LDPE Recycling ♶ – Can You Recycle Type 4 Plastics?
LDPE Recycling ♶: How do we determine a plastic’s recyclability? That answer lies in its SPI code. For this blog, I will give an overview of the different types of plastics but will focus more on recycling LDPE: type 4 plastic. Read on to learn more.
A Bit About Waster
Before I discuss LDPE recycling, let me share with you more information about Waster.
We here at Waster provide you with innovative solutions for you and your business’s waste management and recycling needs. Furthermore, we provide flexible, 30-day contracts instead of the typical lock-in contracts, which proves to be better.
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Recycling LDPE (#4) Plastic
For us to get a better grasp of LDPE, I will first give you a general background on all types of plastic. Basically, there are 7 types of plastics. The number is a resin identification code that helps recycling facilities sort out the different kinds of plastics. You won’t have a problem determining what they are because manufacturers of different kinds of products usually print out an item’s recycling symbol number. But nevertheless, let me discuss them one by one before moving on to LDPE.
Different Kinds Of Plastics
It is hard to determine whether a plastic item is recyclable or not. The product might have a “recyclable” label engraved on it, but that does not mean your local council will accept them right away. It is best to contact local authorities first before putting a plastic product in the kerbside recycling bin.
With that being said, it is still important to know the different kinds of plastic before jumping straight to LDPE recycling to give you a better understanding of what to – and not to – recycle. Here are the different plastic types:
Easily Recycled Ones
PETE or PET (#1) – it is abbreviated from Polyethylene Terephthalate, it is most commonly found in soda, water, and juice bottles. Additionally, it is also found in most food packaging. This type of plastic is often clear in colour. It is one of the most recyclable types of plastic and most recycling programmes accept them. They can either be reprocessed into recycled plastic bottles and packaging or turned into fibre for the creation of textile products such as fleece garments and carpets.
HDPE (#2) – the next type of plastic is derived from High-Density Polyethylene. It is also a commonly recycled plastic. You can usually find this type of plastic in milk jugs, household carpet cleaner and detergent containers, and also some plastic bags. Furthermore, they are considered a safe form of plastic. Recyclers often turn the recycled HDPE into plastic lumbers, bed liners, and picnic tables.
More Or Less Not Recyclable Like The First Two
PVC (#3) – derived from the words Polyvinyl Chloride. You can usually find it in plumbing pipes, windows, and in some cases, cooking oil and shampoo bottles. Specialised recycling programmes are done to process it into flooring and panelling. Additionally, it is to be kept away from foods and drinks because of its toxicity.
LDPE (#4) – or Low-Density Polyethylene. We can consider this as a clean and safe plastic like its counterpart: HDPE. The common people usually find them in their household items like frozen food containers, condiment bottles, and shopping or produce bags. Recycling facilities usually turn LDPE into garbage cans, bubble wrap, and flooring.
PP (#5) – or Polypropylene. We can usually find them in Tupperware boxes, medicine bottles, and ketchup bottles. It makes a great hot liquid container because of its high melting point. Additionally, recycling programmes can accept products made from PP and turn them into clothes and playground equipment, and ice scrapers.
Hard To Recycle
PS (#6) – polystyrene or what we commonly know as styrofoam, it is usually found in takeaway coffee cups and egg cartons. Unlike the ones stated above, recycling facilities usually find it hard to recycle styrofoam because of low demand; you cannot recycle PS and turn it back into recycled PS, so the closed-loop recycling concept does not apply. But if you still want to recycle it, you can contact your local council and ask if the facilities available accept such plastic.
Mixed Plastics (#7) – the last of the plastic types, also known as “other plastics”. Depending on your local council, you may or may not recycle such type of plastic. But more often than not, recyclers do not accept mixed plastics. Additionally, they also contain the dangerous chemical BPA, a known toxic, synthetic compound that compromises one’s fertility.
Further Information On LDPE Recycling
Now that I have discussed the different kinds of plastics, you can now know what you should and should not recycle. In saying this, let us move on to the next topic, which is recycling LDPE plastic. Even though it is not as common as recycling type 1 and 2 plastic, LDPE plastics are now getting more traction because of many consumers buying products that contain such plastic.
In recycling your LDPE products, here is what you should do:
Ask for instructions first from your local council before doing anything else. If they accept LDPE for recycling, then you can go ahead and put them in the kerbside recycling bin. Follow the instructions laid out by your local waste authority. Furthermore, if they do not accept such plastics, there are other alternatives who can help you. One example is REDcycle, where they accept different kinds of plastics – include LDPE 4 – they can recycle. You only need to collect them and drop them off at the given locations; REDcycle has partnered up with many Australian supermarkets that you can choose from.
And, remember to always collect them in bulk if you wish to recycle them. Remove their labels and other unnecessary non-plastic parts before recycling LDPE.
See our blog on waste recycling Sydney.
LDPE Recycling: Conclusion
Remember that the higher the recycling symbol number, the less chance of the plastic product being recycled in your local waste facilities. But, good news: LDPE recycling number 4 is slowly getting more recognised as something that is commonly recycled. And it is not farfetched to say that in the future, we can fully recycle all kinds of plastics with ease.
Waster: Things You Need To Know
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