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Why can't we recycle plastic wrapping? (You can now)

  • 26-09-2019 10:13pm
    #1
    Banned (with Prison Access) Posts: 350 ✭✭ Biodegradable


    Can it not just be melted down into like rigid plastic. It's not like it's made from a different polymer!

    I mean what if I were to shove a load of plastic wrapping from biscuits into a milk bottle. They'd never know. Would they?
    Post edited by Sam Russell on


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Comments

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,328 ✭✭✭ Upforthematch


    I mean what if I were to shove a load of plastic wrapping from biscuits into a milk bottle. They'd never know. Would they?

    You rebel!


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,149 ✭✭✭ jimbobaloobob


    I think it's because most people don't wash them properly.
    If you stuffed the bottle with soft plastics there would remove it from the recycling and it would go to general waste.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,090 ✭✭✭ boombang


    Also doesn't make economic or environmental sense to recycle some materials. It's too costly and energy intensive to get some materials back to a reusable standard. Plastic came from oil under the ground. If it's buried carefully in landfill it causes little problems and can just sit there for eternity.

    Edit: why am I giving a serious answer in AH. See what BDI says about making dildos


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,257 ✭✭✭ atilladehun


    From what I understand they're like alloy plastic. Recyclable plastic is close to a pure form but the non recyclable has other ingredients.

    Some mixed plastics can be recycled but it's very expensive and the money recouped selling the output doesn't cover the cost.

    Some plastics we haven't been able to separate yet.

    Apparently if we put non recyclable in with recyclable plastic the cost of sorting removes the financial incentive of even the poor stuff.

    I know a guy who is trying to get a business up and running in the UK that will sort all plastic quickly and cheaply but the selling price of the recycled stuff is still too low.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,903 ✭✭✭ Padre_Pio


    Films are very difficult to sort.

    There's dozens of plastics, but unlike metal, plastics of different types can have near identical weighs, densities, and colours, melting points, magnetic properties, spectral absorbsion etc etc which makes sorting tough at the best of times.

    In fairness, industry doesn't really care too much about recycling. A ton of virgin plastic pellets is only a hundred euro or so. Prob much cheaper in China. No way you could collect, sort, grind and recycle old plastic for profit.
    In comparison, copper is about 5k a ton, brass about 3k and aluminium about 1.5k (very rough figures). Also, unlike say aluminium, recycled plastic is inferior to virgin plastic.

    Plastic recyclers wanted milk bottle manufacturers to stop putting blue and green lids on bottles, cause they have to be manually removed, but consumers didn't like it, so it wasn't done. Recycled plastic is of little benefit to manufacturers, besides the marketing benefit.

    The only reason we recycle is because there's nothing else we can do with the waste. Either recycle it, burn it or dump it. Best of a bad bunch.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 12,478 ✭✭✭✭ kowloon


    Some food wrapping is made of separate layers or coatings of different plastics. It can be difficult to recycle the stuff and very expensive, even if it's clean.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 5,736 ✭✭✭ Irish Guitarist


    This young man has set up a business turning plastic bags into bluetooth speakers. It doesn't look particularly environmentally friendly though. It seems to be spewing a lot of toxic chemicals into the air.



  • Registered Users Posts: 18,983 ✭✭✭✭ kneemos


    Never mind the wrapping. Most recycling material goes to landfill or to be incinerated anyway.
    Might as well burn the stuff, it's basically a low grade oil.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,466 ✭✭✭ salonfire


    Lol at people thinking their recycling bins are recycled.

    You know what the material in recycling bins is good at? Burning.

    That's why it is mostly all sent to incineration.


  • Registered Users Posts: 18,983 ✭✭✭✭ kneemos


    salonfire wrote: »
    Lol at people thinking their recycling bins are recycled.

    You know what the material in recycling bins is good at? Burning.

    That's why it is mostly all sent to incineration.


    Some use out of it if it's burned. Shipping it thousands of miles to be dumped in landfill is the real disgrace.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 25,152 ✭✭✭✭ Wanderer78


    salonfire wrote:
    That's why it is mostly all sent to incineration.


    Is this a fact or.....


  • Registered Users Posts: 18,983 ✭✭✭✭ kneemos


    Wanderer78 wrote: »
    Is this a fact or.....


    95% of it went to China until they stopped taking it a few years ago.
    God knows where it ends up now.


  • Registered Users Posts: 10,651 ✭✭✭✭ B.A._Baracus


    The whole recyclying thing is a load of balls. Not in the sense of doing it. Just when you view the bigger picture.
    Was reading that most spring water/bottled water companies just use new plastics than recycled cause it's cheaper. All about the almighty dollar as the yanks say.


  • Registered Users Posts: 25,152 ✭✭✭✭ Wanderer78


    kneemos wrote: »
    95% of it went to China until they stopped taking it a few years ago.
    God knows where it ends up now.

    do we actually have concrete facts on all these 'facts'? im not living in some utopia thinking all our recyclables are actually recycled, but....


  • Registered Users Posts: 18,983 ✭✭✭✭ kneemos


    Wanderer78 wrote: »
    do we actually have concrete facts on all these 'facts'? im not living in some utopia thinking all our recyclables are actually recycled, but....


    https://www.thejournal.ie/ireland-plastic-waste-3786393-Jan2018/?amp=1


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,857 ✭✭✭ Ragnar Lothbrok


    Threads like these really upset me!

