Customers rely on Laszeray Technology for custom plastic casting and other injection molding services. Plastic recycling has a broader impact on the general population. It has become commonplace in most communities, but not everyone knows what plastics to recycle and which ones to dispose of in the trash. The truth is that not all plastic is recyclable, and not all plastics are the same.
Thermoplastic vs. Thermoset Plastic
There are two types of plastics:
- Thermoplastics: Plastic materials that can be used and then re-melted and re-molded. They’re created with pellets that soften when heated but don’t chemically bond, so they can be recycled and retain the same physical properties. In addition, they’re high-strength, bendable, and shrink-resistant.
- Thermoset Plastics: These consist of cross-linked polymers that are permanently bonded, preventing the material from melting in heat. These plastics cannot be re-formed into a new material and thus cannot be recycled. However, they’re suited for appliances and electronics due to high structural integrity and heat- and chemical-resistance.
Items You Can Recycle
Items that can be thrown into the recycling bin are generally those made of PET or polyethylene terephthalate, a clear, strong plastic. The American Chemistry Council (ACC) has designated this material with Resin Code 1 (out of seven). These are clear, smooth, and heat-resistant and include:
- Bottles for water, juice, sports drinks, and mouthwash, etc.
- Food jars for jelly, peanut butter, pickles, etc.
- Microwavable food trays.
- Large plastic jugs.
- Tubs and other containers with caps.
In addition, some content in tote bags; fleece jackets; and plastic film, sheet, and strapping can be recycled. If plastic recycling is available in your community, check with local regulations as to what plastic packaging resin codes are accepted. Examples include Code 2 (High-Density Polyethylene), Code 3 (Polyvinyl Chloride), and Code 6 (Polystyrene). Code 7 is reserved for resins not specified in the ACC’s Plastic Packaging Resins guide.
Plastics Not to Recycle
You cannot recycle any plastic that is dirty, even due to food residue. However, many plastic materials can be washed before being put in the recycling bin. Due to their composition and properties, do not recycle:
- Plastic bags
- Plastic wrap (i.e., bubble wrap, sandwich bags)
- Plastic cups with a wax coating
- Containers with mixed materials (coffee cups)
- Takeout containers and cups made of polystyrene foam
- Packing peanuts
- Plastic toys/buckets
- Small items, including straws, paperclips, bottle caps, and others that can’t be sorted and/or can jam recycling machinery
Custom Injection Molding
Laszeray Technology offers plastic injection molding services for a variety of clients and applications. Whether using new or recycled materials, we can provide CNC production machining, injection mold tool design and manufacturing, rapid prototyping, and other services, as well as a variety of secondary and finishing operations. Our final products are high-quality and used in the oil and gas, medical device, aerospace, military, commercial, and consumer industries.
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