About Recycling2019-03-13T13:33:37+00:00

All About Recycling

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From waste to resource

reading time: approx. 2 minutes

After waste has been sorted by the consumer, it goes to the waste sorting plant where it is further sorted. For plastic this means films are separated from thicker plastic packaging, and PET is separated from PE (HDPE and LDPE) and PP. Thicker plastics go to special treatment plants to be further recycled. What happens to it? Here’s an example of what happens to PE:

The sorted plastic is chopped into to pieces of 5 by 10 cm (‘shred’).

A magnet pulls out any metals, and water is used to get out any stones or glass.

Grinding mills grind the shred into even finer flakes with a maximum of 1 x 1 cm. Then the material is washed in cold water and dried, followed by a warm wash and cold rinse.

Air is used to get out any remaining film, and darker plastic is separated from lighter with the aid of cameras.

The finely ground flakes are mixed together to form a homogeneous mass, and then ‘salt and pepper’ (such as pigments) are added.

The flakes are melted and filtered to remove impurities, and the melted mass is put through a kind of meat-grinder and comes out as grains.

This granular material is put through a sieve to separate the finer grains from the coarser ones, which are then of course recycled again.

The ultimate result: a recycled material that is similar to new plastic in terms of its properties and can be put back into the plastic chain.

Check out this video by Suez showing the process from waste separation through to making new bottles! Our Multi Trigger for Marcel’s Green Soap appears here.

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The properties of recycled plastic

reading time: approx. 2 minutes

Recycled plastic has the same properties as new plastic when it comes to strength. But there are also differences. For instance, bottles from R-HDPE are not (yet) suitable for foodstuffs or stay-on cosmetics applied to the skin.

In addition, there are a few superficial differences with regard to R-HDPE and R-PET. We use three types of recycled plastic: R-HDPE, R-PET and R-PP. Below you can find more info about recycled plastics: what they can be used for, how they are made, and how you can recognize them.

Looks

color
“Ivory”

You can see that I’ve been recycled by:

  • The occasional speckle
  • A light cleaner smell

Made of

Plastic waste from you, the consumer (e.g. from Plastic Heroes)

Suitable for

  • Labels, sleeves, or imprint
  • Colouring (makes it slightly less recyclable)

Here are some tips for a better plastic recycling flow

Suitable for

Can be used for everything?

Unfortunately, recycled HDPE is not yet suitable for all products. This is because its origins are not 100% traceable. R-HDPE is therefore not suitable for foodstuffs, drinks and cosmetics applied to the skin, for example. But these bottles of R-HDPE are perfectly suitable for cleaning products, soap or plant food!

Ivory R-HDPE

Recycled HDPE is ivory coloured. This is because of the way sorting is done at the recycling plant QCP. Want a different colour or white? We can do it! Colouring can be added to the basic material. It makes a bit less environmentally friendly, but it is still a more environmentally friendly product than material that is not recycled.

Recognizing recycled plastic

  • The speckle! There might be that a deviating spot on the packaging that would not be there if it was made of new plastic. This is the most important evidence that the packaging is recycled plastic.
  • A light cleaner smell! This is from the recycling process. Usually this smell is masked by the fragrance of the product in the container.

Order Your sample packet here and judge for yourself

Origins

QCP

Currently we get nearly all our R-HDPE from QCP, a recycling plant in Limburg. QCP processes plastic waste from Suez* and Plastic Heroes into recycled plastic.

*The household waste, including plastic, of nearly four million people in the Netherlands is collected by Suez, who also collect the waste of 70,000 companies.

BIFFA

The material for our Compact Round bottles comes from BIFFA, a recycling plant in England. They make R-HDPE from milk bottles, which gives it a different colour than the R-HDPE from QCP. In its natural form this material is a light grey colour.

Go to our complete range

Looks

color:
Transparent (with dark cast)

You can see that I’ve been recycled by:

  • My slightly darker colour

Made of:

Deposit (PET-) bottles

Suitable for

Suitable for

Can be used for everything?

For our R-PET we use the material MoPET, made from Dutch deposit bottles whose origins are therefore complete traceable. There are different levels of quality available, the best being MoPET-A, also suitable for foodstuffs, drinks and cosmetics.

Recognizing recycled plastic

Transparency! R-PET does not (yet) have the same transparency as new PET: there is a dark tinge. That means you can easily see that it’s recycled material!

The colour of R-PET is not (yet) 100% transparent, but it’s really close. Order a free sample packet here and see for yourself!

Origins

As we mentioned before, to make R-PET we use MoPET. This material is made from recycled deposit bottles collected in Dutch supermarkets.

Go to our complete range

Looks

color:
Grey

Origins

Plastic waste from you, the consumer (e.g. from Plastic Heroes)

Marketing Options

  • Colour (testing phase)

Suitable for

Can be used for everything?

Just like R-HDPE, R-PP comes from the recycling company QCP in Limburg. So it’s made from Dutch waste! Caps made from recycled material are perfect for soap, cleaners, chemicals, plant food and wash-off cosmetics. Unfortunately it is not yet suitable for foodstuffs and stay-on cosmetics.

Recognizing recycled plastic

R-PP is grey when it comes from the recycling plant. You can of course give it a colour, but this makes it somewhat less environmentally friendly.

Order Your free sample packet with R-PP caps here and see for yourself!

Marketing possibilities

As we mentioned before, R-PP can be given a colour if you want to. Darker shades of blue, green and red can also be coloured black. We are still testing other colours to find out what the possibilities are.

Tips for a better plastic recycling flow

reading time: approx. 2 minutes

Imprints and colouring

Use ink that can be washed off at 70 degrees Celsius.

Do notuse ink containing toxic substances.

Coloured plastic has some disadvantages when it comes to the recycling process. Remember: the purer it is, the purer the recycling flow.

Labels and Sleeves

Preferably use the same materialthat the bottle has been made of.

Avoid a paper label, which is a nuisance in the plastic recycling flow.

Ensure that the glue holding the label dissolves at 70 degrees Celsius, so the label can be washed away.

Toxic substances

Do not use any silicon valvesfor the cap; the PP-valve is a great environmentally friendly option.

Do not use any opaque PET, i.e. PET that you can’t see through; this material may interfere with the recycling process.

Do we have to keep sorting waste at home?

Yes! Sometimes you hear that in some cases sorting waste at home isn’t better than sorting it at the waste treatment centre. This is only partially true. For now. The plastic chain is not yet 100% functional in all municipalities of the country, but this doesn’t mean that waste should not be sorted. The more the links in the chain dedicated to recycling, the better and more environmentally friendly the chain becomes.

Go to PlasticHeroes.nl for more information

What goes in the plastic bin, and what doesn’t?

Read time: +/-1 minute

You can put all plastic packaging in the plastic bin, but there are a few exceptions.

Plastic products

The plastic bin is only for plastic packaging.

Black plastic

That means don’t collect plastic waste in a black bin bag; black plastic is not recognized as a recyclable material and will be incinerated, along with any contents.

Packaging of chemical products

Such as turpentine bottles and sealant containers. The packaging of multi-purpose cleaners, on the other hand, is acceptable.

Plastic with a metal layer

An aluminum lid, such as those used on margarine and yogurt containers, may sometimes be put in the plastic bin – it depends on the municipality.

Styrofoam

Such as fast-food containers or meat packages.

More information

Would you like to see what goes in the plastic bin, and what doesn’t? NOS (NL) has made a nice info-graphic that makes it all very clear. NOS Plastic Waste (NL)

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Want a free sample packet by mail?

With 1 R-PET and 1 R-HDPE sample with R-PP caps

Request yours today!

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