How to Recycle Bulk Bags?

If you have to deal with bulk items, bulk bags always fit the bill. They are also known as flexible intermediate bulk containers (FIBC) bags.

People often reuse and recycle plastic bags, but most never bother dealing with bulk bags. This practice is slowly watering the role that the bags were designed to play.

Their large sizes ensured that individuals and, more so, companies didn’t need a lot of containers to hold their products. That’s because one bag was enough to carry a handful of items.

Their strength and robustness also ensure they don’t tear easily despite carrying heavy things. The longevity also encourages reuse.

Such features make bulk bags have various characteristics, including cost-effectiveness, environmentally friendly and sustainability, to mention a few.

Unfortunately, the bulk bags will not last forever. Eventually, they will tear, and time will render them useless.

This eventuality has seen the need to reuse and recycle them. After all, their popularity is increasing, thus increasing their contribution to waste.

Knowing how to recycle bulk bags is important to ensure they are manageable. Otherwise, we will be dealing with a huge mess.

Types of Bulk Bags

There are four types of bulk bags based on their different shapes. They are as follows;

  • U-Panel
  • Four-Panel
  • Circular
  • Baffle

Advantages of Bulk Bags

Whereas there are various options, the followings reasons make people choose them instead of the rest;

  • Thanks to the polypropylene material, the bags are durable
  • They are also lightweight and yet hold a lot of weight
  • The bags can store big items
  • They will save you a lot of money
  • Their versatility makes them suitable for various uses
  • Bulk bags also prevent mildew and mould
  • They are reusable
  • They are also recyclable
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How to Recycle Bulk Bags

Once you have enjoyed the various benefits of bulk bags, recycling them for a better environment is advisable. Here’s how to recycle bulk bags;

Collection

As obvious as it is, the collection is a phase one can’t omit. After all, you can’t recycle what you don’t have.

Put the bulk bags in compacted bales during compacted bales. That’s because it makes it easy besides saving you substantial money.

Ensure that you organize your bulk bags in the 3 grades per the guidelines. They are as follows;

  • Grade A:These are usually white and clean bulk bags. However, the handles and stitches are typically coloured.
  • Grade B: Whereas these bulk bags are also white, they are dirtier than those in grade A, and the dirt is noticeable. They also have minimal colouring.
  • Grade C: The rest of the bulk bags fall under this grade. They have excess dirt and colouring.

Sorting and Cleaning

Various people and industries use bulk bags for different purposes. Due to this difference, they need other treatments during cleaning.

That’s why the process requires sorting depending on its previous content. Once done, cleaning follows.

One can’t insist enough on how important the cleaning phase is. It removes dangerous chemicals, fertilizer and sand, among other hazardous content the bags hold.

It is no secret that such substances can harm people if not cleaned properly. Other activities in this stage include the removal of buttons and zips.

Shredding

Upon cleaning and prepping, the bags have to pass through a shredder. Its role is to turn the bulk material into tiny flakes.

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As simple as it may sound, its role is crucial to this recycling process. Thanks to the shredding, it will be easy to manage the material throughout the remaining part of the process.

Separation

Recyclers use machines to separate shredded materials. They will sort them using various criteria, including light absorption, shape, size and colour.

Besides sorting, this stage also eliminates contaminants and impurities.

Compounding

Lastly, there is the compounding process. It involves recombining polymers. Recyclers use extruders to ground and melt the material.

The temperatures are usually high, up to 240 degrees Celsius. The result is typically plastic in the form of granules or pellets.

They come in handy when making new playground equipment, and clothing equipment, among other products. Adding virgin PP strengthens the mix, thus creating more durable products.

How to Reuse Bulk Bags

Before considering recycling a bulk bag, it is always wise to consider reusing it. If its SF is higher than 6:1, that’s a good thing to do.

These are the steps to use while at it;

  • Empty the bulk bag
  • Confirm they meet the safety standards by examining whether it has any wear especially interior damages that are easy to miss
  • Clean the bag thoroughly to remove any content left behind after the initial use
  • If the bag had a liner, replace it with a new counterpart
  • Recondition it to ensure that it works as it did before the first use
  • If you deem it fit, replace its cord locks, tickets, labels and web ties
  • Keep track of the bulk bags you reuse to avoid reusing them too much to hold the content right
  • Reuse them only after they pass a safety test
  • Reject those that fail the precaution test
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Conclusion

It is no secret that bulk bags have significantly changed how people and companies handle bulk items. They were designed for that and are doing a commendable job.

There are various types ideal for different uses. Therefore, you only need to use what you need at that particular time.

Bulk bag users enjoy a long list of benefits too. However, failure to manage them could water down all that and, more so, our efforts to make the planet a nice place.

That’s where reusing, and recycling comes in. The two are necessary for the sake of our environment because we need to live a great life.

This piece puts a guide on recycling bulk bags at your disposal. It involves a few steps that are easy to follow hence easily achievable.

Besides recycling, reusing is also another option. Ensure that you check these bags well before reusing them.

You don’t want to lose money while trying to save it. After all, the money you will lose if your items spoil is higher than what you pay for a new bulk bag by a margin.