Which plastics can not be recycled?

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Which plastics can not be recycled? In this age of plastic pollution, it is critical to understand which plastics can be recovered. The following guide will illustrate the types of plastics that cannot be recovered, helping you to participate effectively in plastic recovery, avoid wasting resources, and protect the environment.

Which plastics can not be recycled?


Unrecyclable Plastic: Restricted Recognition of Composite Plastic Bag Recycling

Plastic products are unattended daily, but not all can be successfully recovered. One of the main types of plastic bags that cannot be recovered is composite plastic bags, which are difficult to handle due to their unique materials. Composite plastic bags are made from different materials, such as plastic, metal, or plant composites. Since these materials cannot be effectively dismantled, they cannot be handled by traditional recovery processes. As a result, even if these plastic bags are stamped with a recovery label, they still cannot be recovered; only the most common composite plastic bags include:

Aluminum sticker foil laminated plastic bags: commonly used for tea bags, leisure packaging, etc.

Tin laminated foil plastic bags, such as cookie bags and candy packaging, are used for food packaging.

Plastic laminated with plant fibers: located in everyday detachable plastic bags or environmental shopping bags. These composite plastic bags are challenging to recycle and may cause ecological dissolution.

Biodegradation: These plastic bags will exist in the environment for a long, causing problems and ecological damage. In addition, metal or plant components in composite plastic bags may also cause equipment damage during restoration. Therefore, care should be taken to avoid inputting composite plastic bags when performing plastic restoration to ensure the efficiency of the restoration process and environmental protection.


What plastics can’t be recycled? Watch out for products containing drugs or chemicals.

There is a wide range of plastic products daily, but not all plastics can be recovered. In addition to the previously mentioned composite plastic bags, the following types of plastic cannot be recovered:

  • Plastic products with pesticides or chemicals may leave residual substances affecting recovery performance. Examples include pesticide cans and chemical bottles.
  • Medical Releases: Because they may contain bacteria or viruses, medical releases require special handling and cannot be processed across the general plastics recycling process—examples: syringes, infusion bags, and medical bandages.
  • Pigmented or painted paints: Pigments and paints can contaminate pigments and interfere with recovery for reuse—examples: dye bottles and paint brushes.
  • Plastic bags containing metal or plant composites: Metal and plant composites can mediate the plastic recycling process, e.g., metal plastic bags with labeled zippers and plastic bags containing plant fibers.

Also, plastic products may not be recoverable if they have food residues, grease, or cosmetics. Before proceeding with plastic recovery, it is recommended that the plastic product be cleaned to avoid compromising the quality of the recovery.

Recognizing these unrecoverable silicone varieties will help improve silicone recovery efficiency and reduce environmental pollution. Remember to share this information with people around you so we can all do our part for silicone recovery.


Plastics that can’t be recycled: Beware of products containing chemicals; which plastics can’t be recycled?

Plastics exposed to chemicals or pesticides can potentially sanitize the recycling process. These substances can contaminate recycled plastics, rendering them unusable for reuse safely or efficiently. Therefore, the following plastics should be avoided for recycling:

  • Medical malpractice: Medical contaminants such as syringes, infusion ba, gs, and medical devices typically involve pharmaceutical and biodiesel substances. They should be handled using specialized chemical handling procedures and not recycled.
  • Pesticide containers and chemical containers: chemical containers with pesticides or disinfectant containers. Containers of household cleaners and disinfectants may contain sanitizing chemicals that can damage recovery equipment and contaminate other recoverable materials.
  • Pigmented or painted plastics: Plastic items containing disinfectant pigments or paints cannot be effectively remanufactured, affecting the quality of recovery, and are therefore not recoverable.
  • Plastic Bags Containing Metal or Vegetable Composites: Certain plastic bags contain metal or vegetable composites that can affect recovery equipment, potentially causing damage to machinery or degradation of the quality of the plastic.

