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Introduction
 Recycling is processing used
materials (waste) into new products
 Recycling can help to prevent :
 waste of potentially useful materials,
 reduce the consumption of fresh raw
materials,
 reduce energy usage,
 reduce air pollution (from
incineration) and water pollution
(from landfilling) by reducing the
need for "conventional" waste
disposal,
 and lower greenhouse gas emissions
as compared to virgin production
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Introduction (cont)
 Recycling is a key component of modern
waste reduction and is the third component
of the "Reduce, Reuse, Recycle" waste
hierarchy.

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Introduction (cont)
 In Malaysia we produce 19,000 tones of waste every day, and
a majority of that ends up in landfills.
 Malaysia currently has 230 landfill sights and 80% of them
will reach capacity within the next two years, and with land
for landfill sights being at a premium there is soon going to
be a big problem right on our doorsteps.
 To put in perspective 19,000 tonnes of rubbish,; if you piled
it all up it would be as high as 36 Petronas Twin Towers,
that’s an awful lot of rubbish to deal with on a daily basis.
 Our task now is to try and reduce the amount of rubbish
going into these landfills.

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Here are some ideas to get you started
Paper
 All the items below need to be separated bound and
then can be recycled.
 Newspapers
 Manuals
 School books
 Computer paper
 Leaflets and catalogues
 Paper boxes.

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Metals
 The below items need to be drained of liquid, rinsed
and placed in bags or boxes.
 Aluminium cans/ drinks cans
 Food and sauce cans
 Tin containers of food
beverages (milk & Milo etc)
 Biscuit tins

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Plastics
 The items below need to be rinsed then stored
separately in bags or boxes
 Soft drinks and juice bottles
 Mineral water bottles
 Food and sauce containers
 Liquid soap and detergent bottles
 Shampoo and lotion bottles
 Plastic bags

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Glass
 The items below have to be washed and stored
separately in bags or boxes.
 Soft drinks and juice bottles
 Jams and food jars
 Sauces and seasoning bottles
 Vitamins and cosmetic bottles

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Beverage Cartons
 All tetra pack beverage and food cartons need to be
rinsed and flattened as per the directions on the box.

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Tetra Pak cartons
 Aseptic cartons (~70% of tetra pak cartons) can be
transported and stored without refrigaration – results
in considerable amounts of energy saving
 20% lighter today than they were 20 years ago!
 Utilizing fewer resources
 Less energy to produce
 Less waste to dispose off

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Recycling of Plastics

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Recycling of plastics
 Plastics cause serious environmental problems. Although
they are not intrinsically dangerous, they take up a huge
amount of space in landfills and they are made from a
nonrenewable resource, namely fossil fuels. For these
reasons it is important that, where possible, plastics are
recycled.
 The recycling of plastics is carried out in a five step process.

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Recycling Process
 Step 1 - Plastics collection
 Plastics for recycling come from two main
sources: post consumer plastics and post
industrial plastics. Post consumer plastics
are those which have already been used
by people.
 These are the plastics collected in plastics
recycling bins and at domestic roadside
collections.
 Post industrial plastics, on the other
hand, are rejects from industry — offcuts,
damaged batches etc.
 These plastics are collected either directly
from the industry or collected by the local
council, squashed into bales and sold to a
recycler.

