For all your recycled bags needs
Almost every kind of plastic can be recycled, but there are some circumstances to take into consideration such as economic, logistic and technical factors. Plastic is a valuable but limited resource so the ideal route for most plastic items, especially plastic bags, when they reach the "end-of-life" is to turn them back into another plastic product which may be recycled over and over again. Britain alone is estimated to use over 5 million tonnes of plastic every year from which only 24% has been recollected and recycled.
Plastic recycling recovers scrap or waste plastics and reprocess the material into useful products, often completely different from their original state. For example, this could mean melting down polyester soft drink bottles then making model army figures and ammo.
Plastic Identification Codes
To help the process of recycling plastics were classified into 7 different groups of polymers, each with specific properties. Each group of plastic polymer is identified by its Plastic Identification Code (PIC) - normally a number between 1 and 7. The code is then used to helping identifying whether the plastic can be recycled into new products or not.
Benefits of Plastic Recycling
Here are some benefits of recycling plastic:
For packaging to be considered biodegradable it needs to be able to be broken down by the enzymes produced by living organisms. Biodegradable packaging is usually manufactured using plant or animal sources like paper, vegetable scraps and corn starch.
Biodegradable packaging can be classified as degradable, biodegradable or compostable each one of these have different properties. Degradable packaging will suffer a significant change in its chemical structure under specific environmental conditions resulting in loss of some properties. Biodegradable packaging will degrade from the action of naturally occurring micro-organisms, such as bacteria and fungi over a period of time. Compostable packaging is capable of undergoing biological decomposition in a compost site such that the plastic is not visually distinguishable and breaks down to carbon dioxide, water, inorganic compounds, and biomass.
Regular plastics take a very long time to decompose. Rubbish and dump waste have their own associated problems and hazards as well as taking a long time to disintegrate. Litter is also visual pollution, a problem that organisations and educational programs have failed to eliminate. Not only does normal packaging degrade very slowly but anything contained within the packaging may not fully degrade until the plastic has degraded. This slow composition also represents an unnecessary waste of valuable landfill space. Biodegradable bags (for instance those made out of potato starch) accelerate the process of degradation, meaning less space is needed for packaging to decompose in less time.
Common biodegradable packaging products
Biodegradable alternatives are becoming increasingly common for many packaging ranges. It is important to draw the distinction between degradable and "truly" biodegradable products that are potentially much more environmentally friendly, but biodegradable alternatives exist for the following standard packaging products:
These are just some of types available but nowadays, for those that care about the environment, there are biodegradable alternatives to polythene for practically every type of packaging, be sure to check our recommended suppliers for more options.
The following websites concentrate on the supply of biodegradable bags
Biodegradable Bags 2u
Biodegradable Bags 2u
Discount Biodegradable Bags
Discount Biodegradable Bags
Manufacturers of biodegradable packaging
Polybags - Eco packaging
Environmentally friendly bags and packaging
The following are websites selling or giving information on where to buy many ranges of environmentally friendly packaging including biodegradable bags but also covering other green packaging suck as biodegradable void fill for protecting goods in transit.
Environmentally Friendly Bags
These sites give information and advice on where to buy compost bags for gardening, disposing of household waste in an eco-friendly manner or for specialist green waste disposal such as for dog waste.
Degradable bags and Recycled bags
Some environmentally responsible manufacturers offer the facility to re-use recycled polymer from reclaimed plastic bags to make the majority of their products (non-recycled polymer is known as virgin polymer). Another alternative to purely biodegradable bags made from natural products such as starch is the use of degradable bags where an additive helps break down a polythene bag quicker than usual. The following sites give more information on recycling polythene bags and degradable plastic bags.
Research & Resources
PlasticBags.uk.com: Free packaging directory where businesses can add their bags, film and biodegradable product listings for free. Browse websites about environmentally friendly packaging and biodegradable bags.
Goldstork: a private directory of interesting, unusual and off-beat websites. Visit Goldstork environmentally friendly biodegradable bags vault.