Author: plasticrecyclingmachine

Tips for recycling glass and crystal

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Although glass and crystal may seem like they’re the same, they’re actually far from it. Pure glass is very different from other glass based materials, and they require different recycling processes in order to be reused. Can both of them go into the same container? The answer is – no. We’ll explain why and give you some tips you can use in order to recycle them both.

Surely there’s been more than one time you broke a glass bottle and wondered what to do with it. Should you put it in the green or the orange recycling container? It’s not a trivial issue at all, as glass and crystal can’t be melted in the same furnaces or at the same temperature.

If you ask any recycling expert, he’ll explain that the term “glass” is often used synonymous with many other glass related or glass based products. Glass is an inorganic, hard, brittle, transparent and amorphous ceramic material. It’s composed of silica sand, carbonates and limestone, and is made by fusing all of these elements in temperatures as high as 1,500 ° C. Crystal, on the other hand, contains lead oxide, which gives it certain specific characteristics such as brightness and the ability to produce specific sounds.

The main difference between crystal and glass is the fact that crystal glasses or cups contain lead oxide, which can’t be melted in traditional recycling furnaces. Crystal melts at much higher temperatures than glass, and often fails to melt even a little in glass furnaces. This is why many recycling companies and experts recommend you deposit glass only in in their designated containers, as Sorema does for example.

Now that you have the scientific explanation, it’s time for the practical advice. Here’s a detailed list of instructions on what to deposit where.

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Glass-only containers: This is a GLASS-ONLY container, so don’t forget to remove any plastic caps, veneers or corks from bottles or jars. In these containers you can deposit:

  • Bottles of wine, beer, juices, soft drinks or spirits
  • Food jars that contained pickled items, jams, olives, etc.
  • Bottles of cologne and perfume
  • Deodorizing spray bottles or roll-on deodorant bottles
  • Small jars from various cosmetic products

Gray and orange containers: Although these containers are often meant for disposing organic waste, there are certain glass-related products you can also put in there:

  • Dinnerware crystal – glasses, bowls, plates, etc.
  • Broken glass planes, such as those from windows and mirrors
  • Conventional light bulbs
  • Any other clean and broken thick glass or crystal

However, there are some other glass-related products that can’t be deposited in either one of these containers. Although they might seem safe and trivial, they are very hazardous products that can do a lot of damage if not deposited and recycled properly. Some of these products are:

  • Flat, unbroken glass planes still in their designated frames
  • Fluorescent tubes
  • LED and other energy saving light bulbs
  • Mercury and other similar thermometers

10 Things You Can Do To Minimize Plastic Pollution

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Your computer, your phone, your stuff and even your home has parts that are made of plastic. Although you get the idea that all plastic is recyclable from the media and the internet, but it’s not always the case. Only certain types of plastic can be recycled, and more than half of all discarded plastic never gets near a recycling plant.

In the United States, from the 30 million tons of waste that’s produced every year, only 7% ever gets recycled. The rest of it ends up in oceans and rivers, on beaches and in the soil. In fact, there’s an entire reef called the Pacific Garbage Patch that’s entirely made up of trash.

There are some steps you can take that, although small on their own, can help us all win the battle with pollution. Here are just some of the things you can do that’ll help you lead a more environmentally friendly life.

  1. Say no to disposable straws.

They’re the worst. Replace them with reusable metal ones that’ll help you keep your drinks fresh and uncontaminated by plastic.

  1. Use a recyclable bag

There’s one million plastic bags being used every minute in the world. Don’t contribute to this ever growing number by always carrying a reusable or a recyclable one.

  1. Say goodbye to gum

Originally, all chewing gum was made from biodegradable natural substances. Nowadays, they’re made from a virtually indestructible polymer that takes thousands of years to degrade in nature.

  1. Buy boxed detergent

When choosing a laundry detergent, opt for the one that comes in a cardboard box instead of the ones that come in plastic bags or bottles. It’s more eco-friendly and it’ll stay fresh longer.

  1. Buy everything in bulk

Avoid unnecessary packaging by buying all your groceries in bulk. Pack and carry them in cloth or paper bags to completely eliminate the need for plastic.

  1. Reuse containers

Save all glass and plastic containers you bought groceries in. You can use them to store food and other household items.

  1. Bring your own container

When eating out or ordering takeaway food, bring your own container for them to put the food in. The disposable plastic or Styrofoam dishes they’d give you almost never get recycled.

