If you’ve used metallic balloons for a birthday party or any other event, then you’re most likely aware of Mylar. It is a highly durable material that is typically used in some party balloons, candy wrappers, cookie packaging, crackers or chips bags and more.
The truth is many people barely give a second thought to this material, but what exactly is Mylar.
What is Mylar?
Mylar is a brand name for a type of plastic film made by DuPont (EI). It is also known as “Mylar Film” and “Biaxially-Oriented Polypropylene Film. This film has one layer which consists of polyester resin and the other consists of propylene. This layered design allows the film to have superior structural strength. It is this combination that makes it perfect for a variety of purposes.
Mylar is generally used for packaging products and maintaining freshness. It has a high resistance to a variety of temperatures, making it ideal for products that require robust packaging solutions.
When you purchase items in a Mylar bag, the bag is sealed so the air cannot escape or enter (in case of items that are sensitive to oxygen). This makes it a perfect container for items that are sensitive to moisture or that need to be kept in a specific environment.
One thing about this material is that it’s a bit different from most other plastics. This means that it has plastic properties. However, there is still a bit of a debate on whether or not it should be considered plastic. It’s simply a different type of plastic with different properties. Because of this, the recycling processes are different than those of other types of plastic.
Is Mylar recyclable?
Mylar is not easily recyclable. This is mainly due to the material it’s made of. Mylar is basically a combination of metalized plastic and nylon. The metallic part is what makes it different from most other plastics. It’s also one of the reasons why it’s difficult to recycle. The majority of the local recycling centers are unable to process Mylar. For one thing, the plastic is thin and stretched out.
As a result, it easily gets tangled in the recycling machine, causing all sorts of issues that slow down the entire process. Furthermore, it is extremely difficult to separate the plastic from the metal foil in most of these recycling facilities. This makes the entire process either impossible or extremely expensive. Most recycling centers opt to reject Mylar materials altogether.
The only way that Mylar can be recycled is if you use a service that specializes in recycling the material. There are perhaps one or two companies that do this type of recycling. The process involves peeling the Mylar apart and recycling it in an efficient manner. This is not even an option for most consumers due to the fact that it’s difficult to find these companies, especially local ones.
Mylar is not biodegradable. It is made from polyester resin and polypropylene molecules, both of which are not biodegradable. It’s one of the materials that should not be thrown in the general trash. It is best to properly dispose of it in order to prevent damaging the environment and other living things.
Like other plastic items, Mylar is a major pollutant especially when it ends up in a landfill. It is a very dangerous type of plastic that could leach toxins and waste into the atmosphere. In some instances, it could find its way into the waterways and water sources, which could lead to a variety of health problems.
Fish and marine animals may ingest the plastic and it might even end up in the body of humans that eat contaminated seafood. Keep in mind that when it comes to plastics, the smaller the item is, the more harmful it is to the environment.
How can i recycle Mylar?
The only way to recycle Mylar is with Terracycle. TerraCycle is a company dedicated to recycling hard-to-recycle items. They accept all kinds of items deemed too difficult to recycle including Mylar. All you need to do is purchase a recycling box from the company and fill it with your Mylar products. You can have the box shipped back to TerraCycle for free recycling.
It’s good that companies such as Terracycle are taking on the initiative to recycle Mylar. It is a big step forward in creating a greener environment. The truth is there are many consumers who are unaware that Mylar cannot be recycled at their local recycling centres.
This could lead to a dangerous accumulation of materials that could harm the environment and living beings.
It is good that Terracycle accepts Mylar. Most local recycling centers do not care to recycle this material. Even if they did, they would need to find a way to separate the metalized plastic from the rest of the packaging material. Luckily, this company does all of the hard work for you.
It would have been nice if other companies could provide this service for free, but at least it’s available. If you have Mylar products that you aren’t sure what to do with, consider using this service to recycle it properly.
Does Mylar decompose?
No, it’s not a biodegradable material.
Where can I recycle Mylar?
Terracycle is the main recycler of this material. They are a company that specializes in recycling hard to recycle items. They accept all types of Mylar products and ship it back to their facilities for proper processing.
Is Mylar considered plastic?
Yes, it is a type of plastic.