    I've spent years now carefully separating all my rubbish and trying to convince my son to do the same (he still fecks soft plastic wrappers into the recycling bin :mad:)

    Two of the son's friends started work for a waste collection company after they left school and they used to laugh at me for going to the trouble of recycling as they assured me that not one f*ck was given by the collection company, the vast majority got thrown into the same pile.

    It still makes me feel good about myself to recycle though, even when I think about the zero effect I'm having on the environment.


  • Registered Users Posts: 18,983 ✭✭✭✭ kneemos


    Threads like these really upset me!

    I've spent years now carefully separating all my rubbish and trying to convince my son to do the same (he still fecks soft plastic wrappers into the recycling bin :mad:)

    Two of the son's friends started work for a waste collection company after they left school and they used to laugh at me for going to the trouble of recycling as they assured me that not one f*ck was given by the collection company, the vast majority got thrown into the same pile.

    It still makes me feel good about myself to recycle though, even when I think about the zero effect I'm having on the environment.


    Paper and metals have a good turnaround. A lot of plastic just isn't recyclable or not economical.

    We should by right be looking after it ourselves,not sending it abroad to end up in the environment.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,903 ✭✭✭ Padre_Pio


    kneemos wrote: »
    Paper and metals have a good turnaround. A lot of plastic just isn't recyclable or not economical.

    We should by right be looking after it ourselves,not sending it abroad to end up in the environment.

    Because it's economical.
    Recycling aluminium takes 95% less energy than producing it from its raw materials. The recycling process also
    generates only 5% of the greenhouse gas emissions.
    https://www.european-aluminium.eu/media/2275/european-aluminium-press-release-2015canrecyclingresult.pdf

    I think paper is 40% cheaper to make from recycled sources.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,900 ✭✭✭ zom


    We are unable to recycle gigantic wind turbines - so how could we manage millions of small wrappings???


  • Registered Users Posts: 4,759 ✭✭✭ Ubbquittious


    zom wrote: »
    We are unable to recycle gigantic wind turbines - so how could we manage millions of small wrappings???


    Probably regulation that is preventing that from being feasible. I'm sure the friendly traveling community could recycle them quite easily but if you're depending on the turbine operator to do it all by the book it will cost billions

    Stellantis: All the sh1t brands under one roof



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  • Registered Users Posts: 1,102 ✭✭✭ victor8600


    ....It still makes me feel good about myself to recycle though, even when I think about the zero effect I'm having on the environment.

    Try to reduce your usage of plastics. Like use a canvas bag for shopping, and choose food items with less plastic wrapping.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,903 ✭✭✭ Padre_Pio


    kneemos wrote: »
    Paper and metals have a good turnaround. A lot of plastic just isn't recyclable or not economical.

    We should by right be looking after it ourselves,not sending it abroad to end up in the environment.

    Nothing wrong with sending things abroad.
    Energy intensive metal recycling is done in Iceland, where geothermal power means electricity is almost free.

    Sending it abroad to be dumped is a different story.
    Until there's cash in recycling, nothing will be done.


  • Banned (with Prison Access) Posts: 350 ✭✭ Biodegradable


    kneemos wrote: »
    We should by right be looking after it ourselves,not sending it abroad to end up in the environment.
    You mean to end up in recycling plants abroad? Or do the Chinese just dump it in the sea?


  • Registered Users Posts: 18,983 ✭✭✭✭ kneemos


    You mean to end up in recycling plants abroad? Or do the Chinese just dump it in the sea?


    A lot of it does get incinerated here and used in cement plants apparently.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,466 ✭✭✭ salonfire


    kneemos wrote: »
    A lot of it does get incinerated here and used in cement plants apparently.

    Much of what exported from here goes to Sweden who are desperate for fuel for their incinerators to keep the lights on.


  • Banned (with Prison Access) Posts: 350 ✭✭ Biodegradable


    salonfire wrote: »
    Lol at people thinking their recycling bins are recycled.

    You know what the material in recycling bins is good at? Burning.

    That's why it is mostly all sent to incineration.
    I wouldn't be surprised something like 20% of material in recycling bins isn't supposed to be there. But it's always difficult to get a straight answer about this sort of stuff. How did you hear that for example?


  • Banned (with Prison Access) Posts: 350 ✭✭ Biodegradable


    Padre_Pio wrote: »
    Plastic recyclers wanted milk bottle manufacturers to stop putting blue and green lids on bottles, cause they have to be manually removed, but consumers didn't like it, so it wasn't done.
    If it were done for all brands of milk then the customer couldn't choose. We need a dictator to make it law!


  • Registered Users Posts: 24,449 ✭✭✭✭ Alf Veedersane


    kneemos wrote: »
    We should by right be looking after it ourselves,not sending it abroad to end up in the environment.
    You mean to end up in recycling plants abroad? Or do the Chinese just dump it in the sea?

    China doesn't accept plastics from Ireland anymore.


  • Banned (with Prison Access) Posts: 350 ✭✭ Biodegradable


    kneemos wrote: »
    A lot of it does get incinerated here and used in cement plants apparently.
    Cement plants? How does that work? Do they grind it up and mix it cement so that the end result is a 1 in 20 mixture of plastic?


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  • Registered Users Posts: 18,983 ✭✭✭✭ kneemos


    Cement plants? How does that work? Do they grind it up and mix it cement so that the end result is a 1 in 20 mixture of plastic?

    There's a kiln involved in the process somehow.


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