  1. Light a match

Unlike your standard plastic lighter, matches are eco-friendly and recyclable.

  1. Discard all your disposable cutlery and plates

Recycle all your plastic dishes and utensils and use only ceramic, glass or stainless steel ones.

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  1. Use cloth diapers

Regular, store-bought diapers are an environmental disaster. They’re unrecyclable and expensive, and both you and your baby would be better of using cloth diapers. They’re washable and can help your baby stay free from diaper rashes.

Although it’s nothing life changing or drastic, these small steps put you on a great path to become a more environmentally-friendly person and do your part in protecting the environment.

25 Tips That’ll Help You Use Less Plastic

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Plastic is almost everywhere around us, it’s cheap to make and has numerous uses in our everyday modern life. The downside of this is that plastic is a growing environmental problem because it doesn’t degrade or decompose. Plastic bottles and bags that don’t get recycled end up in the water or in the soil where they can remain for literally thousands of years before they decompose. The plastic that’s thrown in the ocean forms giant plastic islands that affect the marine wildlife. The organisms that live in the ocean often die because they asphyxiate on plastic pieces.

There’s not a single beach on this planet that’s not plagued with plastic. Even the rocky, snowy beaches of Antarctica have tested positive for micro-plastic contamination. There are more pieces of plastic in the water than there are plankton in all of the oceans. It’s a devastating state our oceans are in, and any change could take hundreds of years before showing results.

If you’re like any other person today, you’re an avid plastic user. If you want to make your daily habits more environmentally friendly, here are some tips on how to achieve that.

  1. Buy everything in bulk. There’s probably a store nearby that sells things such as rice, cereal, pasta and flour in bulk. Go to large farmers markets and buy all your fruits and vegetables in large quantities directly from the farmers.
  2. Reuse all plastic containers. The plastic boxes and containers that come as packaging can be reused many times, either as a way to store food or as some other type of container.
  3. Use a reusable water bottle. Don’t buy plastic water bottles or use paper or foam cups at the water dispenser. These almost never get recycled, and a reusable water bottle keeps your drinks fresher and colder.
  4. Invest in a water filtration system for your home. Chances are the tap water you have isn’t safe for drinking, so instead of buying all those unnecessary water bottles, filter the tap water to save both your money and your environment.
  5. Carry reusable shopping bags. Keep them in your car or your purse so they’re always on hand. You can also make them on your own from old t-shirts.
  6. Shop for your seasonal fruits and vegetables at your local market. You’ll avoid unnecessary plastic packaging, as you can carry them in paper or cloth bags.
  7. Pack your lunch in a reusable lunch box, made from glass or stainless steel. It’ll keep your food fresher and can be washed and used almost forever.
  8. If you eat a lot of bread, try making it yourself. Homemade bread will stay fresh longer and makes for much better toast than any other pre-packed bread you can buy at the store.
  9. When grocery shopping, avoid products that come with a Styrofoam or a plastic packaging. Opt for ones that have paper or cardboard ones that can be recycled.
  10. When eating out, bring a glass or a stainless steel container so you can put your leftovers there. Most restaurants use paper or plastic bags to pack them, so you can avoid using needles amounts of plastic.
  11. Carry your own stainless steel or silver utensils to avoid using disposable plastic ones.
  12. Use glass or stainless steel containers to store food at your home. Plastic ones wear out faster and can release dangerous toxins to your food.
  13. Make your own condiments and store them in metal boxes or glass jars.
  14. Make your own snacks instead of buying ones that come in a plastic or paper wrap.
  15. Use the leftovers you’d otherwise throw away for composting. They’ll do more good in your garden than in your thrash bag.
  16. Make your own cleaning products in reusable containers instead of buying new products and throwing out used plastic bottles all the time.
  17. Make your own detergent to avoid the bulky plastic packaging that’s sold in stores.
  18. Avoid using personal hygiene products that come in disposable plastic bottles. Opt for natural soaps and shower gels that come in bars, and use organic body butters from metal containers.
  19. Avoid using regular cotton pads and tampons, and switch to a menstrual cup or specialized menstrual underwear.
  20. When travelling, take your own hygiene products in reusable packaging to avoid using plastic disposable ones you’d get at a hotel.
  21. At a birthday party, use paper plates and cups made from recycled materials so you can recycle them again.
  22. Buy foods that come in glass containers instead of cans. Most food cans are covered with plastic and can’t be reused.
  23. Before buying anything made of or containing plastic, ask yourself if you really need it. You’ll avoid any needless hoarding and reduce the amount of plastic that’s released into the environment.
  24. Avoid buying pre-packed meals. Not only are they full of additives that are bad for your body, they’re often sold in plastic packaging that’s almost impossible to reuse.
  25. Wear clothes made from natural fabrics such as cotton, wool or linen.

