• What Is Recycled Plastic Used For?

Waste Management

What Is Recycled Plastic Used For?

Oct 28 2021

The human race has developed quite a problematic habit with plastic. The substance is present in almost everything we use on a daily basis today, while a depressingly small percentage of it is recycled. The majority ends up in landfills or infiltrates our seas and oceans, where it can break down into potentially dangerous microplastics and persist in the environment for decades or longer.

In fact, plastic pollution now reaches almost every part of the planet and detrimentally impacts the animal population, which swallows or becomes entangled in our waste. As such, it’s vital that we follow the lead of climate scientists and reduce our consumption of plastic as much as possible by reusing items where we can and recycling them where we can’t. But what items are constructed from recycled plastics? Here are five of the most commonly recycled plastic products and the purposes to which they are put.

Plastic bottles

Single-use bottles containing water, fizzy drinks and other beverages are among the most commonly discarded plastic items in the world. However, they’re also among the easiest to recycle, so you should always ensure that you dispose of them responsibly. After recycling, they’re used to make other plastic bottles, as well as insulation for sleeping bags, textiles for upholstery and even clothing. However, a better solution is to simply buy a reusable water bottle and fill it up every time you’re thirsty.

Bottle caps

While the body of plastic bottles consumes most of our attention, the small caps which keep their contents secure are sometimes neglected. These items are made of a harder and less pliable plastic than the bottles themselves, which makes them suitable for creating other items. These can be used to make storage containers, bags for life, yarn, rope, gardening tools and even car batteries! Of course, they’re also often converted into new bottle caps, as well.

Plastic packaging

Thin plastics, such as those which are used to make plastic bags and packaging for food or other products, are often neglected by eco-conscious citizens, since they can appear too flimsy to be useful. However, they are among the most commonly used plastic items, so it’s important to ensure they’re not simply discarded. After being converted into plastic lumber, they can be used to make benches, fences and other furniture… as well as more plastic bags.

Plastic containers

Containers which are used to store cosmetics, food and other products are made from a stronger type of plastic than bottles, which means they’re suitable for fashioning into different kinds of items. For example, they can be commonly used to make milk containers or margarine tubs, or else converted into plastic lumber like the packaging mentioned above. In this state, they’re easily manufactured into plastic furniture, dustbins and the suchlike.

Plastic foam

Have you ever bought fragile items that had to be delivered by mail? These often arrive with a large amount of foam padding inside them to prevent the items from being damaged in transit. Made from a specific type of plastic, this foam can be recycled into insulation materials or other usable commodities, like plastic picture frames and ornaments. Of course, they can also simply be reused as foam packaging once more.


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