Plastic containers are one of the go-to products for most of us to store food. However, it’s always the reason for arguing between many whether to store food in plastic containers. Using plastic, be it bags, bottles, or boxes, and the fact that it degrades slowly which pollutes the environment.
In this article, we’ll show you how to recycle plastic food containers.
Difference Between Recyclable and Non-Recyclable Plastics
Recycling plastic containers is a great way of reusing plastic, however, not all plastics can be recycled. Plastic manufacturers usually code their plastics by using a number.
They print the number in the container to identify the type of material used to make the container. The codes signify whether they are resistant to heat, therefore unrecyclable, or heat friendly, being recyclable.
These numbers, usually enclosed in a triangle, help us to know whether or not the plastic container can be recycled. The numbers are 1, 2, 3, and so on up to 7. Usually, the containers with numbers 1 and 2 can be recycled. And the rest are termed unrecyclable.
How To Recycle Plastic Containers
First, you have to make sure that got the right plastic container that can be recyclable or if you are planning to purchase a new one then check before purchase.
You can easily check the containers before buying them – whether they are number 1 or number 2 or number 7, and steer clear of the ones that can’t be recycled.
Make The Plastic Ready To Recycle
Open the containers and give them a quick wash. This is important to remove any contaminants from the plastic. Any plastic with food material sticking to it can’t be recycled and just gets thrown away. So you need to wash the container before giving it for recycling.
This is to maintain the quality of the plastic so that it has a chance of competing with the new plastics in the market. Further, plastic containers with food material sticking to it are thrown away into the trash, since the recycling facilities can’t restore the quality they had before, and thus recycling it would be of no use.
Each time we recycle a piece of plastic, its quality falls down a little. So, we have to remember that plastic can only be recycled twice or thrice before its quality falls so much that it can’t be recycled anymore. Maintaining quality is important.
Check What You Can Recycle
If you have any local recycling authorities then ask them about the lids of the containers. Many recycling programs want the lids as well, whereas other programs want the containers only. In that case, you have to throw away the lids and give the containers for recycling.
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Place Right Plastic In the Right Place
Remember to throw away the straws, coffee cups, keyboards, aluminum foils, plastic bags, spoons, and forks in the garbage. These products cannot be recycled. If you have compostable plastics, give them away for industrial uses.
The Bottom Line
Sometimes we just want to throw plastics in the trash. However, getting the plastic recycled puts less pressure on the ecosystems, the environment and ultimately helps to reduce pollution. So get those plastic food containers to the recycling bin and do your part to save nature.