Be careful with recycling contamination

Some people and businesses make a massive effort to recycle. It is much better for the environment than sending everything to landfill. However, some materials will end up there anyway even if they are recyclable. This happens because of recycling contamination. We want to have a closer look at it today. Then, if you want to use recyclable foils for decorative products, you can speak to us.

What is it?

Recyclable foilsThe best way to recycle is to separate waste into different streams, keeping materials segregated. This ensures there are no other substances in there that could have an impact on recycling and creating new products. You can see this with local collections that ask you to keep glass separate.

Recycling contamination then is when you don’t separate materials or include something that isn’t recyclable. It could be a simple mistake like accidentally putting a plastic bottle in with glass ones or including a metal lid.

Contamination can also happen because packaging still has food residue or grease on it. Ideally you should thoroughly clean everything before you put it in the recycling.

Mixed media

The biggest challenge is when you have packaging that features different materials. For example, you may have a plastic bottle with a film wrap. The bottle itself may be recyclable, but the film might not be. That means if you just throw it all in the recycling without removing the wrap, you can contaminate the whole batch.

Foils can be a big problem here. They are fantastic for decorative elements on different types of packaging and other products. However, some foils are not for recycling. They may have a plastic film that you can’t separate. Ideally businesses should choose recyclable foils that won’t cause contamination.

Why is it such an issue?

As we said above, recycling contamination can end with materials simply going to landfill. Sometimes it is the only option because sorting is too costly or completely impossible.

In addition, it is a massive issue because of the risk to the recycling machinery. A simple plastic bag could cause serious problems with sorting and grinding equipment. In the worst cases, the machine could break, resulting in costly downtime and repairs.

The contamination can also make it too dangerous for people who work in recycling. For example, it could expose them to harmful substances and even hazardous waste.

Finally, it can devalue the materials. Resources will always have a higher value if they are free from contaminants. The purer they are, the more they are worth. Sadly just a small amount of contaminants can often ruin this.

Speak to us about recyclable foils

At Foiling Services we want to play our part in boosting recycling. To do that we offer high quality foil that is safe to recycle. It has had extensive testing, including on automotive parts. You can safely recycle it because the foil is so thin it typically dissipates when recycled. It has very little impact on the quality of recycled materials too.

So, if you want recyclable foils, speak to us. You can add them to various products with no fears about contamination.