Paper waste accounts for around 40% of municipal solid waste (MSW), making it the most commonly discarded item. Although paper waste is biodegradable, recycling improves the urban solid waste management scheme. Paper recycling is a straightforward procedure for recovering waste paper from municipal solid waste and turning it into fresh paper items.
Pre-Consumer Waste & Post Consumer Waste
A material that is not generated in a paper mill is known as pre-consumer waste. It is a form of waste that has been discarded before it is suitable for commercial use. Old corrugated containers (OCC), old books, old newspapers (ONP), and other post-consumer waste materials are examples of post-consumer waste.
Newspapers, shredded sheets, phonebooks, cardboard, magazines, computer paper, envelopes, junk mail, and construction paper are all recyclable paper materials.
Millions of new paper items are made from recycled cardboard and other paper products, such as egg cartons, tissue, toilet paper, newspaper, paper bags, notebooks, stamps, business cards, and calendars.
Paper recycling has its own set of limits. Paper can contain a wide range of inorganic and organic constituents, including up to 10,000 separate chemicals, which could contaminate newly produced paper products. As an example, Bisphenol (a chemical typically used in thermal paper) has been identified as a contaminant in many recycled paper materials, for example. While several steps (e.g., improved decontamination, optimized paper collection for recycling) can minimize the chemical load of paper recycling, even entirely ceasing the use of a chemical (phase-out) can still result in its distribution in the paper cycle for decades.
There are 5 basic paper grade categories:
- Old Corrugated Containers(boxing and packaging)
- Mix Paper(phone books, magazines)
- Old Newspapers
- De-inked Paper(envelopes, letterheads)
- Pulp substitutes(discarded scraps from mills)
- Steps To Recycle Paper
- Paper from the bin is collected and placed in a big recycling container of paper from other recycling bins.
- The paper is taken to a recycling facility and classified into different types and grades.
- To strip inks, plastic tape, staples, and glue, the separated paper is washed in soapy water. The paper is placed in a large container and combined with water to form a slurry.
- Different paper items, such as cardboard, newsprints, and office paper, can be made by adding different materials to the slurry.
- Large rollers are used to scatter the slurry into large, thin sheets.
- After drying, the paper is folded up and ready to be sliced and taken to the stores.
The method of recovering waste or scrap plastic and reprocessing the materials into usable and valuable items is known as plastic recycling. The plastic recycling process is the term for this activity. Plastic recycling aims to minimize high levels of plastic waste while reducing the need for virgin materials to make new plastic items. This method conserves money and keeps plastic out of landfills and unintended places like the ocean.
The Need For Recycling Plastic
Plastics are a long-lasting, lightweight, and low-cost material. They can be easily moulded into a variety of items that can be used in a variety of applications. Plastics are produced by over 420 million tones per year all over the world. 1 As a result, the reuse, recovery, and recycling of plastics are important.
Recyclable Plastics :
6 common types of plastics:
Here are some typical products you will find for each plastic:
- PS (Polystyrene)
- Foam hot drink cups
- Plastic cutlery
- PP (Polypropylene)
- Take-out food containers
- Ice cream containers
- LDPE (Low-density polyethene)
- Garbage bins
- PVC (Plasticised Polyvinyl chloride or polyvinyl chloride)
- Squeeze bottles
- HDPE (High-density polyethene)
- Shampoo containers
- Milk bottles
- PET (Polyethylene terephthalate)
- Fruit juice
- Soft drink bottles
Only PET, HDPE, and PVC plastic materials are currently recyclable by curbside recycling services. PS, PP, and LDPE are normally not recycled because processing these plastics are more complex and costly. 2 Lids and bottle tops are also not recyclable. When it comes to plastic recycling, the dilemma of “to recycle or not to recycle” is a significant one. Any forms of plastic aren’t recycled because it’s not cost-effective to do so.
Plastic Recycling Process
The specific methods differ depending on the plastic resin or the form of the plastic component.
The following two-step procedure is used by the majority of plastic recycling facilities:
Step 1: Sorting plastics, either automatically or manually, to ensure that all pollutants are separated from the waste stream.
Step 2: Melting down plastics directly into a new form or shredding plastics into flakes and melting them down before being refined into granulates.
End-of-life plastic management is impossible without recycling. Increased public awareness and the efficiency of recycling activities have resulted in higher recycling rates. Continuous investment in research and development would help to improve operational performance.
More post-consumer plastic materials and containers will be recycled, which would increase recycling and remove more end-of-life plastic waste from landfills. Industry and policymakers will also aid in the promotion of recycling by encouraging or incentivizing the use of recycled resin rather than virgin plastics.
Let’s start with what we know: We have a plastic problem of global proportions.
In 2020, it was determined that only about 9 percent of all plastic ever made has been Tekopapergroup—a number that’s horrified scientists, and anyone else who has been watching the drama of plastic waste play out on our environment.
It’s the kind of staggering statistic that encourages one to prioritize plastic recycling in order to boost the percentage for the future of the planet.