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25 Tips That’ll Help You Reduce Plastic Waste

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Plastic is one of the greatest dangers to the environment, since it takes hundreds of years to biodegrade. Since its invention, its use in our everyday lives has been dramatically increasing. The United Nations Environment Program estimates that the production of plastic worldwide can reach 33 billion tons by 2050, and warns people that plastic makes more than 80% of all the waste in our oceans.

While some experts believe that the way we treat waste today is not very effective, you can take some measures on your own to stop adding to this problem. We’re about to present you with 25 tips on how to achieve that. However, if you’re looking to make a drastic and impactful change, you can follow the footsteps of Lauren Singer. She managed to live waste-free for almost two years now, and you can read more about her story from her blog by clicking here.

  1. Don’t buy plastic water bottle, and always opt for a reusable one.
  2. Say no to straws. If you can’t avoid than, choose the metal ones and cut back on plastic.
  3. When wrapping a gift, opt for old newspaper and magazines instead of the traditional plastic wrapping paper. Here are some creative packaging ideas you can use.
  4. Stop using disposable plastic utensils and use stainless steel ones instead. They’re more resistant and durable and you can carry them with you.
  5. Replace all your plastic kitchen utensils such as spoons, ladles and spatulas with wooden ones for a more sustainable cooking experience.
  6. Replace the plastic ice cube trays with metal ones.
  7. Get rid of all your plastic Tupperware. It’s not made from recycled plastic and can introduce dangerous chemicals to your food. Replace them with bottles and glass or stainless steel containers.
  8. If you take your coffee to go, carry a ceramic or stainless steel thermos with you and skip the plastic and paper cups they give you at the coffee shop.
  9. Replace your plastic shower curtain with a cloth one. The former usually accumulates mold and moisture, while the cloth one is washable and therefore more hygienic. A glass shower door is also a great solution.
  10. Change your habits and carry cloth bags with you to the store. You can stop using plastic bags and can even make the cloth one from clothes you’d otherwise discard.
  11. Opt for loose tea leaves instead of tea bags.
  12. Always choose a product with cardboard or glass packaging.
  13. When possible, buy wholesale. Not only will it help you save a lot of money, you can also avoid the use of unnecessary packaging.
  14. Re-use containers you got other products in. Here are some tips on how to make us of containers you thought are nothing but trash.
  15. Avoid buying CDs and DVDs. In addition to generating more waste, these are fragile and can get damaged easily. You can download music and movies pretty much anywhere and play them on almost any device you have.
  16. When buying takeaway food, take your own reusable container with you and ask them to put your food there.
  17. If you’re a smoker, stop using plastic lighters and opt for a refillable one like a Zippo or just use matches.
  18. Avoid using cling or aluminum foil as much as you can. If you need to cover food, use a lid from a pan or a plate, and secure any jars with lids.
  19. To reduce your waste even more, don’t reuse plastic bags. Instead, use disposable paper bags, and you can even use them to fertilize any plants you might have when they break or tear.
  20. Avoid exfoliating creams that contain plastic beads. If you need to exfoliate your skin, there are more sustainable options. You can learn how to make a natural exfoliator at home.
  21. Use masking tape instead of plastic tape.
  22. Instead of using indoor air fresheners that come in plastic containers or pressurized bottles, opt for scented candles or incense. You can even make your own candles in the flavors you like. You can learn how to do it here.
  23. Make your own cleaning solutions. Besides being less toxic, you don’t need a bunch of them and you can reduce the number of unnecessary plastic bottles in your home. You can find some examples of how to make natural cleaning products here.
  24. Use cloth diapers instead of plastic ones. They’re washable, so you’ll only need a couple of them and they’ll last forever.
  25. Don’t buy disposable razors. If you can’t avoid using them, you can opt for the ones that can have their blades changes, or even ones that can be sharpened so you never have to throw them out.