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30

I would like to know if it is possible to recycle plastic at home by melting and molding. Yes it is possible. One guy makes chairs out of melted plastic. There are several guides on melting plastic that show up when you search google for it. This one, on ehow shows how to melt plastic in a toaster oven. Basically, wash the bottles, cut 'em into small ...


16

To contribute to the options offered by Elssar's answer, here is an interesting thing I read about just a few days ago: Filabot is a project of compact 3D printer that directly recycles plastic objects at home to create new shapes. It was launched for funding on the 19th of December 2011 on Kickstarter and tripled its goal by the 23rd of January 2012. Here ...


15

From e.g. the Severnwaste recycling company (UK): Plastic items are sorted by optical scanners which use the reflection of light to identify the types of plastics. Black plastic doesn’t reflect light, so can not be seen and sorted by the scanners and could end up contaminating other materials such as glass bottles. Microwave food trays which are normally ...


14

The cheapest reusable bags round here are made of the same plastic as disposable bags. In this case the number of uses required is simply the ratio of the weights. Without getting the scales out I think this is around 10-20 times. They're also bigger so that's not even 10-20 shopping trips unless you only ever buy a little. I know I've had a few hundred uses ...


12

The mantra of sustainability is Reduce Reuse Recycle i.e. Reduce what you use, reuse what you can, recycle what you can't. This order is important, recycling should always be the last resort. It sounds like you are being sensible when you wash the bags for re-use, since you are only using water, energy and detergents which were left over after other ...


12

I see two main aspects to the answer. First, for a disposable object it's better to use a biodegradable plastic than one that is effectively permanent so that after the disposable object is used it doesn't stick around. That's true even if the biodegradable plastic is made from equally unsustainable materials. Our seas are already full of disposable ...


11

Most non-biodegradable plastic bags are made of Polyethylene (PE) and often have a marking or logo like this: There may also be a marking that say 'PE', 'PE-HD', 'LDPE' or 'PE-LD' Bags that are biodegradable usually have a logo on it containing the words 'biodegradable' and/or 'compostable', e.g. something like this: Note that there is 1 controversial ...


10

The biggest downside is that it is still a consumable; a nontrivial amount of energy needs to go into growing and harvesting the corn, shipping it to the manufacturer, producing the cup, shipping the end product to a retailer, and then getting it to the consumer. With respect to composting, I don't know specifically about this brand, but I have heard that ...


10

Even when melted/burned in a place with lots of ventilation, plastics can produce many toxic chemicals. These are then breathed in or attach themselves to soil, where they can stay for years and years. Therefore, I really wouldn't suggest trying to reuse plastics at home by melting or heating them, as the health implications can be really dangerous and ...


10

It is certainly preferable to recycling, since you can always recycle when you are done. I think the simple answer is that generally repurposing something and using what would otherwise be discarded (recycled or sent to a land fill) is usually good practice, particularly if it does not interfere with recycling later. There may be exceptions but generally ...


10

Some countries have introduced a tax on plastic shopping bags. For example, in Ireland the tax is 0.15 EURO (about 12p in English money or $0.20 in American money). Within a short space of time, shops offered customers a choice between: (1) free paper bags, or (2) heavy-duty reusable bags (usually made of cloth, but sometimes made from thick plastic) for 1 ...


10

There is a difference between reuse and recycling. Reuse is using a container again without major modifications. Recycling is transforming a container into its core elements and using that to make an entirely new object. AFAIK industrial reuse of plastic food packaging isn't done anywhere because of the risk of bacterial contamination. Many plastics are ...


10

Yes, we should leave the larger part of all known fossil fuel reserves in the ground. Scientists have calculated that if we want to keep global temperature rise under 2 degrees C (which was agreed upon in the Paris climate agreement), then we cannot use more than 1/3 of all currently known reserves. ...globally, a third of oil reserves, half of gas ...


9

Ok (1.5 hours later). Going by this reference for bag GWP and EPA values for burning petrol, I've got 1.57 kg CO2-eq per plastic bag, 271 kg CO2-eq for cloth bags, and 2.35 kg CO2-eq per L of petrol. Putting those together with variables for how much gas is saved by delivery and how many total trips you want to consider, here's the data I come up with: ...


9

Dangers Most of plastic materials when burning in a conventional fire decompose to toxic substances which have bad health effect on many living organisms including humans. Many of the substances are carcinogenic. The dangerous substances are mainly: dioxins furans styrenes some plastics can produce extremely and acutely toxic hydrogen cyanide carbon ...


