24 May Do you work with plastic? Here are some things to know about their recycling
Our planet is now submerged by abandoned plastic, which is negatively impacting both humans and animals.
After World War II, the production and development of thousands of new plastic products accelerated, changing the modern era so profoundly that life without plastic would be unrecognizable today.
Now, thanks to all the convenient functions of plastic, a throwaway culture has developed and the dark side of the material has come out: today single-use plastic is 40% of all plastic produced every year.
Many of these products, such as plastic bags or food wrappers, last for a few minutes or a few hours inside our homes, even if they remain in the environment for hundreds of years.
The amount of plastic waste is growing dramatically and in many countries the recycling rates are very low. When plastic becomes waste it seems to become a problem for many to understand what to do with it and thus huge plastic dumps are created.
But, is all plastic recyclable?
We must assume that not all plastic is the same. The symbols that we find on packaging help us to understand the type of plastic we have, in order to better understand the properties of the material:
♻️ # 1 PET: Recyclable, not reusable many times
♻️ # 2 HDPE: Recyclable
♻️ # 3 PVC: Not recyclable in normal collections. Not all applications are recyclable
♻️ # 4 LDPE: Recyclable and reusable (not really financially worthwhile)
♻️ # 5 PP: Recyclable and reusable
♻️ # 6 PS: Recyclable you can make the filament
♻️ # 7 OTHER: Not recyclable
Plastic must also be clean in order to be recycled. The country you are in and the type of plastic could have different type of recycling process. Remember to always check the guidelines!
Which plastics are recyclable with the Felfil system?
With the Felfil System you can try to recycle plastic even at home, obtaining new filament that can be used for 3D prints.
✳️ #1 PETE OR PET: It is very difficult to transform it into a new filament. It is designed for blow molding. For this reason extruding it is complex.
⚠️ #3 PVC: Due to its potentially dangerous chemical composition, PVC is not recyclable at home.
✅ #4 LDPE: It is a potentially recyclable material, although chopping it is not easy due to the shape of the elements in which we find it, which are not always easy to treat. For this reason we recommend not to extrude this material due to the difficulties it presents.
✅ # 5 PP: Polypropylene is one of the most used plastic materials, and can easily be turned into new filament.
✅ # 6 PS: It can be recycled into filament without too much effort (in any case it is possible that particular types of polystyrene cannot be extruded).
✳️ #7 OTHER PLASTIC MATERIALS: This group includes numerous plastics; for more information on extrusion, we recommend that you visit the dedicated page on our website.
It is possible that some plastics that we have indicated show a different behavior, the quality of the extrusion also depends on many external factors, such as the temperature of the environment or the size of the granules. It is important to always pay close attention to the safety of the workplace!