The Life ReCycle of Product Packaging
While recycling has been a common element of waste disposal for decades, few people are aware of how the process actually works. Flex-Pack provides product packaging made from fully recyclable materials, and we can give you an overview of how most generic, recyclable plastic materials are processed.
The Plastic Process
The two major components in most plastics – whether made for packaging or other uses – are oil and natural gas. The more processing these two main ingredients go through, the more specific types of plastic can be produced – although the extent of the varieties of plastic is a whole blog topic for another day.
The oil, pumped up from deep underground all over the world, is refined into petroleum and, through a range of different processing methods, is turned into plastic for bottles, household items, children’s toys, product packaging and much more. These products are sent to their respective suppliers, stores and, finally, reaching the consumer. Once they’ve been used, it is ultimately up to the user to send what they no longer need to either the landfill or to be recycled.
The Impact of Plastic Products
The build-up of plastic product packaging and other items at landfill sites results in an enormous and detrimental impact on the environment. A lot of plastic can take a long time to degrade, adding to the immense amount of waste that our consumption-oriented society produces. The amount of plastic that we use, and subsequently throw away, also means having to continuously pump the planet for more oil to produce more.
Recycling Plastic Processes
When plastic product packaging is sent for recycling, it is delivered to a material recovery facility, where the used plastic is then shredded or chopped into flakes. These flakes are cleaned and sterilized to remove any potential contaminants, which is especially important for material that was used to contain food or chemical products, before being sorted into streams depending on what kind of plastic they are made of. These flakes are then baled and sent to manufacturers who will use the recycled material to make new product packaging from the used plastic.
Product Packaging – Reusing and Recycling
There are a few other options for making use of existing, used product packaging where plastic can be cleaned and reused without having to go through the full recycling process. This cuts down on time and effort, although, depending on kind of packaging it is, the number of times it can be cleaned and reused is limited. Many manufacturers, including Flex-Pack, also make great effort to minimize any additional materials used during the manufacturing process through innovative and economical product packaging design.
Reusing and recycling plastic products is more important than ever to help reduce the environmental impact we have on our planet. If you are looking for product packaging that has been made with a focus on preserving our ecosystem, along with being well-designed and consumer friendly, contact Flex-Pack today and join us in our industry-leading innovation.