Recycling of Polyethylene Terephthalate In the United States, over 245 million tons of municipal solid waste (MSW) was produced by consumers in 2005. This is approximately 4.5 pounds of trash per person per day. This same year, 79 million tons of waste were recycled, a dramatic increase from 15 million tons in 1980. Of the total MSW in 2003,11.1% (26.7 million tons) was plastic. Although only 3.9% of plastics disposed in 2003 were recycled, PET was recovered at a rate of 25%. There are six classifications of plastics, each assigned a number. Numbers 1 and 2 are commonly recycled, 4 is recycled less, and the others are generally not recycled. The first is polyethylene terephthalate (PET). PET is commonly used in making liquid containers such as plastic soda and water bottles and has many other applications. Recycled PET also has many applications, including textiles, sheets for tapes, and the bottle market. The second type of plastic is high-density polyethylene (HDPE). HDPE is used in milk, detergent, and oil bottles and plastic bags. It is crushed into flakes and washed, then dried and shaped into pellets. Some uses for recycled HDPE are trash cans, flower pots, lumber, and other non-food applications. The third type of plastic is vinyl or poly vinyl chloride (PVC). Low-density polyethylene (LDPE) is the fourth type of plastic, and is used in many plastic bags and shrink wraps. It has the same chemical makeup as HDPE but is less dense and more flexible. Recycled LDPE is used for plastic trash bangs and grocery sacks and plastic lumber, as well as several other applications. The fifth type of plastic is polypropylene (PP), which is used in food wrap, some carpets, and bottle tops. P... ... middle of paper ... ... Hoy, Valerie. "Plastic Bottle Recycling Fails to Keep Up with Increasing Sales:." CRI. 8 Dec. 2006. 23 July 2007 . "Top 10 Reasons to Recycle." National Recycling Coalition. 28 July 2007 . "Plastics Recycling 201." 28 July 2007 . "Background Press Information." Background Press Information. 28 July 2007 . Tillman, Gerngoss U., and Slater C. Steven. "Making Packaging Greener – Biodegradable Plastics." Biodegradable Plastic News. 2 Aug. 2007 <"Background Press Information." Background Press Information. 28 July 2007 .>. "Background Press Information." Background Press Information. 28 July 2007 .
National Center for Manufacturing Sciences. (2004, August 11). Environmental Roadmapping Initiative. Retrieved October 14, 2011, from Plastics Impacts, Risks and Regulations: http://ecm.ncms.org/ERI/new/IRRPlastics.htm
The bottles that are sent to recycling go through an interesting process to get reused. After you place your bottle in a recycling bin, the bottles are collected and sorted at a MRF, a material recovery facility. Here the bottles are sorted, separated and situated into bundles, each scaling up to 1200 pounds and some consisting of more than 7200 bottles. These bundles are then transported to a facility that rips them apart using a machine known as a bale breaker. A magnet is also used to discard certain metal bits that may have mistakenly come along the journey. The bottles are then put through a cleaning machine that uses soapy water to remove the labels and dirt. Bottles and caps are then separated based on types of plastic using a quite efficient method. The PET bottles and their caps are then cut into small flakes and placed in water. Since different types of plastic have different densities, the bottle flakes sink, while the caps float, which separates them for recycling. The dried plastic flakes of bottles and caps are then warmed into a gooey liquid and forced out into long strands. The strands are cooled and toughened in water, and chopped into tiny pea-sized pellets, which are transported to companies that make a variety of new plastic
Environmental concern, cost reduction and waste disposal legislation are the underlying motivation for recycling of products. In the case of food products, the packets can be recycled if it is made of plastics. In case of beverages, the bottles are returned to the parent manufacturer, where the recycling process takes place, to be refilled with the next batch of the
Many people believe that we should not recycle anymore, but this is not the case. We, the people of the world, need to continue to recycle because we do not want our children to grow up in a world where there are no certain species of animals due to recycling failures. We also do not want our children to grow up thinking that it is okay that they throw their garbage on the ground, and not have to pick it up. We need to teach our children that they need to take care of the earth that they are living on, because they only get one. Recycling is one of the most beneficial environmental issues that we have here on this earth. Recycling saves energy, limits pollution and supports several environmental factors of the economy. “In 2003, the savings from recycling 54 billion aluminum cans exceeded the energy equivalent of 15 million barrels of crude oil- or the amount of gas the U.S. uses in one day,” according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The EPA estimates that 200 million gallons of used oil are not disposed of properly, and if we were to dispose the oil properly then we could keep the oil from polluting the ground and the fresh water source. According to E. Takatori, “… While on-going societal regulation treats material recycling as the dominant cycle, the properties of recycled plastic remain the most port
Plastic Carry bags have contributed significantly in creating a sustainable, cost effective, energy efficient, hygienic and environmental friendly packaging system and for carrying, storing and packing various types of commodities/products including food
According to Davis, “Traditional plastics and other non-degradable materials, such as glass and metals, provide a stable landfill material”. So, even though plastic is often placed in landfills, if this plastic was another form of packaging, such as paper, there would be more space in landfills for things that need to be placed there. Therefore reducing the amount of waste in the environment and saving some space. This is especially important when space is becoming an issue when it comes to landfills in certain places (Hopewell). “Traditional plastics Landfills have “long-term risks of contamination of soils and groundwater by some additives and breakdown byproducts in plastics, which can become persistent organic pollutants
We live in a world that is trying to be more green-centric. We see green alternatives advertised constantly on TV, everything from the ridiculous to the commonplace. Among these alternatives, one of the large pushes has been for recycling. While most know the factoids for recycling plastic -- like the fact that in an average hour, the US utilizes 2 500 000 plastic water bottles an
Where does all the plastic go. Every bit of plastic that has been created is still here. This is because plastic is one-hundred percent non-biodegradable! Even the most degraded plastic down to polymers cannot be digested by bacteria (Laist, 1997). If global issues like starvation and climate change are not enough to stress on, the weight of an issue literally churning in the Pacific Ocean is startling. For decades the majority of the world’s population has not been properly educated on the nature of plastic and the potential harm it can do to our environment and our physical health. Due to factors of man and the natural effects of nature, a major problem has developed that is now harming our food.
