Plastic is something that we use in our daily lives, from water bottles to toys. But did you know that there are different types of plastic, and they’re not all the same? For instance, recycled plastics have always been compared with virgin resins in terms of sustainability.
In this article, we are pleased to discuss the differences between recycled plastics and virgin resins and their impact on eco-friendly and sustainable development. So, keep reading to learn all about it.
Overview of Virgin Resins
The resin manufactured from natural resources like crude oil, petrochemical feedstock, and natural gas is called virgin resin. It is the purest and most unprocessed type of resin. Since virgin resins possess a variety of original properties, they also offer numerous benefits in plastic production.
Plastic bag suppliers and manufacturers who choose to use virgin resin in their manufacturing facilities often do so due to the following benefits:
- Most of the plastics are manufactured from high-density polyethylene (HDPE) and polypropylene (PP). The manufacturing process involves using extreme temperatures and pressure that virgin resins can tolerate much more than recycled ones.
- Plastic products, such as bags, made from virgin resins are much better in terms of shape and design because their molecular structure is not affected.
- Manufacturers, such as plastic bag factories, that want maximum precision and accuracy should use virgin resins.
- Virgin resins are useful in maintaining the original chemical and mechanical properties of the plastic.
- Since virgin resins are available in their purest form, they suffer from minimal degradation, which leads to maximum durability of the components made from virgin resins.
Despite the numerous benefits of virgin resins, there are some noticeable disadvantages as well:
- Excessive usage and exploitation of natural fossil fuels can occur in the process of obtaining virgin resins.
- Plastic bags and other such products made from virgin resins have a very high chance of aggravating the issue of garbage landfills.
Recycled plastics are plastic products made from resins obtained from recyclable plastics. In other words, the manufacturing of such recycled plastics is circular in nature. Some of the companies and plastic bag suppliers also call such resins as ‘Post-Consumer Recycled Resin (PCR)’.
With a greater focus on adopting eco-friendly and sustainable practices, the use and importance of recycled plastics have greatly increased over the last few years.
It is good for the environment, and companies or plastic bag factories typically collect such plastic from trash, so the issue of garbage disposal is also mitigated.
The following are the key benefits of recycled resins:
- Recycled resins are made from trash, so there is no need to exploit fossil fuels.
- They minimize human-generated non-recyclable trash.
- Using recycled plastics is also useful in minimizing greenhouse gas emissions.
- Plastic bag suppliers and factories can significantly bring down their costs by switching to recycled resins.
- Companies, manufacturers, and businesses using recycled plastics can promote their products or services and attract more eco-conscious customers.
- Despite the expected impact on the molecular structure of the recycled plastics, the end quality can be as good as virgin resins.
It is evident that recycled resin has many more benefits than virgin resin. Nevertheless, it does not mean that recycled plastics do not come with their own set of cons and challenges, such as:
- Containers and bottles made from recycled plastics must be thoroughly cleaned to make sure they are decontaminated and fit for use, especially when they are going to hold food or water.
- A lot more progress is still required to spread awareness about the importance of using recycled products and open recycling centers to facilitate people in this process.
- Without a solid manufacturing process in place, the end quality of recycled plastic might not be as good as plastic made from virgin resins.
- There can be some legal challenges in varying regions related to using recycled plastic for food packaging.
Overall, both recycled plastics and virgin resins have their importance in the plastic industry. Plastic bag suppliers and manufacturers can choose to use any of these raw materials on the basis of their requirements and target audience.
For instance, if a plastic bag factory is mainly targeting the eco-conscious and sustainable developed-focused market, it should be using recycled plastics.
However, if the target consumers of a plastic bag supplier or manufacturer expect the highest possible quality and plastic product in a precise shape, it should use virgin resins to obtain the desired outcome.
Also, plastics products that are made from virgin resins can later be recycled to make other plastics products.
Keeping in mind that the plastics industry is a huge industry, there is room for both virgin resins and recycled plastics to exist and fulfill the specific requirements of individuals and businesses.
For further information, please feel free to contact our plastics specialists. Teong Chuan Plastic (M) Sdn Bhd is an established supplier and manufacturer of various types of plastic bags, including compostable plastic bags and OXO biodegradable plastic bags.