PC Team is giving away 6 PC Tokens for FREE to the first 10,000 people who will Join us! Join us here
Plastic bags are a big issue all over the world and they have made their way into all aspects of our lives. As you probably know, plastic cannot degrade on its own, and if it does, it takes about 450 to 600 years to do so. And chances are, that plastic has still not degraded, but has simply broken down into tiny microplastics which will then become a part of soil or leech into the groundwater.
Reusing and recycling are the most effective and easiest ways to control plastic usage and to ensure that plastic does not enter landfills and oceans. Saying a big fat no to single-use plastics is the first step, and then reusing plastic items as much as you can is a great solution. If these two options are not possible, then the next best solution is to recycle the plastic.
There are plastic recycling centers all around the world, but making sure that the plastic gets there is an important step. For the ease of understanding the process of recycling, let’s take the example of a plastic bag. Most of the plastic bags we use today are made up of high-density polyethylene which is a #2 plastic. If you are thinking of the thin plastic bags, those ones are made up of low-density polyethylene, which is a #4 plastic. To recycle plastics and plastic bags at home, there are certain steps you need to take to make sure that you make the recycling process as smooth and efficient as possible.
1. Make sure that nothing is left in the plastic bags when you are removing them for recycling. This includes any type of tags, stickers, and receipts.
2. A plastic bag collection bin in your home will help you store a bunch of bags at one go without any hassle. One such bin can easily allow you to fit in about 70-100 plastic bags at one go, reducing the number of trips you might have to make to the recycling center.
3. Make sure that the plastic bags that you are collecting are only #2 and #4 plastic bags. These are the only plastics that recycling centers accept for recycling purposes.
4. Make sure that all the plastics entering the bin are cleaned and dried thoroughly before being segregated into the bin.
As we mentioned already, only #2 and #4 plastics can be put into the plastic recycling bin. These plastics include Ziploc bags, plastic shopping bags, plastic from inside cereal boxes, food packing plastics, bread packers, milk packets, produce bags, the plastic wrapper for newspapers, bubble wrap, air pillows, plastic shipping materials, plastic envelopes, and dry cleaning bags. Basically, you must lookout for the #2 and #4 mark and those can go into the bin.
If you are questioning why recycling plastic bags is so important, then read on –
1. Plastic bags are the most common and biggest cause of marine debris and most of the plastic in the ocean consists of plastic bags.
2. Plastic bags get consumed by fish and birds, causing them to choke and die a very painful death.
3. Plastic bags end up in landfills when not in the ocean and take many hundred years to break down.
4. When we choose to recycle, we save a lot of oil as well. To put things in perspective, recycling about 450,000 plastic bags helps save about 11 barrels of oil. Isn’t that incredible?
1. Once all this plastic reaches the recycling center, all of it is put on a conveyor belt where workers hand-pick the materials that cannot be recycled.
2. Then with the help of magnets, all the metallic impurities are taken out.
3. Then all the plastic is melted. In case of any impurities, those will be left behind.
4. The melted plastic is then dried up and chopped into pellets.
5. After another round of purification, these plastic pellets are then sent off to plastic bag manufacturing units where they can be converted into more plastic bags.
This process ensures that no new plastic is created, saving a lot of crude oil usage.
Plastic Collectors is an organization spread all over the world, working towards making sure that plastic littered everywhere reaches recycling centers. This initiative started in 2019 and has garnered a lot of support, and combats plastic pollution plaguing our planet while also rewarding those who collect the plastic by paying them money or other rewards at the collection centers. You can join the cause by becoming a collector or becoming an investor in PC tokens. Learn more about how you can help in saving the planet here.