Proper handling of plastics containing chemicals is critical. Require these items to generate a collection point for toxic releases or follow your local government’s guidelines for the disposal of releases. Doing so not only ensures public health and environmental safety but also promotes the benefits of plastic recycling.

Plastics that can’t be recycled: Beware of products containing chemicals; which plastics can’t be recycled?
CategoryPrecision products that cannot be recycled
Medical ReleaseMedical materials such as syringes, infusion bags, and medical equipment
Pesticide containers and chemical containersPlastic containers for pesticides or chemicals
Detergent containersContainers for household cleaners and disinfectants
Paints dyed with pigments or lacquersPlastic products containing pigments or paints
Plastic bags containing metal or plant compositesSome plastic bags contain metal or plant composites


Which plastics are hard to recover: recognizing hard-to-recover composites

Composite molds, including food packaging, toys, and electronic parts, are widely evaluated daily. However, these materials are difficult to recycle due to their complex structure. Composite molds are often made of two or more different materials, making them difficult to separate and dispose of using traditional recycling techniques. As a result, these composite plastics usually end up in landfills or incinerators, burdening the environment. Standard encapsulations of hard-to-recycle composite materials include:

  • Plastic bags or packages covered with tin or aluminum foil
  • Wires and cables containing metal wires or coils
  • Imported containers made of multiple layers of different materials, such as certain types of takeout boxes

Understanding which plastics are difficult to recover is critical and will help us reduce emissions and improve recovery rates. We can collectively contribute to a more sustainable future by avoiding composite plastics or looking for recoverable alternatives.


Unrecyclable Hardware: Getting to grips with common types of non-recyclable hardware

Plastic recycling is integral to promoting sustainable development, but not all plastic products are suitable for recycling. The following list of common plastic varieties that cannot be recycled helps you to correctly sort your plastic waste and avoid contaminating the recycling system:

Composite plastic bags: a barrier to recovery

  • Composite plastic bags contain composite materials such as plastic, metal, or aluminum foil simultaneously.
  • Due to the inability to separate these different materials, composite plastic bags reduce recycling efficiency during the recycling process.

As a result, composite plastic bags with recycling symbols are often still difficult to recycle and can only be disposed of in the general waste stream.

Wastewater containing chemicals: wastewater treatment

  • Packaging containers that store chemicals, drugs, or pesticides are often not recyclable.
  • These chemicals can contaminate the recovery system and affect the quality of the recovered plastic.
  • Plastic containers containing chemicals should be cleaned and discarded to avoid environmental contamination.

Encapsulation contaminated with food residues: reduced quality

  • Import containers contaminated with food residues or grease can reduce the quality of recycled imports.
  • Food residues can ferment during recycling, producing odors and harmful substances.
  • Import containers should be thoroughly cleaned after use to remove residues and ensure the effectiveness of import recovery.

Other precision products that cannot be recovered

  • Medical discharges, pigmented plastics, and plastic bags containing metal composites are among the plastics that cannot be recycled.
  • These plastics cannot be recovered because they are difficult to dispose of or would contaminate the recovery system.
  • It is essential to properly dispose of these non-recyclable plastics by local regulations to avoid environmental contamination.


Which plastics can not be recycled? Conclusion

By knowing which plastics cannot be recovered, we effectively improve the effectiveness of our recovery operations and maximize the efficacy of reusing resources. Remember, disposing of plastics properly, reducing the use of single-use products, and choosing alternative products that can be used are all essential actions that contribute to a sustainable environment. Together, we can recycle plastics and protect our home planet.



Can’t I return composite plastic bags?

  • No. Composite plastic bags containing tin or aluminum foil (e.g., tea or cookie bags) cannot be recycled and can only be disposed of in the general waste stream.

What plastic products cannot be returned?

  • Plastic products used with pesticides or chemicals, plastic made of metal or plant composite materials, and plastic dyed with pigments or paints cannot be recycled.

How should I dispose of medical waste?

  • Medical waste is not considered general garbage. Please refer it to qualified medical waste disposal operators for recycling or harmless treatment.
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