Protecting the environment should be a priority for everyone and one of the easiest ways to do this is by recycling plastic. This will allow plastic items to get taken to a facility where they can be broken down and turned into a new product, reducing the number of new plastics that need to be produced.
Why Recycle Plastics?
One of the biggest benefits in recycling is the ability to reduce the number of plastics that end up in the environment. These can do a lot of damage. We’ve all heard the heartbreaking stories of turtles that mistake a plastic bag for a jellyfish. Once swallowed these bags can block the airways of the turtle. However, there are other ways that plastics can damage the environment. For example, this waste will need to break down.
In landfill, it can take up to 1,000 years before it can decompose properly. In some cases, the plastic might not break down at all, simply fracturing into smaller and smaller pieces. In the ocean, these can collect in massive vortexes, known at the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. These giant islands don’t account for the bigger pieces of plastics which sink to the bottom of the ocean. One of the best ways to prevent these environmental impacts is by disposing of plastics more efficiently.
There are several different types of plastic. For example, you have PET bottles, these often contain soft drinks. Another common type of plastic is HPDE. This is most commonly used for materials like milk and shampoo. You might also notice PP products, which are things like ice cream containers.
Trying to tell these plastic items apart can be very confusing. To make it easier, the government developed a system. Most plastic items will have a triangle on them, with a number in the middle. As a general rule, items that are marked with a 1,2 or 3 can be recycled. Whether or not the other numbers will be accepted depends on the local council regulations. You should be able to find this information on their website.
The Recycling System
For many people, the recycling system can be very confusing. Because of this, they might not be following the correct procedures when recycling their products. To make this simpler, here are a few of the dos and don’ts you should be following. First, you should think about the type of plastic that you are recycling in the yellow bin. Not all plastics can be recycled and make sure you don’t put junk in the bins. As a general rule, councils will be able to deal with harder plastics like soft drink bottles and ice cream containers. Some softer products, like plastic bags and product packaging, might not be accepted. But you should check the local regulations for pick-up.
Just because you can’t put something in the recycling wheelie bin, doesn’t mean it can’t be recycled. If not, there are a range of programs for you to explore. A common example is the REDcycle program, which lets you recycle plastic bags. You can find a REDcycle bin in most supermarkets.
Finally, the biggest thing you should avoid is throwing potentially recyclable items away or putting them into the general waste bin. This can have a lot of environmental consequences.
Many people are seeking to find a way to improve the environment. Something as simple as changing the way that you deal and clean-up plastic rubbish can have a big impact. Some of the common questions we come across include:
Can Plastics be Put in the Yellow Recycling Bin?
Let’s start by answering one of the most questions, what type of plastics can you put into the yellow recycling bin? As we mentioned, items marked with a 1,2, or 3 will be safe to put into the bin. This can include things like plastic bottles and containers. It can also include things like plastic plant pots. However, there are a few plastic items that the council won’t accept in their rubbish removal program. For example, many plastic councils won’t be able to recycle thinner plastic trays, like the ones that you find on meat products. Most people know that plastic bottles, like the ones from soft drinks or milk, can be recycled. But, before you add them to your wheelie bin rubbish, make sure to remove the lid, as these might explode in the plant. Any time you run into something that you aren’t sure about, make sure to check your councils’ guidelines.
What About The Plastics That Can’t Go In The Yellow Bin?
As a general rule, all types of plastics can be recycled. But some will be more difficult to recycle than others. For example, some plastics can be placed into the yellow recycling bin. Others might need to be taken to a more specialised location. For example, you might need to take bags into a REDcycle, often found in your local supermarket. Another common recycling program is TerraCycle, which you can use to recycle bathroom products like toothpaste tubes and floss containers. The best way to find these recycling opportunities is by researching online. You might also want to try contacting your local council and getting more information.
Can Plastic Cutlery be Recycled?
An item that can cause a lot of concern is the plastic cutlery. Often, these are disposable items that are designed to be used at parties and other events. As a general rule, you won’t be able to put these items into your yellow recycling bin. Because of their irregular shape, they might block the recycling plant and are hard to sort out. Because of this, you will need to place them into the general waste. For this reason, it’s recommended that you avoid this type of cutlery altogether.
Can you Recycle Disposable Coffee Cups?
The materials used to create disposable coffee cups mean that you won’t be able to recycle them. Oddly, though, you might be able to recycle the lids, as long as they’re clean. You should check the rubbish removal Sydney guidelines for your local council. Some places might allow the lids in the curbside collection while others won’t. Generally, though, you should avoid the disposable cups. A more environmentally friendly response should be to get a re-usable Keep Cup.
Can Plastic Bags be Recycled?
Another item that can cause a lot of confusion is plastic bags, such as shopping bags and food packaging. In most cases, you won’t be able to put these into the yellow recycling bins. Because they are light, they can be difficult to remove at the plant. They also have the potential to get stuck in the machinery. To dispose of these, collect them up in a plastic bag and take them to REDcycle. These can be found in most supermarkets.
Is it Illegal to Dump Plastic Products?
Recycling is a great way to care for the planet. It’s illegal to dump plastic. These offenses can often carry some serious penalties. How severe the penalty is will depend on where you live and how much rubbish you dumped. For example, in New South Wales, individuals can be fined up to $1 million, or face 7 years in prison, if it’s determined that they were trying to willfully damage the environment. For less serious cases, you might face a $750 spot fine for littering.
Contact Cheapest Load of Rubbish
The team at Cheapest Load of Rubbish are well versed in plastic rubbish removal. Our team are available whenever you need us. Just give us a call and we will be able to provide you with a free quote, same day and last minute rubbish removals (available whenever possible).