Should you throw plastic waste inside your skip bin? What you should know


Plastic is perhaps one of the most controversial types of waste that people deal with. From plastic bottles to bags, jars, boxes, and even toys, many people wonder whether these items should be disposed of in the skip bin.

The truth is that each type of plastic item has a different level of recyclability, content, and effect on the environment. For example, plastic bottles are highly recyclable and should be placed in a clear, labelled bag that the waste disposal company can easily identify when collecting your waste. Other items such as plastic bags are also recyclable, but should be kept in the home for reuse (rather than throwing them in the skip bin). Here is more information on how you can effectively handle different types of plastic waste.

Assess the recyclability of your plastic items

The first step you should take before dumping plastic in your skip bin is assessing how recyclable those items are. Some types of plastic are easier to recycle than others, and simply assuming that all plastic can be recycled is a common mistake people make.

Milk and juice boxes, detergent bottles, and other containers that hold cleaning agents are among the most recyclable. In fact, such items shouldn't simply be dumped in a skip bin. Consider placing them in a separate container and labelling them for recycling. Other items such as bags that hold the bread or plastics from construction materials may not be recyclable.  

Check their contents

After assessing recyclability, consider what your plastic items are made of. You will find that most plastics consist of a certain type of polymer, including polypropylene, styrofoam, and polyethylene. Most polyethylene plastics aren't recyclable and should be carefully disposed of. This is because they can contaminate the soil in landfills and other waste disposal sites. Styrofoam and polypropylene are slightly less toxic but should also be recycled as much as possible. Any type of plastic that contains glass will require additional care during disposal.

For example, vehicle headlights, laboratory equipment, and safety glasses may contain a blend of glass and plastic that people call "glasstic". If poorly handled, glasstic can break into small, sharp pieces that may cause harm.

Look into their effects on the environment

There are numerous benefits to either recycling or safely disposing of plastic waste. For example, recycling cuts energy consumption during the manufacturing process while protecting wildlife in oceans and other habitats. And when non-recyclable plastic is properly landfilled, the underlying soil isn't extensively contaminated. To learn more, consult a skip bin company to enquire about how you should handle different types of plastic waste.


22 April 2020

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