If you’re familiar with East Jordan Plastics, you know we advocate for sustainability. What you may not know is just how serious we are about it. Not only do we produce reliable-quality growing containers made from recycled materials, we’re also dedicated to helping growers get involved in recycling containers.
Participating in our closed-loop recycling process is easy. It just takes a little bit of recycling know-how—and that know-how starts with understanding different plastics. We’ve touched on the difference between curbside plastics and the plastics we use in our containers in an earlier blog, but we’d like to take that a bit further by explaining how to read recycling symbols.
Just because you see the “chasing arrows” symbol on a container doesn’t mean the item is curbside recyclable. It’s the number inside the arrows that tells you more about the type of plastic and how it will break down. Knowing the meaning of these numbers is key to recycling correctly.
Three recycling numbers you should know
#2 – HDPE (high-density polyethylene)
This is a versatile plastic with many packaging applications. It carries a low risk of giving off contaminants and is recyclable into many types of goods. Most curbside programs accept it, but because it can break down quickly and isn’t heat resistant, HDPE (like PET) is not often recycled in the horticulture industry. At East Jordan Plastics, we sometimes recycle this material. Please contact us if you want to know more about how we recycle #2.
#5 – PP (polypropylene)
This plastic has a high melting point and is often chosen for containers that will hold hot liquids. It can withstand the heat of a greenhouse, so we use it in many of our containers. While it’s not widely accepted in recycling programs, East Jordan Plastic does accept it. This is why our recycling program is important—it offers growers and their customers the opportunity to contribute to a closed-loop recycling system so containers can be continuously recycled.
#6 – PS (polystyrene)
This material can be made into rigid or foam products. It’s popularly known as the trademark Styrofoam. While most places don’t accept it for recycling, it’s accepted by East Jordan Plastics. By accepting PS, we’re giving it a purpose—we’re allowing it to go back into containers and do what it’s well-suited to do.
As a grower, we encourage you to partner with us and get paid to recycle your plastic to help produce more containers. The key is looking at your containers and remembering we accept #5 and #6 plastics and sometimes #2 for recycling used horticultural containers into new flats, trays and pots.
How can you participate? It’s as easy as giving us a call, sending us an email or filling out our contact form.