Plastic is one of the most commonly used materials in the objects we use every day, but there are a lot of things people still don’t know about it. Read on to find out some things you should know about plastic.
Not All Plastic Is The Same
Even though you call all the different types of plastic by the same name, it’s important to remember that there are varying types of plastic. Plastics are divided into seven different categories. These categories are numbered 1-7 and are broken up according to how high a temperature the plastic was heated at. PLastics in the number 1 category are the most recyclable while those in the number 7 category are the least recyclable.
You Can’t Recycle Dirty Plastic
When it comes to recycling plastic, you need to make sure that it’s clean. This is because plastics need to be of a certain quality to be recycled. In some cases, recycling factories will take plastics and wash them thoroughly before starting the recycling process. Most times though, dirty plastic is just thrown out with regular trash though. Make sure this doesn’t happen to your plastic by ensuring it’s clean before you put it into a recycling bin. Otherwise, your efforts to recycle might be in vain!
Recycling Plastic Degrades It
Every time plastic is recycled, its quality degrades a bit. This is because plastics are made of polymers, which are long chains of atoms. This makeup gives plastic its uniques structure, however the polymers shrink after plastic has been recycled. Because of this plastic can only be recycled about 2 or 3 times before it can’t be recycled anymore.
Coffee Cups Can’t Be Recycled
Even though you may have noticed that part of your coffee cup is made of plastic, it’s still not recyclable unless the materials are separated. The inside layer is made of plastic, but the outside is made of paper. The thin plastic layer is designed to insulate heat and keep your drink from burning your hand as well. Products that are made of mixed materials are hard to recycle, so it’s crucial to keep that in mind the next time you’re planning on recycling a coffee cup. It takes too long and too much energy for a recycling plant to go through the trouble of separating materials.
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