"Most people think if a plastic product or container has a triangular symbol with a number inside, it is recyclable, but unfortunately, this is very confusing, and far from the truth.
If you take a closer look at the recycling symbol you will see a number in the middle.
The numbers simply distinguish between the different types of plastics, and hopefully the following information will help readers correctly deal with any plastic products they need to dispose of:
● Code 1 - Polyethylene Terephthalate: Products such as soft drink bottles and common food packaging can be recycled;
● Code 2 - High Density Polyethylene: This type of material is usually found in packaging for things like detergents, bleach, shampoo, conditioner and milk containers, and can also be recycled;
● Code 4 - Low Density Polyethylene: LDPE is the material used to create things like garbage bags, sandwich bags, shopping bags, etc. These kinds of soft plastics are collected in special containers at supermarkets, so do not put them in your own recycle bin;
● Code 5 - Polypropylene: Polypropylene materials can be used to create products like clothing, tubs, ropes or bottles and can be turned into fibres when recycled properly, so they may be placed in your recycle bin;
● Code 6 - Polystyrene: Polystyrene is probably the most difficult plastic product to deal with. It must not be placed in your roadside recycling bin, and because it is manufactured from petroleum, it is a very contaminating product in landfill. It is best to avoid buying products packaged in polystyrene; and
● Code 7- All other plastics: Must not be placed in recycling bins - can include anything from acrylic to nylon
Generally, codes 1,2 and 5 are okay to recycle, and code 4 needs to go to soft plastics bins at supermarkets, for example.
For all other plastics, you need to check with council to determine the best method to deal with the problem.
To help reduce the plastic recycling conundrum, why not try to avoid buying goods packaged in plastic.
During July, think "plastic free", and you might just find it is easier than you thought, and this will go a long way to solving one of our major pollution problems."