Hippo Sak® and Pull-N-Pak® are 100% Recyclable!!
Recycling plastic bags is important because they are made from valuable materials that can be made into useful new products like low-maintenance fencing and decking, building and construction products and, of course, new bags. Next time you head to your local grocer or retailer, you can return your Hippo Sak® to their plastic bag recycle bin! Across the country, many grocers and retailers accept plastic bags and wraps for recycling. Find a plastic bag recycle bin near you →
Plastic bags that are returned for recycling are first shredded into flakes and melted. After a quick wash, rinse and dry, the flakes are melted together in huge vats until they break down and soften. The reason plastic is able to be softened and remolded over and over again is because of its makeup. A plastic bag is essentially a chemical called a thermoplastic. A thermoplastic can be continually softened by heat and hardened by a cooling process.
Melted plastic is extruded into pellets, small oval pieces of plastic. This liquid plastic is pushed through an extruder which shapes the plastic into whatever form the manufacturer requires. To visualize an extruder, think back on your childhood Play-Doh set where you pushed the dough through the machine to make spaghetti. This is extruding.
Plastic may be extruded into various shapes; most often its made into small round pellets and stored until it can be either sold to another manufacturer and used to remake plastic bags or is sold to a manufacturer who is creating any number of plastic pieces, for human and pet use. If the plastic will be reused to recreate plastic bags, the pellets will be melted again and pressed through yet another die that will essentially form the plastic into thin sheets, cut it to the desired proportions and stamp it with the store’s logo.
Once they have been extruded into pellets, the new plastic is sold for secondary use. At this point, different plastics take on different destinies. They become anything from a fleece pullover to a railroad tie or a toothbrush.
How Are Plastic Bags Recycled, by Helen Polaski