After seeing a lot of plastic waste at home, do you want to try plastic recycling? This is a very good idea to reduce environmental pollution.
Moreover, plastic waste is known to be very difficult to decompose by the soil. It takes 200-500 years for plastic to completely disappear naturally. Of course, this will be very harmful to the environment.
Generally, in society, plastic waste is simply thrown into the trash, or burned. In fact, plastic burning smoke contains toxic gases such as mercury and lead. If toxic gases are trapped in the atmosphere, it will cause the risk of global warming.
That is why, everyone needs to implement more sustainable plastic recycling. How to? Check out the following discussion!
In the industrial world, there are seven kinds of plastic that can be found. Unfortunately, of the many kinds of plastic, not all can be recycled. Let's study some kinds of plastic that we encounter in our daily life.
The first type of plastic is PET, which we often encounter as mineral water bottles. It is transparent, light and strong.
Furthermore, the type of plastic is HDPE or High-density polyethylene. If you often buy food and beverage products, you may have come across them. HDPE is strong, water-resistant and moisture-resistant. That is why it is often used as packaging for dairy products, cereals, shampoo bottles or detergent bottles.
Types of PVC plastic or Polyvinyl Chloride are generally used for household appliances such as PVC pipes, PVC roofs, and children's toys. Because it is rigid, hard, and resistant to chemical exposure.
Unfortunately, PVC plastic is dangerous to health because it produces toxic substances such as lead and vinyl chloride.
The next type of plastic is Low-density polyethylene or LDPE. Unlike household plastics , LDPE is softer and more flexible. Widely used as bubble wrap, food wrap, and plastic bags.
PP or Polypropylene plastic is heat-resistant and the strongest. Therefore, it is widely used for food containers, straws, and bottle caps.
Meanwhile, types of polystyrene plastic are often used for food packaging, egg cartons, and others. Another name for polystyrene is styrofoam. It is more brittle, the color is opaque, and tends to be stiff. When burned, Polystyrene can produce toxic styrene gas which is harmful if inhaled by inhalation.
There are also several types of plastic that were not categorized in the previous 6 types of plastic. For example, mixed or combined plastics. Keep in mind that this type of plastic combination is difficult to recycle. For example, milk bottles, plastic tableware, glasses, CD/DVDs, and so on.
Let's look at some of the right methods of recycling plastic waste that can be done at home.
In Indonesia, there are actually several waste collection facilities. However, most people still mix household waste in one trash can.
It is highly recommended to separate plastic waste to facilitate the recycling of plastic waste. For example, you can buy 2 different trash cans. One for plastic waste, and the other for kitchen waste.
After the plastic waste is collected, we can hand it over to the janitor or plastic waste collector so that it can be processed to a waste processing facility.
When it arrives at the collection point, usually plastic waste will be sorted based on the resin content, color, thickness, size, and function.
By sorting out plastic waste, it will be easier to continue the plastic recycling process. This is because plastic waste that is dirty, damaged, or contaminated with other chemicals cannot be recycled.
Plastic recycling must go through a detailed cleaning and washing process. This process is to remove various types of dirt, such as oil, chemicals, paint stains, and so on.
If there are chemicals attached to the plastic recycling process, it will have an impact on processing machines and the resulting recycled products.
The next stage of plastic recycling is resizing the plastic into smaller pieces. This is done so that the process of recycling plastic waste becomes easier.
If the plastic waste is converted into smaller pieces, the processing machine will also detect metal or other substances that are not supposed to be in this stage faster.
If the resizing stage is complete, the plastic waste recycling process will proceed to the stage of separating plastic materials and other elements. Fractions of plastic waste particles will be tested to determine the quality and class classification. Furthermore, the materials will be separated and grouped according to their characteristics.
The plastic waste processing plant will then conduct tests to determine the color classification, thickness, and melting point of the plastic. In addition, plastic particles will previously be placed in a container filled with water to determine how dense they are.
After going through these various stages, the final process is recycling plastic waste. This process will melt the plastic particles according to the right category.
The melted plastic particles will produce plastic pellets. From this plastic waste recycling, plastic pellets are used to make new plastic products.
Those are the six steps of recycling plastic waste so that it becomes an item of economic value and usefulness. If plastic waste is left alone, it will continue to accumulate in the Final Disposal Site (TPA).
At home, we can also try recycling plastic waste for various crafts and useful objects. For example, piggy banks, wall hangings, flower pots, and many creative DIY plastic waste ideas that you can try. Do you have any ideas for recycling plastic waste at home?