Plastic is made from oil, the same kind that gasoline is made from.
Recycling a ton of plastic bottles saves about 3.8 barrels of oil. Flin Flon recycled almost 11 tons of plastic in 2015 which saved over 41 barrels of oil.
Pure plastic is very unstable and wouldn’t hold anything. Different chemicals are added to make it useful based on what the plastic will be used for. So plastic is really a family of related materials.
When plastic items are made, it is important to have only one kind of plastic with no other kind mixed in. When plastic recycling began, something was needed to make sure the recycled plastic resin was pure.
In 1988, SPI, the plastic Trade Association in the US developed the Resin Identification Code. A number inside the Mobius loop (recycling symbol) and the letters underneath identifies the kind of plastic the item is made of.
The numbers and names are:
-#1 PETE – Polyethylene Terephthalate
-#2 HDPE – High-density polyethylene
-#3 Vinyl - Poly Vinyl Chloride
-#4 LDPE – Low-density polyethylene
-#5 PP – polypropylene
-#6 PS – Polystyrene
-#7 – Other – mixed plastics
The majority of plastics recycled are #1 which include most drink bottles, and #2 found in milk jugs and shampoo bottles.
The Flin Flon Recycling Centre accepts all plastic containers with recycling symbols and numbers except # 6. It is the only one with an ‘S’ in the letters. Number one plastic that you cannot see through (usually black or orange)is also not recyclable.
The Flin Flon Recycling Centre cannot recycle ‘film’ plastic like bags and wrap.
Plastic can be a big problem in the environment. Recycling keeps it useful.