The consumption of plastic is growing by 4% every year in this country; therefore recycling is the ideal way to reduce the amount of plastics going to landfills.

Packaging represents the largest single sector of plastics use in the UK. The sector accounts for 35% of UK plastics consumption and plastic is the material of choice in nearly half of all packaged goods.

There are about 50 different groups of plastics, with hundreds of different varieties. All types of plastic are recyclable. To make sorting and recycling easier, the Society of the Plastics Industry developed a standard marking code to help consumers identify and sort the main types of plastic.

 Polyethylene terephthalate - Fizzy drink bottles and oven-ready meal trays.
 High-density polyethylene - Bottles for milk and washing-up liquids.
 Polyvinyl chloride - Food trays, cling film, bottles for squash, mineral water and shampoo.
 Low density polyethylene - Carrier bags and bin liners.
 Polypropylene - Margarine tubs, microwaveable meal trays.
 Polystyrene - Yoghurt pots, foam meat or fish trays, hamburger boxes and egg cartons, vending cups, plastic cutlery, protective packaging for electronic goods and toys.
 Any other plastics that do not fall into any of the above categories. - An example is melamine, which is often used in plastic plates and cups.

These markings are often on the on the base of the container.

"One tonne of plastics is equivalent to 20,000 two litre drinks bottles or 120,000 carrier bags." LINPAC 
LJMU runs a plastic recycling scheme. Inside the university buildings there are varying types of recycling bins. The Gemini Recycling Banks are placed externally around the campuses. Plastics can be placed in the bins as long as they have a Bottle insignia on the front or on a placard above.


Page last modified by Hilary Ellis on 07 April 2010.
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