Which Types of Plastic Are Good for Commercial Recycling?

Which Types of Plastic Are Good for Commercial Recycling?

By AAA Polymer | Commercial Recycling

Mar 05

Looking to learn the best types of plastics for commercial recycling? The team at AAA Polymer will help. As companies all over the United States become increasingly aware of source reduction and sustainability, companies are paying a growing amount of focus on their packaging. Factors such as social pressures to turn green and cost reduction initiatives have made sustainability a hot topic that many companies are choosing to tackle head-on.

There is a lot of potential in going green, such as improving the company’s image and as a way of saving money. And one of the easiest ways to start or enhance your company's sustainability efforts is to implement a commercial plastic recycling program. With commercial plastic recycling, you'll work to collect all eligible plastic recyclables and remove them from your waste stream, which can result in significant savings. 

However, before you get started, do you know the types of plastics that are good for commercial recycling? Let's take a closer look at the most common types of plastic recyclables used in commercial plastic recycling programs. 

The Best Type of Plastics for Commercial Recycling Are Stretch Wraps

When it comes to commercial recycling programs, some of the best types of plastic materials are stretch films and stretch wraps. Stretch films and wraps are commonly used throughout warehouses and distribution centers to wrap and secure pallets of products. In the process of wrapping pallets or boxes of products, distributors and warehouses usually create large volumes of scraps and plastic stretch film waste. 

And instead of throwing this valuable material away with the general trash and increasing the cost of waste disposal, savvy companies choose to start corporate recycling programs that result in savings. Some of the most common materials used to make stretch wraps and films include: 

  • High-Density Polyethylene (HDPE)
  • Low-Density Polyethylene (LDPE)
  • Polypropylene (PP)

Stretch Wrap Recycling Programs

Before the turn of the 20th century, the Society of the Plastics Industry and the American Plastics Council collaborated to create a detailed, comprehensive stretch wrap recycling guide that carries the blueprint for how recapturing stretch film is done today in centralized warehouses.

Even with this blueprint in place, overall plastic recycling is not being implemented across warehouses and businesses nationwide, which represents a massive opportunity missed 

“The New Plastics Economy; Rethinking the future of plastics”, a collaborative study published in 2016 on the World Economic Forum highlights some of the many financial possibilities regarding plastic packaging. For example, the study suggests the current 5% rate of plastic wrap recapture after single use equates to roughly $4-6 billion annually. Keeping those figures in mind, it’s not hard to imagine many companies all around the country are eager to tap into those potential savings.

How Can AAA Polymer Help Start a Plastic Stretch Film Recycling Program?

If you are thinking about implementing some sort of stretch wrap recycling program at your facility or warehouse, AAA Polymer's plastic recycling collection service can help. One of our recycling experts can come to your place of business to see what the day-to-day operations are and whether your business would benefit from having a recycling program in place. 

Some minor economical processes may need to be adjusted in the facility in addition to staff training and the purchase of inexpensive equipment (which pays for itself rather quickly), but we can assure you it’s often worth the investment in the long run.

Which Plastics Cannot Be Recycled?

Category 3 plastics or plastics made from PVC (Polyvinyl chloride) or V (Vinyl) are historically rarely accepted by recycling programs, with the exception of some plastic lumber makers. The problem with these types of plastics is that they contain chlorine, which releases dangerous dioxins during the manufacturing process that are harmful to humans.

Another group of plastics that usually cannot be recycled are category 7 plastics, although a limited amount of curbside programs are now accepting it. Category 7 plastics are made of a wide variety of resins that don't fall into categories 1 through 6. 

How To Choose The Best Recyclable Plastic

If you are having a hard time wrapping your head around recyclable plastics and non-recyclable plastics, we can help. Chances are you are already using recyclable types of plastic at your facility because you're unaware of the value it has. At AAA Polymer, we regularly work with warehouses, businesses, and distribution centers to help them establish commercial recycling programs that result in immense savings.

Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you create savings with a commercial recycling program. And in the meantime, read our simple guide to polypropylene recycling for businesses to understand why it's important, how the process works, and how it benefits it can offer.

About the Author

Save $1000s with a smarter commercial recycling program

x