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Know what these symbol means
04 Feb, 2020

How to Read Plastic Recycling Symbols? Environment Friendly Moving Tips

The beautiful beaches, breathtaking coastlines, and unprecedented marine life in Australia are threatened by domestic and industrial waste. According to the report of ABC News, Australian use 53 kilograms of plastic/ per person each year and only 12 per cent can be recycled. In short, the country generates a collective total of over 300 million tonnes of plastic waste, which is predicted to double by 2030 – this is undoubtedly a frightening situation.

There is no denying the fact that the versatile use of plastics in cars, clothing, packaging, home goods and much more is threatening marine life. The tonnes of plastic waste are littering our streets, choking our waterways and clogging our oceans.

However, many plastics can be recycled, but for that, you need to understand the different types of plastics by recognising their recycling symbols. The series of recycling symbols on plastic materials – a triangle with a number from 1 to 6 inside -can help you tell which type of plastic is made of and how recyclable it is. A little triangle with different numbers is collectively known as the Resin Identification Code (RIC).

But, you need to understand that not everything can be put into recycling bins. If you are moving to the new place and arranging for high-quality packing materials, then read the plastic recycling symbols before investing the money on anything related to the packing papers and bags. Make sure you take assistance from professional removalists in Newcastle for safe and sound relocation. They will help you follow environment-friendly moving tips to protect the nature from plastics, air pollution and other toxic wastes.

For more explanation on plastic recycling concept, you can find out what each symbol means with their examples.

Here is the list of some popular plastic recycling symbol:

1. PET or PETE

Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET or PETE) is one of the most common types of plastics used for single-use packaging food and drink containers such as bottled beverages, water bottles, jam containers, etc. It is lightweight, inexpensive and strong plastic, and that’s why it is in high demand by manufacturers.

Is PETE Recyclable?

PETE/PET is recyclable, but the recycling rate is relatively low (around 30 %). However, the containers and bottles made up of polyethylene terephthalate are accepted by most curbside recycling programs.

Well, these types of plastics can be recycled into tote bags, carpet, straps, polar fleece, bottles and food containers. But make sure the plastic that is being recycled meets the highest standard of purity and doesn’t contain hazardous elements.

2. HDPE (High Density Polyethylene)

This is also a common type of plastic which is used in various household products such as cleaning containers, detergent and shampoo bottles, milk jugs, trash and shopping backs, butter and yogurt tubs, motor oil bottles, juice bottles and cereal box liners.

High Density Polyethylene carries a low risk of leaching and is perfect for these types of consumer products because it is durable and lightweight.

Is HDPE Recyclable?

HDPE can easily be recycled and typically accepted in curbside recycling programs. The items made up of HDPE can be recycled into benches, fences, pens, picnic tables, oil bottles, floor tile, lumber, doghouses, drainage pipes, etc.

Tip: Make sure you rinse and dry your #2 containers for recycling.

3. V or PVC (# 3 Plastic Recycling Symbol)

V stands for vinyl and PVC for polyvinyl chloride. This type of plastic is used for piping and siding, window cleaning bottles, medical equipment, food wrap, plastic gloves, and food packaging. Since PVC is strong, durable and lightweight, it is ideal for these types of products.

IS V/PVC Recyclable?

Polyvinyl Chloride contains hazardous chemicals that can drastically harm the environment. This is one of the reasons why PVC is not accepted through curbside recycling programs. You should avoid throwing Vinyl plastics away because they are reusable and very long-lasting. However, there are some drop-off recycling centres will accept PVN products and can recycle them into mudflaps, flooring, panelling, cables, mats, roadway gutters and mats.

4. LDPE (Plastic Recycling Symbol #4)

Lowe Density Polyethylene (LDPE) is a flexible plastic used in carpets, shopping bags, furniture, squeezable bottles, frozen food packaging and clothing. It is a lightweight plastic which makes it very convenient for packing food items.

Is LDPE Recycled?

This type of plastic is difficult to recycle because it can damage the equipment used to recycle plastic. However, some LDPE shopping bags can be returned to many shopping centres for recycling. Well, some communities will accept it and recycled into compost bins, lumber, trash can liners and cans, landscaping ties and floor tile.

5. PP (Plastic Recycling Symbol #5)

Polypropylene (PP) is a flexible, lightweight and resistant to grease, moisture and chemicals. This type of plastic is found in syrup bottles, ketchup bottles, straws, yogurt containers and medicine bottles.

Is PP Recyclable?

Most curbside recycling programs accept plastic #5 once it gets rinsed and dried. So, before recycling this type of plastic, make sure you confirm this information with your service provider.

It can be recycled into battery cables, brushes, brooms, signal lights, ice scrapers, bicycle racks, bins, trays, landscape borders, etc.

6. PS (#6 Plastic Recycling Symbol)

Polystyrene is very lightweight and can easily be disposed of after one use. It is usually found in packing peanuts, egg cartons, Styrofoam, dinnerware and disposable cups. PS is cheap and can easily be produced, which makes it ideal for one-time use applications.

Is PS Renewable?

Since this type of plastic is lightweight, it isn’t very easy to recycle. So it is better not to use this plastic, especially while packing your belongings for relocation. Though it is very difficult to recycle, some communities recycle number 6 plastics into egg cartons, light switches plates, and foam packing.

Quick & Simple Eco-Friendly Moving Tips:

Here are some great environment-friendly moving tips that will help you move to the new place in much a greener way.

• Instead of buying new cardboard boxes, you can re-use old ones. You can use standard cardboard containers because they can last between 5-7 uses before the end of their lifecycle.
• Invest in plastic bins and containers for your move because they can be re-used hundreds of times. Plus, they provide an additional layer of protection to your precious belongings.
• Use eco-friendly bubble wraps and packing peanuts while packing your fragile belongings.
• Use packing materials available in your home such as baskets, laundry hampers, bed sheets, pillows, buckets, trash cans, jewellery boxes, socks, towels, blankets and much more.
• Hire the green moving company in Newcastle that uses bio-diesel for their moving trucks. Make sure the company has a fleet of new-age fuel-efficient vehicles that minimise the environmental impact.

Conclusion

Most people don’t know the meaning behind the little triangle symbol at the bottom of plastic items such as bottles, shopping bags, etc. The six types of plastic recycling symbols will help you know the grade of plastics so that you can avoid buying them that are difficult to recycle.

If you are moving to the new place, then consider using eco-friendly packing supplies and hire environmental-friendly Removalists in Newcastle to preserve the planet.