Daily Necessities

Surprising Facts About Plastic Recycling: How And Why It Happens

July 12,2022 by Matthew Bell

Did you know that only 9% of all plastic is recycled? That's a pretty shocking statistic, isn't it? Plastic is one of the most commonly used materials in the world, and yet we only recycle a small fraction of it. In this article, we will discuss why plastic recycling is important, and how it happens!

Why Do We Recycle Plastic?

1. To Save Resources

Plastic is a material that is derived from oil and gas, two resources that are in limited supply. It is estimated that approximately 96 million barrels of oil are used to produce the plastic bottles used in the united states each year. This is a significant amount of oil, and it highlights the need to find ways to reduce our reliance on plastic.

2. To Save Energy

The production of plastic requires a significant amount of energy. Oil and gas must be extracted from the ground and then processed into the finished product. In addition, the manufacturing process itself is energy-intensive. As a result, recycling plastic can have a major impact on reducing energy consumption. Moreover, it is estimated that recycling one ton of plastic can save up to 2,000 pounds of coal. In an era of climate change, that is a significant contribution.

3. To Protect Soil Or The Ocean

When plastic is thrown away, it often ends up in landfills where it can take centuries to break down. Alternatively, it may end up in the ocean where it harms marine life. Recycling plastic helps to reduce these environmental impacts. In addition, recycling plastic helps to keep harmful chemicals out of the environment. When plastic is burned, it releases toxins into the air that can damage public health.

4. Creates Jobs And Supports The Economy

The recycling industry is a vital part of the American economy, employing thousands of people across the country. In addition to providing jobs, recycling also helps to support the economy by creating new products from recycled materials. For example, recycled plastic can be used to create patio furniture, car parts, and even clothing.

So How Does Plastic Recycling Actually Work?

The first step in recycling plastic is to sort it by type. There are seven different types of plastic, and each type has its own unique recycling process. For example, type 1 plastic (pet or pete) is commonly used for water bottles and can be recycled into clothing or carpeting. Type 2 plastic (hdpe) is found in milk jugs and grocery bags and can be recycled into buckets, crates, and pipes.

Once the plastic is sorted, it is cleaned and shredded into small pieces. A plastic shredder is a machine that breaks plastic down into small pieces, making it easier to recycle. The shreds are then melted and formed into pellets, which can be used to make new products.

3. Extrude The Plastic

Once the plastic has been shredded, it is fed into a furnace where it is heated to a high temperature. This causes the plastic to melt and turn into a liquid. The molten plastic is then pumped through a die, which shapes it into pellets. These pellets can then be used to create new products made from plastic.

4. Recycle The Plastic Into New Products

The pellets are used to create new products, such as recycled plastic lumber or recycled plastic bags. For example, recycled plastic can be used to create park benches, picnic tables, and even playground equipment. It can also be used to create new bottles and containers.


We hope that this article has taught you something new about plastic recycling! Remember, recycling is important for reducing pollution and waste. So next time you have some plastic to recycle, be sure to do your part!










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