What is HDPE Recycling?
Most commonly, Polyethylene is processed into two different forms, Low Density and High Density (there are many types of Polyethylene, however). In this post, we will be looking at High Density Polyethylene, the stronger and heavier of the two plastics.
In particular, we will be looking not only at the HDPE Recycling process, but also the recycling of HDPE film. If you’re wondering what sort of things are made from HDPE, consider milk bottles, detergent bottles, bleach bottles, shampoo bottles and tupperware.
HDPE film is excellent for use in warehouses, as its tensile strength is excellent and is resistant to corrosive chemicals, as well as this, it is fine for food contact and can be sterilized easily. Chemicals previously used for food contact were found to leach chemicals! Its transparency is also beneficial for many uses.
HDPE Recycling Process
The HDPE Recycling process starts with the collection. One challenge for storing HDPE is that often it is contaminated, so the clean and dirty HDPE should be kept separate, as they are recycled differently and have different market values.
Contaminated HDPE must go through a rigorous cleaning process before being recycled, to make sure that the material quality is processed at a high level. Common recycling machinery is able to process HDPE bottles, but HDPE film must go through a different process, as it is liable to get caught up in the teeth of machines. HDPE film recycling machinery chews the plastic in small pieces that are then formed into pellets.
The pellets can be turned into a variety of things, and are combined with a percentage of virgin HDPE to improve the strength and reliability. The pellets are blown using a variety of machinery and techniques to achieve different results. Recycled HDPE is often used to make things like piping, plastic lumber, recycling bins and rope. Recycled HDPE will often be a dark colour, like brown or black, as it’s easy to dye a clear plastic black, but impossible to make a black plastic clear!
The HDPE Recycling process is being vastly improved by the availability of high-quality recycling machinery, which allows businesses of any size to tackle their waste and make money from it. The potential for profit, the ease and the increase in understanding is helping recycling to accelerate and avoid the dreaded destination of landfill.
Machines come in a variety of sizes, depending on the waste needs of the business. Some businesses will have more HDPE to separate from their waste stream than other businesses, so a larger machine may be beneficial. The machines create bales of HDPE in different sizes, and the different sizes are worth different amounts. Quite often, recycling businesses like to deal with 'mill sized' bales, as they are the ideal size, you guessed it, the mills.
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HDPE Recycling for your business
Does your company have HDPE plastic for recycling? Contact one of our team today and discover how we can help your company reduce costs and recycle plastic ethically and safely.
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