Why Recycle Milk Containers?
Recycling milk containers is vital to maintaining a green environment because:
• It reduces household waste and lowers garbage collection costs.
• It allows the valued high-density polyethylene plastic (HDPE) to be reused.
• It increases the recovery cost of HDPE, supporting the collection of low-value materials for recyclers.
• It reduces landfill waste build-up.
• It helps conserve natural resources which are used to make new plastic and paper-based products.
Milk jugs are one of the most valuable materials for recycling because they can easily be converted back into usable plastic. After the used jugs are baled, chipped and washed, they are melted and formed into pellets. These pellets produce items such as:
• Plastic Pipes
• Drainage Tiles
• Non-Food Packaging Products
• Flower Pots
• Patio Furniture
Milk cartons are made from a lightweight, high-grade paperboard known as polycoat, which is placed between two layers of polyethylene film to obtain a rigid structure. This material can be made into new materials by hydrapulping—a process in which heat, water, and agitation break down to produce pulp for paper products. The residual polyethylene can then be used in plastic and composite materials.
Canadian dairy processors have recognized the need for more operational support in the recycling process and have partnered with recyclers to remove milk containers from the waste stream and landfills, while preserving natural energy. They are also working with provincial, municipal, and private entities to make these proactive solutions more successful.
Fortunately, many Canadian provinces have also recognized the need for new recycling solutions that:
• Do not disrupt the packaging and handling requirements necessary for ‘live’ products such as milk.
• Ensure food safety and prevent cross-contamination.
• Minimize cost and maximize convenience for consumers.