3 things people get wrong about recycled plastic products
January 24, 2022 at 5:00 AM
Differently-colored bins for storing different types of recyclables.

When it comes to recycled plastic products, some common misconceptions have become widely-accepted realities by many people.

The biggest benefits of recycling plastics can only be realized when consumers are sufficiently informed about the environmental impact of their purchasing and disposal practices. That doesn’t just mean you need to recycle more; it means you need to take a closer look at the way you recycle your plastic waste.

In this blog post, we’re going to tackle a few of the more commonly-held “truths” about recycled plastic products head-on, helping you distinguish what’s fact and what’s fiction and improve your environmental footprint.

#1: All plastic products can be recycled

While many forms of plastic waste are recyclable to varying degrees, only a limited number of plastic materials are reused to create new products in reality.

Most local regions publicly notify residents which materials to put out to the curb and how to sort them, but many people may still be unaware of how exactly they’re supposed to dispose of their plastic scrap.

Generally, materials are categorized by number. We’ve covered the full standard list of recyclable plastics before on our blog, but to reiterate, they include:

  1. Polyethylene terephthalate (PET)
  2. High-density polyethylene (HDPE)
  3. Polyvinyl chloride (PVC)
  4. Low-density polyethylene (LDPE)
  5. Polypropylene (PP)
  6. Polystyrene (PS)
  7. Other plastic materials

Most plastic products incorporating recycled materials use PET or HDPE. Other forms of plastic, like polyethylene foam, are also 100% curbside recyclable and usable in certain types of products.

This isn’t just essential information for residential waste disposal. Manufacturers should also keep this in mind when it comes to buying or selling recyclable plastics.

#2: Recycled plastic products are weaker and flimsier

Most modern plastic products are manufactured with a high degree of quality. Packaging and containers made from recycled plastic materials, for example, are approved by the Food and Drug Administration for consumer usage.

Returning to the example of polyethylene foam, this material also stands as an excellent example of a strong, durable recycled material. As we’ve written in a prior blog post, it’s shock-resistant, making it a great fit for everything from furniture to shipment packaging.

#3: Recyclable plastic products can be recycled repeatedly

Unfortunately, this myth doesn’t hold much weight. Most recyclable plastics, in fact, can only be reused one or two times before they degrade beyond the point of viability.

There are a couple of counter-points to this unfortunate reality, however. For one thing, materials like PET aren’t just used in disposable products like water bottles. PET is frequently used in clothing, construction parts, and containers intended for long-term usage.

While this doesn’t necessarily mean the material used for these items will never contribute to environmental plastic pollution, it’s likely to be a much longer time before they do.

Additionally, certain newly-developed plastic materials may soon make this misconception into a reality by introducing the benefit of potentially infinite recyclability. Innovations like this make now an excellent time to enter the market for recyclable plastic products and introduce environmentally-friendly practices into the manufacturing process.

Experience the real benefits of recycling with Becher Plastics

While many ideas surrounding recyclable plastics may not hold much water, there’s plenty of truth to the benefits these materials hold for natural resource conservation and product brands.

At Becher Plastics, we aim to do our part for the Fox Valley community by buying, selling, and producing recycled plastics for local businesses. For a state as recycling-friendly as Wisconsin, the future looks bright, and we’re ready to help you take advantage of the many possibilities recycling plastics brings. To learn more about us and how we can help you, contact us now.