Can recycle be used multiple times?

Like paper, the plastic polymers that hold an object together become too small to eventually become new things. Unlike glass and metal, chemicals are increasingly added to help hold polymers together. I used to think that plastic water bottles could be recycled infinitely, that every time I threw one in the blue bin, it turned out to be another plastic bottle. Turns out that's not the case.

Some materials can be recycled endlessly, but plastic isn't one of them. Some materials can be recycled infinitely. Others only go through the process once before going to the landfill. The way in which a recyclable material confronts the violent forces that transform it into a raw material for manufacturing determines its longevity.

If its basic properties do not change, it can be recycled with almost no limit. However, your recycling days are numbered if you degrade or reduce the cycle to a lower quality material. According to AzoCleanTech, a trade publication for the cleantech industry, PP can be recycled four times to make clothing fibers, brooms, garden rakes and the like. However, only about 1% is recycled, despite the fact that 72% of Americans have access to recycling PP bottles, jugs and jars and 47% have access to recycling PP cups, bowls and trays.

All metals have an unlimited lifespan and it's always a good idea to recycle them, no matter how much you have. It's made up of long fibers, so every time paper is recycled, those fibers get shorter, making it difficult to recycle the next time. If you're interested in knowing how much money you can earn as an ecological warrior, read The Basics of Recycling Scrap for Money. Generally, LDPE can only be recycled once because its quality is so degraded that it can only be used to treat carpets, trash can liners, and other single-use items.

Fibers are often too short for lower-quality paper after being recycled five to seven times, according to the U. But recycled plastic is not sustainable because it depends entirely on the continuous production of plastic, which is tremendously polluting. At a meager 29.1%, this category is considered highly recyclable compared to other types. It is used by most school programs and is capable of withstanding the recycling process several times, depending on what becomes of its after-consumption life.

Be sure to ask your local recycling center what types of glass they accept, as different types of glass have different melting points and cannot be recycled together. However, window panes, certain glass items and light bulbs may not be recyclable at all; they are created through more complicated manufacturing processes than simple bottles and bottles and may contain substances that affect the purity of glass. Aluminum cans are the most valuable recycled item in the United States and have the highest return rate from the moment they are dropped off at a recycling center or picked up in the landfill. Recycling paper involves shredding, crushing, soaking and heating it several times to convert it into the fibers needed for new paper.

Some sophisticated processes can separate these compounds and manufacture new PVC for pipes, carpet coverings and fences, but the difficulty and complexity of this process make it unlikely that the composites will be strong enough to withstand recycling more than once. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, it is recycled slightly more frequently than PET plastic (29.3% versus 29.1% of the time).

Vickie Zaidel
Vickie Zaidel

Freelance music maven. Gamer. Infuriatingly humble pop culture evangelist. Avid travel aficionado. Incurable tv maven. Lifelong internet nerd.