Contrary to popular belief, plastic is an organic product like wood and paper. There are two widely known and used types: thermoplastics and thermosets. Crude oil, which is exposed to pressure and different effects for a long time, is extracted from its beds and processed in refineries, and then presented to us as plastic products. Plastics used as packaging materials are classified according to criteria such as density and composition.
It is widely used as pet packaging, oil, juice, carbonated beverage packaging. There is a recycling logo consisting of 3 arrows and symbolized by a triangle shape on these packaging used.
If there is a number 1 in this logo, it means that the packaging is made of polyethylene terephthalate material. The number in the middle of the symbol indicates what material the packaging is made of. Polyethylene packaging is a type of plastic used in garbage bags, motor oil containers and cleaning products bottles, which are the packaging that we encounter almost every day in our daily life. If the recycling symbol on the packaging has 2 numbers on it, the material is made of high density polyethylene material, while the number 4 inside the symbol indicates that the packaging is made of low density polyethylene material.
It covers products such as PVC packaging products, cleaning products packaging, shampoo bottles and contains polyvinyl chloride. The number 3 in the symbol indicates that this product is produced from polyvinyl chloride material. If the number in the symbol is 5, it means that the packages in this class are made of polypropylene material. Packages in this class are used in the storage of medicines, ketchup bottles and dairy products.
If the number 6 in the recycling symbol is 6, the packaging we use is made of polystyrene material. Examples of packaging containing polystyrene are fast-food, egg containers, etc. Polycarbonate packaging is a very durable plastic type and can be used safely for long periods of time. We can show the best example of this type of packaging.
There is a standard for the plastic packaging used in our house or in the production of companies, and health problems may occur if these standards are not followed. The name of the manufacturer, the business number obtained from the agriculture and forestry directorate, the logo showing the raw material of the package produced, the cutlery logo showing its suitability for food should be on the packaging. Packaging that does not carry this information on it does not give us a guarantee to ensure the safety of the food.
Although it is used intensively in all areas of our lives, it is not economical to obtain packages from crude oil every time, and it causes serious damage to the environment. Because every plastic packaging that we do not recycle goes to nature and harms us by passing from nature to our food. That’s why we should carefully collect our plastic packaging and send it for recycling. Of course, we should collect all our wastes for recycling, not just plastic packaging, and deliver them to recycling points.
In developed countries, individuals separate their wastes as glass, metal, plastic and organic and leave them to appropriate collection centers, so instead of producing products from raw materials, products are produced from recycled materials. Thus, we can meet our needs by using less energy and raw materials. Let’s not forget that plastic waste is recycled again.