9

Home compostable standards The Australian AS 5810 is a standard that guarantees composting at low temperatures. Heavy metals and plant toxicity requirements are similar to those for industrial compostability (AS 4736). Biodegradation and disintegration however need to be performed at ambient temperature instead of at elevated temperature (source) The ...


8

I would consider using a small bucket with a cover. They can easily be carried and the cover will restrain the smell. Also they are easy to clean with some water outside. For practical considerations: You could take a small shovel in it, or just use the cover to get the poo in the bucket, although I think the latter will require some exercise before it can ...


8

Unfortunately, I think a lot of those heavily contaminated loads of "recycling" do end up in the trash. The only other option in many cases is for whoever manages the facility's waste to sort the good from the bad by hand, and that is generally not feasible. Some recycling centers are more strict than others about contamination, but even single-stream ...


8

Working in Reuse I have heard Rethinking Waste - The 5 R's Mantra: 1. Refuse> 2. Reduce> 3. Reuse> 4. Repurpose 5. Recycle> To recycle any product takes energy. These recyclable products are seen as a commodity in the market place. Maybe #5 plastics don't have a high demand right now; it could sit for a long time, maybe months, maybe years depending ...


8

Here in The Netherlands a lot of organic fruits and vegetables and some magazines are wrapped up in corn-based plastics. A while ago, on a television program they showed what happens with the plastics when you throw them in the separate garden, fruit and vegetables wastebin (these are collected and dealt with separately here). In the communal decomposing ...


8

First of all, in many products BPA has not been replaced at all. It is still present in many types of food packaging, especially in canned foods. AFAIK the main exception is baby bottles which are required to be BPA free in the US, Canada and the EU. France is also an exception as it is the only EU-country where BPA is banned for all food packaging. Second,...


8

Unless the plastic bags are labelled with a recycling symbol, there is no easy way to know if the plastic is even recyclable. Good biodegradable plastic bags are made from decomposable materials, which contain no pollutants or toxins. The fact that your plastic bags have disintegrated doesn't mean they are biodegradable. The safest thing for the recycling ...


8

There are many ways how plastic waste ends up in the sea. A non-complete list would include the following: Micro-plastics from our washing processes, they are in almost everything like shampoo, peelings, cosmetics, etc., but also our clothes contain a lot of plastics which leaves the washing machines continuously. Next are ships, loosing load, leaving old ...


7

Is the use of plastic contrary to the idea of sustainability entirely? Yes. The general answer to this question is: Avoid plastics whereever you can. Plastic takes several hundred years to rot, it's a first class environmental toxic regarding the high amounts ending up in the nature. Although, plastic can be recycled in some ways most of it is simply ...


7

According to the German wikipedia: in Europe, 48% of the plastic bottles were recycled back in 2009. According to the Plastic Recycling Report: in North America, 29% of plastic bottles were recycled in 2010. It will be hard to get numbers for worldwide recycling rates - and to be honest, what is the value of such a number? I've been to Nigeria in 2009 and ...


7

You should not burn plastic. Besides the environmental impact, you're wasting resources. You should recycle plastic - here is how that's done: 1. The plastic is sorted Sorting and grouping plastic materials according to resin type is an important first step in the recycling process because contamination can render a batch of material un-reusable. The ...


7

At present the plastic waste stream can be diverted into multi-color goo mixed with wood chips and be extruded into synthetic fence posts. Ugly as sin, but better than nothing, and I think that for sheet goods (bags) this is pretty good. Your idea would work well for styrofoam. You would work it like this: Styrofoam is separated from the waste stream by ...


7

Jumping into this late but I couldn't help it because this is what I do for a living (guide major corporations on recycling). The mark you have simply means that the bag is plastic (it's not identifying which type). As mentioned above, it's the same as SPI codes (the numbers in the chasing arrows). No fee is paid to any organization for use of this code....


7

tl;dr: No, shipping plastic waste to China for recycling does not offset the benefits, as it reduces the net energy savings by 3% or less. Polyethylene, The most common plastic According to Wikipedia, polyethylene is the most common type of plastic. There are three main categories of polyethylene (also from Wikipedia): PET (polyethylene terephthalate), ...


6

On walks, we just use the disposable plastic bags in a roll that are made for dog waste. They aren't biodegradable, but since we dispose of the waste in the municipal trash, I don't think it makes any difference - modern landfills aren't designed to promote biodegradability. The local municipality specifically forbids dog waste in the municipal compost bins,...


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