Millions of plastic bags are given out to consumers by supermarkets and stores to carry their goods in. They are also cheap, light, durable, easy to carry and in many cases, free. The most commonly used shopping bag is made of High Density Polyethylene (HDPE). This type is used in the majority of supermarkets and stores. After these bags are used, they often end up in landfills or as litter, roughly only three percent of plastic bags is actually recycled per year (Planet Ark, 2011). The materials used in making plastic bags make them non-biodegradable. According to the science dictionary, 2011 refers to “these materials cannot be decomposed into environmentally safe waste materials by the action of soil bacteria.” These harmful substances are toxic and take approximately four hundred years to break down, or in this case photo-degrade; which is how plastics made from (HDPE) break down. Since they are not biodegradable, they remain in the environment and are absorbed in soil or water (Indian Centre for Plastics in the Environment, 2010). This essay will discuss the various harmful effects of plastic bags, and demonstrate the risks that these bags impose on humans, animals and the environment. It will also discuss a series of suggested solutions that could help reduce plastic bag usage.
Dealing with waste can be very difficult to do when there are 7 billion people in the world and out of all these people America supports about 365 million of those people. According to an article on Forbes magazine the United States contributes about thirty percent of the world’s waste, places like Japan also are contribute quite a bit of recyclable waste. Recyclable waste is just that wasting there are many things that people use and throw away on a daily bases that could be recycled, plastic bottles, aluminum cans, steel cans, tin cans, card board glass and etc. This list could go on for quite some time so let’s put the foot down and talk about recycling.
The first stages of the plastic recycling process are collecting all plastic materials. There are two sources of plastics, “plastics for recycling come from two main sources: post-consumer plastics and postindustrial plastics”(Wansbrough, n.d, p.4). Post-consumer plastics are unused plastics that are collected either in garbage bins on the street or in the recycling bin. Meanwhile, for the post industrial plastics, it is the unused plastics that come from industry, such as off cuts or damaged batches. Then, this material will be collected by the recycling company and it will be taken to the recycling plant for restructuring activities.
Environmental impacts from pollution in landfills have caused a shift in different perspectives on what steps should be taken to reduce the amount of pollution. Society today has felt that throwing away waste products is a form of reduction in helping the environment. Many are not aware, however, that landfills are polluted with increasing amounts of waste that are either not biodegradable or perishable. Recycling is an environmentally beneficial solution to reducing millions of waste left in landfills, cutting down costs on energy resources, and clearing pollution from the environment. Recycling should therefore be mandated in schools, communities, and across the country.
The latest breakthrough from the Coca-Cola Company designed to change the way the world thinks of plastic bottles. It is the first ever fully recyclable PET plastic beverage bottle made partially from plants. The material looks and functions just like traditional PET plastic, but are fully recyclable, convenient, light weight and has lighter footprint on the planet and its scarce resources. These bottles are made from sugarcane, which is the key component and these bottles have already been used by the company in over nine countries passing the 2.5 billion bottles mark as of the year 2010. Adapting to the new changes in technology the need for a healthy and greener planet converting to PlantBottle packaging can a reduce potential carbon dioxide emissions associated with end-of-life destruction of the package as compared to a conventional 100% petroleum-based
While plastics are cheaper to manufacture, new government regulations should be developed to curb over-packaging because they are a big concern to the environment. The biggest concern is that they are non-biodegradable. They have also had a severe and negative impact upon the environment, which is a result of poor disposal of waste materials which in turn, has also endangered the health of human beings.