Metallised plastic wrapper

Which Plastic Cannot Be Recycled?

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What Plastic Cannot Commonly Be Recycled

Plastics that cannot commonly be recycled in the UK include metallised plastic film, such as some crisp packets, plastic bottle sleeves, biodegradable and thermosetting plastics. 

In this blog, we are going to explore each plastic that cannot be recycled and the reasons for this difficulty.

Plastics That Cannot Be Recycled Through The Standard Process

Metallised Plastic Film

Metallised plastic film is often found as food packaging, such as in the form of sweet wrappers. This film is generally created from polypropylene PP or PET, along with aluminium. 

These are difficult to recycle due to the use of complex mixtures and the limited ability to segregate components at the recycling facility.

Plastic Sleeves

Whilst drinks bottles made from polyethylene terephthalate (PET) can be recycled, the sleeves become more difficult when mixed. These shrink sleeves are often made of polyvinyl chloride (PVC) or polyester to wrap soft drink bottles. 

Although recyclable, the material cannot be removed during the recycling process. Therefore it can contaminate the recyclable materials and make it not possible to recycle the bottle.

Plastic Bottle Sleeves

plastic bottle sleeves

Biodegradable Plastic

Biodegradable plastics have the ability to be degraded by microorganisms. Recently we have seen the introduction of compostable plastic bags at supermarkets such as Co-op

If this material is placed in the recycling bin for your local collection service, the plastic will contaminate other waste. This impacts conventional plastics and results in low-quality recycled products.

Thermosetting Plastic

Thermosetting plastic products often include construction materials, insulators and electrical components. When this material is exposed to heat, toxic fumes are emitted. This makes it dangerous to recycle for human health and increases the rate of global warming.

This is the reason we see this material used in long-lasting materials, rather than single-use plastics such as food bags and plastic cutlery. 

Contaminated Plastic

When plastic waste is contaminated, such as with food residues or mixed with the wrong material types, they commonly cannot be recycled. In order for recyclers to be able to collect and recycle waste, the products need to be of a good quality.

To make this possible at home, you can wash your plastic waste, make sure it is dry and ensure it is placed in the correct recycling bin.

Recycle Your Plastic Waste With Us

At Plastic Expert we recycle a range of plastic materials for businesses across the UK. These include uPVC, polystyrene (PS), high density polyethylene (HDPE), and various other types of plastic. 

As we recycle a wide range of materials, we have helped businesses from all sectors find a sustainable solutions to their waste streams. Get in touch today to book your recycling collection and earn money from great rebates.

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