These days, many consumers bring home their purchases in white plastic bags. Plastic bags are mostly used in retail stores, and not many shoppers come to the conclusion that the light airy bags they take for granted lead to major environmental situations. Wantonly littered plastics are a blight to our public areas, polluting our waterways and choking marine life.
Plastic bags are made from thin flexible plastic sheets or plastic film. Plastic film is usually termed as plastic less than 10 millimeters thick. The vast majority of plastic films are created from polyethylene resin and easily recyclable if the material is dry, not colored black, and clean. Originally, the coding system for resin was put into place for rigid containers of plastic only. Many manufacturers are now putting the code on plastic films, too. If there is not any resin code present on the plastic bag or film, applications on the film could point out the resin type.
For the recycling process the material is sorted for contaminant and often ground up. If the product has contamination via waste from food, for example, a wash process is necessary. Then, the plastic is melted down and pushed through an extruder. A die from an extruder finely determines the plastic shape before it is sliced with a knife. The result of recycling plastics bags could be large section of composite lumber or millions of small pellets, that can be used to make similar products from plastic.
By returning empty and clean dry plastic bags at recycling centers, we can begin the process of recycling bags that are in very widespread use.