Some materials can be recycled, while others cannot.
The various materials that can be recycled must be separated. The symbols on the materials cover most recycling queries.
Many plastics are marked with a triangle containing a number. The number specifies the recycling category:
This is Polyethylene Terephthalate, a plastic used for soft drink and some household bottles. It is tough and transparent.
High density Polyethylene. A plastic that is usually a little thicker that others, and not completely transparent. It may be tinted. Used for Milk bottles, Shampoo and some lotions and cosmetics.
Polyvinyl Chloride. Hard, rigid plastic. The hardest version is used for piping, and lasts for many years. The softer version is used for insulation on wiring and on some food bottles.
Low density Polyethylene. This soft, waxy plastic is used in squeeze bottles.
Polypropylene. This is a semi-hard plastic, used for ice cream containers and other food storage containers, including fast food.
Polystyrene is an extremely common material. In the expanded version (EPS) it is used for packing and safety, as well as the insides of bean bags. The non-expanded version is used for some food containers, such as margarine and yogurt. Expanded polystyrene is recyclable, but not included in council kerbside collection. It must be compressed and recycled elsewhere.
The ‘6’ category only refers to the unexpanded polystyrene.
Material not fitting into the first six categories and not collected by council clean-ups. These include acrylic, nylon and many plastic toys.
Though Polystyrene is recyclable the expanded version (EPS) must be processed first with EPS Equipment.