Balers are used to minimize waste and condense recyclable materials into dense, easier to transport bales for recycling. Materials that are commonly baled include aluminum, cardboard, paper, non-ferrous metals and all types of plastics.
Why Plastic Recycling?
Recycling plastics is important because we are consuming more. According to the Beverage Marketing Corp, the average American consumed 1.6 gallons of bottled water in 1976. In 2006, that number jumped to 28.3 gallons.
Recycling of plastic bottles has grown. According to Earth911, more than 2.4 billion pounds of plastic bottles were recycled in 2008. Although the amount of plastic bottles recycled in the U.S. has grown every year since 1990, the actual recycling rate remains steady at around 27 percent.
For people who want to make a business in recycling, plastic recycling has potential. Earth911 states that in recent years, the number of U.S. plastics recycling business has nearly tripled. More than 1,600 businesses are involved in recycling post-consumer plastics. Since the cost of manufacturing plastic from scratch is more expensive than the cost of recycling plastic for re-use, recycling plastic into bales can be profitable.
Types of Recyclable Plastics
Harmony Enterprises manufactures both vertical and horizontal balers for baling all types of plastics. Plastics are labeled with a coded number of one through seven, typically located on the bottom of the package. But even an avid recycler may be surprised to see some of the items that are recyclable that they may have not realized.
#1 PET (Polyethylene terephthalate) Includes soda bottles, water bottles, oven-ready food trays.
#2 HDPE (High-density polyethylene) Includes containers from dairy products like milk jugs, yogurt and cottage cheese. Other items in this code include cereal box liners, and grocery and trash bags.
#3 PVC (Polyvinyl chloride) Includes plastic food wrap, loose leaf binders, and vegetable oil bottles.
#4 LDPE (Low-density polyethylene) Includes squeezable bottles such as mustard and honey, and plastic bags such as bread bags, frozen food bags and dry cleaner bags.
#5 PP (Polypropylene) Includes drinking straws, caps to aerosol products, medicine bottles.
#6 PS (Polystyrene) Includes plastic egg cartons, foam peanuts, plastic tableware, compact disc jackets.
#7 (Other Plastics) Includes other plastics that can be recycled such as Tupperware and other plastic food containers, larger reusable water jugs and others.
Whether you are learning more about plastic recycling for your home, business, or municipality, learn all you can. Not all areas and recycling centers accept all of the 1-7 plastic codes yet, but many do and are continually expanding. Inquire into what is available in your area or your workplace to recycle as much as you can. Contact Harmony Enterprises to find out which baler best suits your plastic recycling needs.
Do you recycle plastics at your home or workplace? Are there any recyclable items on the list above that surprise you?