. And then pelletised in order to transport the material to factories who can use it to make new products


Here’s a fantastic quick video to sum up how plastic is recycled:




Different Types Of Plastic

There are 7 common types of plastic:


PETE – Polyethylene Terephthalate. This is used to make products such as water and soft drink bottles. This type of plastic is recyclable.


HDPE – High-Density Polyethylene. This is used to make products such as milk containers and shampoo bottles. This type of plastic is recyclable.


V – Vinyl. This is used to make products such as detergent containers, clear food packaging, and piping. This type of plastic is unfortunately not recyclable.


LDPE – Low-Density Polyethylene. This is used to make products such as plastic food wraps like cling film. This type of plastic is recyclable.


PP – Polypropylene. This is used to make products such as yogurt containers and ketchup bottles. This type of plastic is recyclable.


PS – Polystyrene. This is used to make disposable plates and cups, it is also used for packing material. This type of plastic is unfortunately not recyclable.


OTHER – Other plastics. This category covers all other types of plastics but these unmentioned plastics are likely not recyclable.


There is also one bonus category now our technological developments are improving and that is ‘Biodegradable Plastics’ which is a bio-based plastic hybrid which is used to make biodegradable water bottle amongst other products.

7 types of plastic infographic



Environmental Impact

Plastic is a popular and highly versatile material, and we use a lot of it. Optimising the lifespan of plastics by re-using and recycling items as many times as possible, for example, by recycling used plastic bottles into new ones, we can therefore reduce our need to create new plastic.

This means we can:

  • conserve non-renewable fossil fuels (oil)
  • reduce the consumption of energy used in the production of new plastic
  • reduce the amount of solid waste going to landfill
  • reduce emission of gases like carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.



Best Business Practices For Plastic Waste Recycling

The best way you can prepare your business when it comes to plastic recycling is to make sure you are using a waste management service that offers a recycling collection service. Choosing a reputable company like us here at CheaperWaste will mean that your plastic waste is sent to the appropriate recycling facility so that it is not needlessly disposed of at landfills.


There are also some other things you should have in place too such as a dedicated plastic recycling or dry-mixed recycling bin, and training for staff to ensure that your waste is successfully segregated.


If you need a waste management service that can provide a bespoke waste collection package for you at a great price then look no further than CheaperWaste. Fill in the quick and easy quote form below for a free quote today!

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