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An overview of recycling

recycled plastics

Bioplastic and 'bio-degradable' plastic is not the answer!

Bio-based plastic (sometimes called bioplastic) is usually made from starch, vegetable fats and oils, agricultural waste and woodchips. This material is seen as eco-friendly, but in fact packaging and other items manufactured in this material still form part of the littering issue and there are also global concerns that land used to produce crops for processing into polymer should be growing food.


With the inclusion of certain additives, conventional plastic can be made to biodegrade at an accelerated rate; this material is often called ‘bio-degradable plastic’ but in reality, it usually requires treatment in specialised industrial composting facilities. Decomposition in the natural state does take place at a faster rate than standard plastics but nowhere near fast enough for these products to avoid becoming litter or polluting our oceans. Some ‘bio-degradable’ plastics also give off gas as they decompose, this is an undesirable characteristic with its own problems.


The main issue with ‘bio-degradable plastic’ is that products made from this material are indistinguishable from conventional plastic and once they find their way into feedstocks for recycling, their inclusion severely mitigates the effectiveness of the process and renders the whole batch fit for landfill only. This characteristic renders the material a threat to increasing the amount of recycling we can achieve.

 

Our belief is that the collection and reprocessing of conventional plastic waste for further use as a constituent in the manufacture of plastic packaging is the best way forward.

What can consumers do to help?

If we’re all better educated about what types of plastics can be recycled, this will speed up our progress towards the circular economy. All modern plastic items have their resin identification code moulded in during production (this is usually displayed on the bottom of the product in the case of bottles, tubs, pails etc). There are seven categories, which are listed below:

recycled plastic

Our commitments

Cambrian Packaging has been externally certified to meet the stringent criteria of ISO 14001:2015. Please view our current certification here www.cambrianpackaging.co.uk/accreditationsWe fully comply with the Producer Responsibility (Packaging Waste) Obligations 2007, please see our current certificate of compliance.


We are also a recognised Recycle Now partner, and for the past two years we’ve supported Recycle Week. The next event of this type is Recycle Week 2021, scheduled for 21st – 27th September. Recycle Now is the national recycling campaign for England, supported and funded by Government, managed by WRAP, and is used locally by over 90% of English authorities.

Britain recycles

HDPE

High density polyethylene
  • Typical Applications
    Bottles and jerry cans
  • Colour
    Semi translucent in original form (natural). Can be coloured
  • Finish
    Matt
  • Compatibility Range
    Compatible to most acid and alkaline solutions. Limited compatibility to solvents
  • Recyclability
    Widely recycled in standard facilities
  • Resin identification code
    2

rHDPE

Recycled high density polyethylene
  • Typical Applications
    Bottles and jerry cans
  • Colour
    Dependent upon the waste source. Varies from light grey to dark grey
  • Finish
    Matt
  • Compatibility Range
    Compatible to most acid and alkaline solutions. Limited compatibility to solvents
  • Recyclability
    Widely recycled in standard facilities
  • Resin identification code
    2
Recycled

PET

Polyethylene terephthalate
  • Typical Applications
    Bottles
  • Colour
    Clear in original form. Can be coloured
  • Finish
    Gloss
  • Compatibility Range
    Good solvent compatibility, limited compatibility to caustic solutions. For products of pH10 and over, PET is not recommended
  • Recyclability
    Widely recycled in standard facilities
  • Resin identification code
    1

PP

Polypropylene
  • Typical Applications
    Tubs and pails, closures and dispensers
  • Colour
    Semi translucent in original form (natural). Often coloured white/black in use, other colours also possible
  • Finish
    Satin
  • Compatibility Range
    Excellent range of compatibility
  • Recyclability
    Widely recycled in standard facilities
  • Resin identification code
    5

This information is intended for general guidance only. We strongly advise testing to establish compatibility of packaging to the contents and intended purpose. Responsibility for this lies on the Purchaser.

Resin Identification Codes image

(HDPE 2)

High density polyethylene
  • Minimum operating temp. for short periods °C
    -65
  • Minimum continuous operating temperature °C
    -50
  • Maximum operating temp. for short periods °C
    100
  • Maximum continuous operating temperature °C
    80

(rHDPE 2)

Recycled high density polyethylene
  • Minimum operating temp. for short periods °C
    -65
  • Minimum continuous operating temperature °C
    -50
  • Maximum operating temp. for short periods °C
    100
  • Maximum continuous operating temperature °C
    80

(PET 1)

Polyethylene terephthalate
  • Minimum operating temp. for short periods °C
    -30
  • Minimum continuous operating temperature °C
    -20
  • Maximum operating temp. for short periods °C
    160
  • Maximum continuous operating temperature °C
    100

(PP 5)

Polypropylene
  • Minimum operating temp. for short periods °C
    -15
  • Minimum continuous operating temperature °C
    -10
  • Maximum operating temp. for short periods °C
    145
  • Maximum continuous operating temperature °C
    130

NB: For all applications, testing is strongly recommended. Samples are available on request to support testing.

Cap Size (mm) Application Torque Range inch/pounds Nm
22
9-14 in/lb
1.15 – 1.58
24
10-18 in/lb
1.13 – 2.03
28
12-21 in/lb
1.35 – 2.37
33
15-25 in/lb
1.69 – 2.82
38
17-26 in/lb
1.92 – 2.93
63
24-43 in/lb
2.71 – 4.85

Torque varies with temperature and atmospheric conditions so this information is for strictly guidance only. As a general guide, removal torque is 40-60% of application torque, 24 hours after the closure has been applied. Responsibility for ensuring correct application torque lies with the Purchaser.

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