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Plastic Recycling

Updated: Sep 7, 2022

Understanding the different types of plastics and the challenge of recycling them is key to better sort your plastic waste and overall reduce the amount of plastics sent to landfills.

Worldwide key facts on plastics

  • Every year, the world produces 380 million tonnes of plastic

  • Around 90% of plastic is not recycled, sent to landfills and/or in the environment

  • 75% of all plastic produced has become waste

  • Plastic accounts for 73% of the waste littering beaches, oceans, and seabeds in the world

What usually Happens to Plastics?

The majority of plastic materials are non-biodegradable.

After being collected for recycling, it is purified and melted down. It can be used to create new products, rather than sitting in a landfill and harming the environment.

Plastics you can recycle

There are 7 common types of plastic labeled from #1 to #7. The different categories of plastic specify the different chemical compositions- called the resin- and as a result, its level of harmfulness to the environment.

Usually #1, 2, 4, 5 & 6 can be recycled. Plastics labeled #3 and #7 are not easily recyclable.

Only plastics labeled #1 and #2 are easily recycled and only a small fraction of those plastics are actually getting recycled.

​​Please check your local rules to know what kind of plastic you can recycle in Boston, New York or Hong Kong.

Plastic deficiency

Many people assume that plastic, like glass or paper, can be recycled over and over again forever without losing any quality. The truth is that plastic declines in value and strength every time it is recycled, until it is eventually rendered useless for recycling. After that, in most cases, it winds up in a landfill, where it slowly breaks down into microplastics and em