Latest News:  

English>>Life & Culture

Proliferation of plastic waste imperils the people and the planet (2)

By Marino Xanthos   (Shanghai Daily)

09:34, March 15, 2013

Closed-loop recycling, in which plastics waste is used to make another product, thus carries significant environmental benefits, such as reduced energy and oil consumption.

But the process of separating the petroleum-based recyclable plastics from other kinds of plastics and solid waste is difficult, costly, and labor-intensive, so only a small proportion is recycled.

In 1988, the United States Society of Plastics Industry (SPI) developed a coding system in which each kind of resin is labeled with a number, 1-7, to facilitate sorting. The system has also been used elsewhere, including in Canada and Switzerland, but has not been adopted worldwide and is still confusing to some consumers.

If consumers knew to collect and separate household plastics based on their number, the resulting boost to recycling efforts would demonstrate to government and industry the viability of a more sustainable approach, reduce exposure to rising oil prices, and support growing global demand for plastics.

Plastics recycling

There are four categories of plastics recycling: primary recycling, in which the plastic is re-used in the same application; secondary recycling, in which material (mixed or contaminated) is used in less demanding applications; tertiary recycling, in which the plastic is converted into monomers or chemicals; and quaternary recycling, in which only energy is recovered through incineration.

Each of these methods recovers a different amount of the embodied energy of the plastic item. (All of the embodied energy is lost if the plastics are land-filled, a common disposal method worldwide.)

【1】 【2】 【3】

We recommend:

Those Xiaorenshu we read in childhood

Trip planner: four-day trip to S China

Wonderful snapshots of flying buzzards

Forever Shangri-la: China's heaven on earth

Top 10 ever-victorious generals in history

Dreamy log cabins among woods

Top 10 best airports in China 2012

Mysterious Zhongnanhai in Beijing

Top 10 Chinese 'Kung Fu Kings' in Minguo period

Email|Print|Comments(Editor:GaoYinan、Wang Jinxue)

Related Reading

Leave your comment0 comments

  1. Name


Selections for you

  1. DPRK top leader watches firing drill

  2. New-type guided missile frigate 'Bengbu' is commissioned to PLA Navy

  3. Kim Jong Un visits Defence Detachment

  4. Panic over dead pigs prompts satire

  5. Hailstones diameter hit SW China

  6. Chile unveils world's largest observatory

  7. Centenarian couple become cewebrities

  8. Anchors join Shenzhen TV

  9. South Africa is ready for BRICS

  10. Cities with highest urbanization quality

Most Popular


  1. Loopholes for rich make estate tax meaningless
  2. How to start transformation and upgrading?
  3. Nation facing energy security threat: experts
  4. Plenty of hard work still to be done on rail reform
  5. 'Made in China' not equal to 'self-made in China'
  6. Efforts needed to nurture ethnic culture, language
  7. Filipina maids or local ayi?
  8. China won't take part in currency wars
  9. Long live the kingdom of bicycles!
  10. Income gap still hot topic

What’s happening in China

What house can you buy with 1 million yuan in China?

  1. Officer dies from miscarriage after work
  2. High hopes for new food safety monitoring
  3. Drug trafficking post on rise
  4. More than 1/10 adults has chronic kidney disease
  5. Guangdong to ban on dumping animal carcasses