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Reuse. Drink containers Ziploc bags Tupperware Plastic grocery bags. Reduce. Packaging Diapers Grocery Bags Lunch bags Make products last longer Precycling – do I really need this?. Recycle. Primary Closed loop Creates products of the same type Secondary Open loop

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  • Drink containers

  • Ziploc bags

  • Tupperware

  • Plastic grocery bags



  • Packaging

  • Diapers

  • Grocery Bags

  • Lunch bags

  • Make products last longer

  • Precycling – do I really need this?



  • Primary

    • Closed loop

    • Creates products of the same type

  • Secondary

    • Open loop

    • Converted into new




  • Rich in organic matter and soil nutrients

  • Microorganisms break down waste

Mrfs materials recovery facility

MRFs materials recovery facility

  • Separates trash from materials that can be recycled

  • Recycles or burns remaining combustible waste

  • Problems:

    • Expensive

    • Energy to separate trash

    • Must have large input of garbage

    • Toxic pollutants

Source separation

Source separation

  • Separate trash from recyclables at home or business

  • Advantages:

    • Little pollution

    • Moderate operating costs and more jobs

    • Less energy

  • Problems:

    • Rely on people to correctly separate

    • Hard to compete with MRFs





  • Flexible or rigid; transparent or opaque.

  • Look like leather, wood, or silk.

  • Made into toys or heart valves.

  • The basic raw materials for plastic are petroleum and/or natural gas.

    • These fossil fuels are sometimes combined with other elements, such as oxygen or chlorine, to make different types of plastic.

What to do with my soda bottle

What to do with my soda bottle?

  • Throw it in the trash (Landfill)

  • Recycle it and reuse it!

  • Incinerate it for energy

1 pet polyethylene terephthalate

1 PET  Polyethylene Terephthalate

  • Two-liter beverage bottles, mouthwash bottles, boil-in-bag pouches.

2 hdpe high density polyethylene

2 HDPE  High Density Polyethylene

  • Milk jugs, trash bags, detergent bottles.

3 pvc polyvinyl chloride

3 PVC Polyvinyl Chloride

  • Cooking oil bottles, packaging around meat

  • Burning PVC plastic, which contains 57% chlorine when pure, forms dioxins, a highly toxic group of chemicals that build up in the food chain.

4 ldpe low density polyethylene

4 LDPE  Low Density Polyethylene

  • Grocery bags, produce bags, food wrap, bread bags

5 pp polypropylene

5 PP  Polypropylene

  • Yogurt containers, shampoo bottles, straws, margarine tubs, diapers.

6 ps polystyrene

6 PS  Polystyrene 

  • Hot beverage cups, take-home boxes, egg cartons, meat trays, cd cases.

7 other

7 Other

  • All other types of plastics or packaging made from more than one type of plastic.

Not economical

Not Economical

  • In recent years, several plastics recycling companies have closed their doors.

  • They claimed they could not sell their products at a price that would allow them to stay in business.

  • Thanks to the relatively low cost of petroleum, the price of virgin plastic is so inexpensive that recycled plastic cannot compete.

  • The price of virgin resin is about 40 percent lower than that of recycled resin.

Paper or plastic

Paper or Plastic?

20-40% less E to manufacture plastic

1 truckload of plastic = 7 truckloads of paper

Plastic energy

Plastic Energy!

  • Stored energy - made from fossil fuels.

  • Contain as much energy as petroleum or natural gas

    • much more energy than other types of garbage.

  • an ideal fuel for waste-to-energy plants.


  • Because recycled plastic is more expensive, people aren’t exactly lining up to buy it. Surveys conducted by Procter & Gamble and others show that while most people expect their plastic to be recycled, they won’t go out of their way or pay a few cents more to buy a bottle made of recycled plastic. Recyclers say plastics recycling won’t be profitable until we close the loop by creating more demand for recycled plastics.

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