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Recycling Process (cont)
 Step 2 - Manual Sorting
 In theory, every type of plastic can be
recycled. In practise in New Zealand only
codes 1 (PET) and 2 (HDPE) are recycled.
 The incoming plastic is manually sorted
into these two codes and 'other', and the
three separate streams sent off to be
chipped.
 It is particularly important that all PVC is
removed from the PET stream as the more
sophisticated sorting used later on cannot
differentiate between these two types of
plastic. Any rocks, nails, metal etc. that is
mixed in with the plastic is also manually
removed at this stage.
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Recycling Process (cont)
 Step 3 – Chipping /
Crushing
 Each sorted stream of plastic
is then sent separately to a
chipper.
 This is a cylinder of blades
somewhat like an old-
fashioned lawnmower in a
vessel with a 10 mm grill floor.
 The blades cut the material
until it is small enough to fall
through the grill.
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Recycling Process (cont)
 Step 4 - Washing
 The chips are then washed to
remove glue, paper labels, dirt
and any remnants of the
product they once contained.
 Both the "other" stream and
the PET stream are washed at
around 90oC for at least
twelve minutes, while the
HDPE (which has a much
lower melting point) must be
washed below 40oC to
prevent discolouration.
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Recycling Process (cont)
 Step 5 - Pelleting
 This is done by melting the chips and extruding them out
first through a fine grill to remove any solid dirt or metal
particles that have made it through the treatment thus far
and then through a die of small holes.
 If the plastic was simply allowed to extrude from these
holes it would come out as spaghetti-like strings and
quickly tangle together.
 However, it is sprayed with water as it comes out (to
prevent the plastic from sticking together) and cut off by
rotating knives to give small, oval pellets.

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How to Quickly Understand the Types of Plastic
(Plastic Codes)
 The plastic codes were introduced by SPI (Society of
the Plastics Industry) in 1988 as a resin coding system
for the purposes of more efficient recycling.

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Plastic
Type of plastic
Identification Properties Common Packaging Applications
polymer
Code

Polyethylene Clarity, strength,


Soft drink, water and salad dressing
terephthalate toughness, barrier to
bottles; peanut butter and jam jars
(PET, PETE) gas and moisture.

Stiffness, strength,
Water pipes, Hula-Hoop (children's
High-density toughness,
game) rings, Milk, juice and water
polyethylene resistance to
bottles; the occasional shampoo /
(HDPE) moisture,
toiletry bottle
permeability to gas.
Blister packaging for non-food items;
cling films for non-food use. Not used
Versatility, ease of for food packaging as the plasticisers
Polyvinyl
blending, strength, needed to make natively rigid PVC
chloride (PVC)
toughness. flexible are usually toxic. Non-
packaging uses are electrical cable
insulation; rigid piping; vinyl records.
Ease of processing,
Low-density strength, toughness, Frozen food bags; squeezable bottles,
polyethylene flexibility, ease of e.g. honey, mustard; cling films;
(LDPE) sealing, barrier to flexible container lids.
moisture.
Strength, toughness, Reusable microwaveable ware;
resistance to heat, kitchenware; yogurt containers;
Polypropylene
chemicals, grease margarine tubs; microwaveable
(PP)
and oil, versatile, disposable take-away containers;
barrier to moisture. disposable cups; plates.

Egg cartons; packing peanuts;


Versatility, clarity, disposable cups, plates, trays and
Polystyrene (PS)
easily formed cutlery; disposable take-away
containers;

Dependent on Beverage bottles; baby milk bottles.


Other (often
polymers or Non-packaging uses for polycarbonate:
polycarbonate or
combination of compact discs; "unbreakable" glazing;
ABS)
polymers electronic apparatus housings.
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ENVIRONMENTAL IMPLICATIONS
 Plastic recycling prevents damage to
the environment via excessive
landfilling and use of non-renewable
resources.
 The process is also largely
environmentally safe, with the only
effluent being from the washwater.
 This is recycled in the plant as much
as possible to minimise water use and
when it is finished with it is still
sufficiently clean to be dumped into
the sewers.

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FINANCIAL ASPECTS
 Plastic recycling is an expensive business. The process
uses huge amounts of electricity, particularly during
the extruding step, and the equipment used is also
expensive leading to high overheads.
 In addition, sale prices are variable: people prefer to
buy virgin plastic if it is available, thus prices fluctuate
with the availability of virgin plastic.

