Recycling of Polyethylene Terephthalate

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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.[3] This same year, 79 million tons of waste were recycled, a dramatic increase from 15 million tons in 1980.[3] 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%.[4] 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).[2] PET is commonly used in making liquid containers such as plastic soda and water bottles and has many other applications.[1] Recycled PET also has many applications, including textiles, sheets for tapes, and the bottle market.[2] 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.[2] 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.[2] 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 .

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