August 06, 2017

Recycling made easy

The 7 standard classifications for plastics: 1–PET (Polyethylene Terephthalate); 2–HDPE (High-Density Polyethylene); 3–PVC (Polyvinyl Chloride); 4–LDPE (Low-Density Polyethylene); 5–PP (Polypropylene); 6–PS (Polystyrene); 7–Other (BPA, Polycarbonate and LEXAN)
The title of this blog is totally misleading... Recycling is NOT easy at all! Apart from all the rules around recycling - most of them quite fair - there are the "plastic issue". Not every plastic is recyclable, and to know which is which, you need to understand what they are!

Ok, one might say "C'mon, it's not that difficult!" Yeah, but you missed the point: why, first of all, the government allow companies to use non-recyclable material, or raw material which recycling process is costly and complicated?

Take polystyrene for example. It's widely used - from disposable drinking cups, take away food containers and foam packaging protection to rigid foam insulation and underlay sheeting for laminate flooring used in home construction - even recycling is not widely available, and despite containing styrene, a possible human carcinogen, (especially when heated in a microwave). Chemicals present in polystyrene have been linked with human health and reproductive system dysfunction.

Because it's structurally weak and ultra-lightweight, it also breaks up easily and is dispersed readily throughout the natural environment. Beaches all over the world have bits of polystyrene lapping at the shores, and an untold number of marine species have ingested this plastic with immeasurable consequences to their health.

Even the recommendation is that polystyrene should be avoided where possible, there's no regulation! It's upo to the government to impose restrictions to such materials, and force companies to use greener alternatives

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