Recycling Plastics – Can You Tell PET from PVC?

Recycling Plastics – Can You Tell PET from PVC?

Different types of plastics call for different recycling options. In this post, we look at five varieties of plastics that can be recycled, and one that is not.

PET – POLYETHYLENE TEREPHTHALATE

The most common type of plastics, PET is extensively used in bottled soft drinks and water, as well as food packaging. Most PET ends up thrown away in the landfill, but recycling initiatives by Petco in South Africa have seen sustainable growth in PET collection and recycling.

PET recycling is nowadays increasing significantly in both popularity and the weight of PET containers and bottles gathered by garbage collectors in exchange for cash.

PET has various recycling uses, from hollow-fibre filling for jackets, duvets, pillows and sleeping bags (clear PET bottles) to building insulation and geotextiles for road stabilisation and dam linings (green PET bottles).

HDPE – HIGH-DENSITY POLYETHYLENE

HDPE is commonly found in packaging for household products, toiletries and cosmetics. Milk bottles also contain HDPE.

Recycling HDPE is important as it can be transformed into other plastic products like plastic chairs, containers and bins, as well as industrial applications like piping.

PVC – POLYVINYL CHLORIDE

Because it is difficult and unlikely to recycle, PVC is being phased out and replaced with PET. It is recommended to avoid buying PVC-packaged products at all costs.

LDPE – LOW-DENSITY POLYETHYLENE

Used to make bags, building film and squeezable packaging, LDPE can be successfully recycled into a variety of products, including containers, construction and building film, pallet sheet, bin liners and piping.

PP – POLYPROPYLENE

Polypropylene is used in bottles, straws, tubs, bottle caps, boxes, as well as some furniture and household items. Similar to HDPE and LDPE, it can be recycled into anything from bins and trays to pallet sheets.

PS – POLYSTYRENE
Polystyrene has various applications as high-impact and as expanded polystyrene, EPS. Fortunately, both forms are recyclable, although it is not as common in South Africa as PET recycling, for example. Polystyrene can be recycled into many products and industrial applications, from picture frames, stationery and curtain rails to skirting boards and cornices.

Find out where to recycle each type of plastics on treeevolution.co.za.

Isowall recycles responsibly. Hebcooler – a range of EPS Cups and tubs under the Isolite brand – is 100% recyclable. In fact, the scrap from the manufacturing of Hebcooler EPS Cups and Tubs and any returned polystyrene are used to make Isowood dado rails and skirting boards.

Isowall is the supplier of choice within Africa for Insulated Sandwich Panel, EPS and EPP products. Contact us for more information.

OUR ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS HAS BEEN CERTIFIED WITH ISO14001:2015. THE SUSTAINABILITY OF THE ENVIRONMENT IS OF UTMOST IMPORTANCE, AND THUS OPERATING IN A SUSTAINABLE, FORWARD-LOOKING FASHION IS IMPERATIVE TO ENSURE OUR STRATEGIC VISION.

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