Friday, February 28, 2014

Actions for Earth: Recycling Plastics in Singapore

Did you know that plastic waste can be divided into pre-consumer and post-consumer plastic waste?
Pre-consumer plastic waste are essentially plastic scraps generated by companies during the manufacturing process. These plastics are usually easy to recycle as they are clean and homogeneous. Post-consumer plastic waste are, as the name implies, plastic waste generated by the consumers after use. These plastics are not favored by recyclers as they are difficult to collect, easily contaminated with other waste like food, and are seldom homogeneous.

As there are many types of plastics in the market, to make sorting and recycling easier, The Society of the Plastics Industry (SPI) has developed the SPI resin identification code. The use of this standard marking helps consumers identify the type of plastic waste they and hence enable them to dispose of them correctly. These codes are commonly found plastic bottles and products.
Here are the 7 plastic codes:
1. PET (Polyethylene terephthalate) – Used for water bottles, soft drink and cooking oil bottles, and meal trays.
2. HDPE (High density polyethylene) – Used for milk and detergent bottles.
3. PVC (Polyvinyl chloride) – Used for plastic pipes, food trays, shrink wrap, and bottles.
4. LDPE (Low density polyethylene) – Used for plastic bags and bin liners.
5. PP (Polypropylene) – Used for bottle caps, margarine tubs, and meal trays.
6. PS (Polystyrene) – Used for food containers, egg cartons, vending cups, plastic cutlery, and protective packaging for electronic goods.
7. OTHER – Includes any other plastic that does not fall into the above categories.

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