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Uses of recycled plastic
 Recycled plastic can be used for anything that virgin
plastic is used for except the packaging of food.
 In general, the pelletised plastic is sold by the
recycling company to other companies for moulding
into a wide variety of products.
 Some of it is used locally and the remainder is
exported to Asia and the United States.
 PET is often made into fibres to make carpet and
clothing, while the "other" stream is usually used to
make a wood substitute.
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Recycled plastics

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A report on the production of carrier bags
made from recycled rather than virgin
polythene concluded that the use of
recycled plastic resulted in the following
environmental benefits:
•reduction of energy consumption by two-thirds
•production of only a third of the sulphur dioxide and
half of the nitrous oxide
•reduction of water usage by nearly 90%
•reduction of carbon dioxide generation by two-and-a-
half times
A different study concluded that 1.8
tonnes of oil are saved for every tonne of
recycled polythene produced.

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Reusing of plastics
 Reusing plastic is preferable to recycling as it uses less
energy and fewer resources. Long life, multi-trip
plastics packaging has become more widespread in
recent years, replacing less durable and single-trip
alternatives, so reducing waste.
 For example, the major supermarkets have increased
their use of returnable plastic crates for transport and
display purposes four-fold from 8.5 million in 1992 to
an estimated 35.8 million in 2002. They usually last up
to 20 years and can be recycled at the end of their
useful life.

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Reusing of plastics
 According to a 2001 Environment Agency
report, 80% of post-consumer plastic
waste is sent to landfill, 8% is incinerated
and only 7% is recycled. In addition to
reducing the amount of plastics waste
requiring disposal, recycling plastic can
have several other advantages:
 Conservation of non-renewable fossil
fuels - Plastic production uses 8% of the
world's oil production, 4% as feedstock
and 4% during manufacture.
 Reduced consumption of energy.
 Reduced amounts of solid waste going to
landfill.
 Reduced emissions of carbon-dioxide
(CO2), nitrogen-oxide (NO) and sulphur-
dioxide (SO2).
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Items made from recycled
materials

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EDIBLE CUTLERY
 Spoons made from carrot, beetroot, spinach
 Chopsticks and bowls which are edible
 Edible and biodegradable plates

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5R’s for a greener world
1. Reduce
2. Reuse
3. Recycle
4. Renew
5. Respect

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5R’s for a greener world
 REDUCE
 Reduce your stuff. Commercialization has resulted in an overabundance
of stuff in many homes and businesses across the world. Take a look
around you – how much of that stuff do you really need? Before you
purchase another item – ask yourself – do I really need this?
 Reduce the amount of driving you do. If you can walk to work, work from
home or telecommute, then do it and do it as much as you can. Rather
than jumping in the car to run to town for an item here or there, plan
your outings to incorporate the most logical flow for your errands and
save them for one or two days at a time.
 Reduce your energy consumption. Replace light bulbs with high
efficiency ones as they burn out. Replace appliances with Energy Saving
models as it becomes necessary and lower your thermostat a degree or
two and throw on a sweater instead.
 Reduce your subscriptions to newspapers or magazines – its all online
anyhow!!
 Reduce the number of cleaning supplies in your house. 32
5R’s for a greener world
 REUSE
 In my office alone, there are so many items that can be
reused – from manila folders and envelopes (reuse for
scratch paper), to printer paper.
 Around the house, think before you toss. Can this item
be used again (safe and sanitary, of course)?
 Take your own shopping bags to the market or any
store for that matter.
 Pass on outgrown clothing to a sibling or donate to
charity
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5R’s for a greener world
 RECYCLE
 Recycling is not just separating your green glass from
your brown or collecting newspapers. Send your ink jet
and laser printer cartridges back for recycling – many
cartridge companies will even provide you with
postage free return shipping.
 You can recycle car batteries, tires, and motor oil.

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5R’s for a greener world
 RENEW
 Renewable resources that is! Always choose paper over
plastic when given the choice. Paper is a renewable
resource. We can plant more trees. Petroleum used for
making plastic is not. When it is gone, its gone.
 What about solar power and wind generated power?
These are viable energy sources but we need to educate
the masses – increase the numbers of stations

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5R’s for a greener world
 RESPECT
 We only have one Earth and we all have to live on it
together. Respect your environment and try to leave
the smallest footprint possible.

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THE END

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