Important Information about Plastic Recycling and the Environment

Plastic recycling is very fast developing and growing field of recycling. The post consumer items made from PET and HDPE resins have found reliable markets. Plastic recycling is the process of recovering scrap or waste plastics materials and reprocessing the material into useful products. Compared to glass or metallic materials, plastic poses unique challenges, because of the massive number of types of plastic, they each carry a resin identification code and must be sorted before they can be recycled.


Greenpeace and other organizations have documented conditions at recycling facilities in countries that import this material and have found conditions to be exploitive. In addition, Greenpeace found that exported plastics were very poorly sorted. Green Building Council to develop the store and is planning to build others like it. Greenpeace says embracing the three Rs – reduce, re-use and recycle – would help tackle the problem. Plastic recycling is lagging well behind paper and cardboard.

Types of plastics are assigned a number, called a resin identification code , which is usually stamped or printed on the bottom of containers and surrounded by a recycling symbol (a triangle of arrows). Many programs exist in the United States and the reduction of weight in numerous packaging applications has been significant over the last 25 years.

PVC cannot easily be mixed with other plastics for recycling because it releases toxic additives when melted down. PVC has a low melt point and produces acidic by-products when it burns. They are the most valuable plastics, but unsuitable to our application.