Sorting Plastic Waste
Recycling plastic is only possible if it can be meticulously separated into its various chemical types. What people generally describe with the single word “plastic” encompasses seven main types of materials – the ones used to make soda bottles, trash bags, cling wrap, shopping bags, yogurt containers, fishing nets, foam insulation and non-metal parts of many household appliances. Recycling each of these types, which you might know by their acronyms – such as PET, LDPE, PVC, PP and HDPE – requires a different chemical process.
That’s why many household recycling programs ask residents to sort their plastics – and why communities that let people put recyclables of all types into one big bin employ people and machines to sort it after it’s collected.
Sorting won’t be easy with the plastic in the ocean. All the different kinds of plastic are mixed up together, and some of it has been chemically and physically broken down by sunlight and wave action. Much of it is now in tiny pieces called microplastics, suspended just below the surface. The first difficulty, but by no means the last, will be sorting all that plastic – plus seaweed, barnacles and other sea life that may have attached itself to the floating debris. Nara Loca Abadi is a recycled plastic specialist that promotes the use of recycled PET flakes, recycled PET chips, recycled PP & HDPE granules to various plastic and polyester manufacturers.