But recycling plastic is not as cut-and-dried a solution as it may seem. There are many reasons plastic doesn’t get recycled, from market-driven ones (one study2 found that it’s often not profitable enough to make new products from used plastic) to consumer-driven rationales (for example, not knowing which recycling bin is the right one for a used container).
Plastic Priorities: Which is Which?
Regardless of the reason, education is one of the keys to making any desired change. Understanding and learning to identify different types and classifications of plastics used in everyday items, along with which are appropriate for recycling, is a starting point.
We’ve written in depth about the state of plastic recycling, here and abroad. Perhaps you’ve personalized the problem and wondered which types of plastics you can recycle at home and at your place of business. Today, we’re here with our definitive guide to plastics recycling.
All plastics have one of seven codes stamped somewhere: three consecutive arrows in a triangular-shaped symbol, with a number at the center (used to identify the type of plastic used) and two to five letters beneath (the classification).
First, let’s look at the types of plastics that can be recycled:
#1: PET (Polyethylene Terphthalate)
- Types of products: Mostly water bottles and soda bottles
- How much is currently recycled in the U.S.: 25%
- Recycled into: Bottles, fiber for clothing, and carpets
#2: HDPE (High Density Polyethylene)
- Types of products: Milk jugs, laundry detergent bottles, some plastic bags and toys
- How much is currently recycled in the U.S.: 30-35%
- Recycled into: Park benches, picnic tables, wastebaskets, and other durable products
These plastic classifications can be recycled, but only in some locations:
#3: LDPE (Low Density Polyethylene)
- Types of products: Grocery and bread bags, squeeze bottles, garment bags, shrink wrap
- Why it’s not commonly recycled: Many municipalities or recycling programs aren’t equipped to handle LDPE.
- Recycled into: Floor tiles, plastic lumber, garbage can liners
#4: PP (Polypropylene)
- Types of products: Plastic bags in cereal boxes, yogurt containers, packing tape, straws, plastic bottle tops
- Why it’s not commonly recycled: While it’s becoming more common to recycle PP, it’s still not widely accepted by many recycling programs.
- Recycled into: Brooms, bins, trays
#5: PS (Polystyrene)
- Types of products: Clamshell food containers, styrofoam cups, egg cartons, foam peanuts, plastic utensils
- Why it’s not commonly recycled: There’s not much market for it, so most winds up in landfills.
These plastic classifications are not recyclable:
#6: PVC (Polyvinyl Chloride)
- Types of products: Cooking oil bottles, plastic food wrap, toys, blister packaging, as well as window frames, garden hoses and other outdoor items
- Why it can’t be recycled: PVC leaches numerous toxins throughout its life cycle.
#7: Other (BPA, Polycarbonate and LEXAN)
- Types of products: Food containers, baby bottles, plastic cups, car parts
- Why it can’t be recycled: BPA has the potential to leach into food and drink. If coded PLA, it’s a polycarbonate-replacement that’s compostable and should be tossed into the compost pile rather than recycled.
At Recycle 1, we want to be part of the solution—not just in our homes and individual lives, but by helping businesses convert to zero waste where possible. Our plastic extrusion machine is just one way we’re doing that. It allows us to process many types of scrap plastic into a usable, raw material rather than sending it overseas. If you need help creating a plastic or recycling strategy for your business, contact us to learn more.
Looking for means to save the planet earth? Well, you can do so by recycling waste paper. I know it’s a bit hard to digest but according to University of South Indiana its possible. As per their official website, 2000 pounds of recycled paper can help in saving 17 trees, which means more Oxygen.
In addition to the 17 trees, 2 ton of recycled paper can save 380 gallons of oil, 4000kW of energy, 7000 Gallons of Water & 3 cubic yards of landfill space. Isn’t it amazing? After reading all these facts, you might want to begin recycling waste paper straightaway but let me ask you a question- do you know how to do it? Most people will reply with a big NO. Well, then here in this post, I will provide easiest method to waste paper recycle.
What you’ll need?
- Before proceeding to do waste paper recycling process, here’s a checklist of items you need:
- Waste Paper.
- A blender or food processor.
- Old picture frame.
- Cloth or Sponge.
- Mesh or Screen.
- A rectangular bin.
- Decorations such as confetti, seeds or dried flowers (Optional).
How to do waste paper recycle?
1. First of all, tear the paper into small pieces, &place into a food processor with Luke warm water. Continue blending until you get a fairly smooth pulp from the mixture.
2. Use staples, duck tapes or any other method to attach your screen with your frame. Make sure the screen is stuck to the edges of the frame.
3. Take out the earlier made pulp & put it into bin or pan, then, drop away the mold into the water mixture. Now, pulp will cover the entire screen after you pull the mold upwards. It’s time for you to add some decorations like seeds, confetti or dried flowers. After adding some decorations, make sure to add a little bit more pulp on them.
4. Take out excess water by using either a cloth or sponge. Now, all you have to do is wait for the paper to dry out on the screen for a day or so.
That’s how you can help save the planet. All you have to do is meet an easy checklist & start recycling waste paper. Now, I will conclude the post by urging you to share the post so more people get to know “How to do Waste Paper Recycle.”