A lot of the problems consumers have with recycling is the lack of readily available detailed information. This is particular with the various types of plastic.
Information is out there but often you may need to spend some time trying to find it. Many will avoid this inconvenience and recycle the item improperly or simply chuck it into the garbage. This is not how it should be.
Considering that all the junk we take into our possession has arrived because of information that is constantly blasted at us, it's not a level playing field. We should be receiving a steady stream of pertinent, persuasive how-to information about recycling. And the marketing of products that have a negative affect on our lives and the world should be reduced and controlled.
I just assembled a cabinet purchased at Ikea and was happy to see that the little plastic bags containing hardware had recycling numbers printed on them. It's absolutely necessary that all used consumer plastics have a destination and that we are kept totally informed on disposing of them wisely. Detailed lists should be available and distributed locally.
Some useful information on recycling plastic:
Consumers can find out which plastics are accepted in their local area and how to recycle, prepare and transfer them by contacting their local recycling hauler (usually the local city or county solid waste or public works department, or a private company). Generally, paper labels do not need to be removed from plastic bottles or containers, but lids should be thrown away because they typically are made from a type of plastic that is not recyclable. Plastic bottles and containers must be rinsed, squashed, and placed in recycle bins for collection. Plastic grocery bags are often accepted by stores in recycling containers placed near the entranceways.
Plastic Identification Codes
|Plastic Identification Code||Type of plastic polymer||Properties||Common Packaging Applications|
| ||Polyethylene Terephthalate |
|Clarity, strength, toughness, barrier to gas and moisture.||Soft drink, water and salad dressing bottles; peanut butter and jam jars|
| ||High Density Polyethylene |
|Stiffness, strength, toughness, resistance to moisture, permeability to gas.||Milk, juice and water bottles; yogurt and margarine tubs; trash and retail bags.|
| ||Polyvinyl Chloride (V)||Versatility, clarity, ease of blending, strength, toughness.||Juice bottles; cling films|
| ||Low Density Polyethylene |
|Ease of processing, strength, toughness, flexibility, ease of sealing, barrier to moisture.||Frozen food bags; squeezable bottles, e.g. honey, mustard; cling films; flexible container lids.|
| ||Polypropylene |
|Strength, toughness, resistance to heat, chemicals, grease and oil, versatile, barrier to moisture.||Reusable microwaveable ware; kitchenware; yogurt containers; margarine tubs; microwaveable disposable take-away containers; disposable cups and plates.|
| ||Polystyrene |
|Versatility, clarity, easily formed||Egg cartons; disposable cups, plates, trays and cutlery; disposable take-away containers; yogurt and margarine containers|
| ||Other||Dependent on polymers or combination or polymers.||Beverage bottles; baby milk bottles.|
Read more on Plastic Recycling at Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.