You can't recycle dirty plastic
YOU CAN’T RECYCLE DIRTY PLASTIC.
Got a little pizza sauce and cheesy goodness left on that pizza box? Now it can’t be recycled (you can still compost it though!).
Any plastic material with food residues on (or in) it CANNOT be recycled. In order for plastics to be transformed into recycled goods, they must be of decent quality. So what to do?
WASH FIRST, THEN RECYCLE.
WASH YOUR PLASTICS AFTER EVERY USE, SO THEY HAVE THE CHANCE TO BE RECYCLED INTO NEW MATERIAL.
Remember, recycled materials (i.e. your trash) must compete with virgin materials in the market, so quality matters.
In Taiwan, there are several groups of people who sort trash, remove food remnants from bento boxes, and then send the containers to the recycling factories (since the outside material is generally paper).
Some recycling factories then take these goods and wash them multiple times before they are cut, reheated and transformed.
But most of the time, a “dirty” recyclable thrown into a public trash/recycling bin doesn’t even have the chance to end up at the recycling factory; it’s determined useless (meaning either too troublesome, to clean, or not capable of generating income from) and lumped with all the other trash that ends up in landfill or the incinerator.
RINSE OUT AND WASH YOUR PLASTICS BEFORE YOU RECYCLE THEM. CLEAR ALL FOOD RESIDUALS TO GUARANTEE THEY HAVE A SHOT OF MAKING IT TO THE RECYCLING FACTORY.
Posted: Thursday 19 December 2019