Plastic wastes generated by households consist mostly of the used packages of food and consumer goods. In order to save space for their temporary storage, they should be reduced in volume, preferably by compression. Sorted plastics are usually stored in the pantry, kitchen, corridor or cellar. Many people employ plastic carrier bags or PE bags and special baskets for the purpose. Collapsed PET bottles will go well in a larger paper/cardboard box. Before chucking a used package, make sure it has been cleared of any residue of its original content. The development of unpleasant odours will be prevented this way.
What‘s Going on with Plastic Waste?
Sorting in Households
28 kg of plastics will sort out an average Czech household per year
Containers for Plastic Sorting
118,386 containers for plastics sorting can be found in the Czech Republic in total
Containers designed for collection of plastics are either yellow, or labelled “Plastics” in yellow colour. If plastic waste is sorted in the household, one should keep in mind that the volume of plastic items should be reduced as much as possible (by compression) before being thrown in the container.
more than 128,000 tons of plastic waste are collected annually from Czech municipalities
Plastic waste is generally collected by means of the same vehicles as used for collection of other types of sorted waste, even though certain municipalities use separate vehicles for collecting particular sorted waste types. In order any doubts to be avoided, each vehicle should be properly marked with the waste type it just collects. In case the collecting vehicle is equipped with a press, the volume of plastics may be reduced as many as six times by its application. Sorted plastics removed from containers and bags should be subjected to additional (final) sorting, in which any undesirable admixtures are removed, too. This operation is made on the final sorting line.
Final Sorting Line
more than 411 tons of plastics are subjected to final sorting and compression every day
The final sorting of plastic waste, as well as with other similar commodities, is a very important step of the whole process of recycling, as it allows any undesirable admixtures and foreign bodies to be rejected. In the procedure of final sorting the mixture of various materials is sorted out into basic groups (PET, foils, hollow plastic packages, polystyrene, mixed plastics). Each plastic type will be then processed separately. As usual, the most widespread and demanded plastic waste – PET bottles – are additionally sorted by colour. Both the erroneously sorted and soiled plastics may be used as alternative fuel in cement works or other production plants.
70% of PET bottles are recycled and reused in the Czech Republic every year
Types sorted plastics are pressed into 200kg heavy cubes. Than are this packages transported from Sorting lines to processors. Where it is further crushed, washed, and transformed to the raw materials for manufacture of final products. The most common product is called recycling granulate, which is the feedstock for the production of new plastic in the form of a small pellet. Regranulated plastic waste can be found in most new plastic products.
50 of PET bottles will suffice for producing a fleece jacket
Recycled plastics find wide use in the industry. Expanded polystyrene is used for the production of insulating breeze blocks, expanded concrete units and other thermal insulation systems.
Mixed plastics, not sorted into plastic types, may be processed, for instance, into various building and garden construction elements, such as fences, grass paving systems, sound damping walls or garden composters.
PET bottles sorted out are used for the production of technical and textile fibres (that can be further processed into carpets, e.g.) or of new bottles, binding tapes, etc.
Plastic bags, foils or carrier bags are usually re-granulated and used for the production of new foils.