Can you help Frannie recycle?

Filed in Blog by on November 9, 2009 5 Comments
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Can you recycle biodegradable PVC

Can you recycle biodegradable PVC

I’ve had a query from a reader and I need you to help her!

Frannie contacted me about recycling bio degradable PVC cards.She wrote:
“We manufacture a product using plastic, credit card sized cards.  we have several thousand we need to dispose of and I am trying to find a source that will take them for recycling.  Can you help us out?”

The cards are made from biodegradable PVC and the company is located in Austin, Texas.

Over to you, dear readers – can anyone help Frannie recycle her biodegradable PVC cards?

I’m confused about the whole thing. Over here I understand biodegradable plastic is not recyclable and the whole point of it is that it  biodegrades. I thought biodegradable plastic contaminated non biodegradable and rendered the batch inferior quality.

Perhaps someone can enlighten me and help Frannie with her question!

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About the Author ()

I am a long time supporter of the Green and Sustainable lifestyle. After being caught in the Boscastle floods in 2004, our family begun a journey to respect and promote the importance of Earth's fragile ecosystem, that focussed on reducing waste. Inspired by the beauty and resourcefulness of this wonderful planet, I have published numerous magazine articles on green issues and the author of four books.

Comments (5)

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  1. Frannie could try contacting TerraCycle over in the US, who could try upcycling them. But then if they degrade……(hmm). It’s worth a try though, especially if there are bulk quantities on a regular basis.

  2. Layla says:

    Can Frannie please double-check what kind of plastics this is?

    I too am very sceptical of ‘biodegradable’ or ‘bio degradable’ ‘PVC’ (!!)

    Here in Slovenia people often say ‘PVC bags’ or foil when they are really made from PE, PVC is sort of a synonym for plastics.. It would be also good if she contacts the manufacturer about how exactly it is made and what exactly it is supposed to biodegrade or degrade into!
    (Maybe it’s just plastics with additives that make it degrade, and thus not really biodegradable?)
    Manufacturers often say things are bio, eco, etc – and that is not enough, one must ask what exactly it is made of and what happens end of cycle and doublecheck!
    Also, ask them for suggestions for disposal-? (Though double-check it elsewhere)

    I googled briefly – is this it? http://plasticsnews.com/blog/2008/10/biodegradable_pvc.html
    Can you see studies for what they biodegrade into? (surely they must have them if they make and sell them??) I wonder what the ‘mild salt’ mentioned is? http://greeninc.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/02/23/making-credit-cards-landfill-friendly/#more-1147 And if it has been tested for safety? (If compost be used in the garden) interesting comments too!
    (interesting ideas on repurposing – for individuals! http://www.green-talk.com/2008/03/13/18-ideas-to-reuse-expired-credit-cards/ )

    I didn’t know credit cards and such were made out of PVC!! /sigh/ There are environmental groups in US that want to phase PVC as ‘toxic plastics’ because it’s very problematic in production and disposal via burning/incinerators (dioxins)

    Based on what I read online a composting facility might be better? (Though the compost might still be of problematic quality?)

    There’s a lot of other links online, if someone has the time..?

  3. Layla says:

    Oh, and I thought of one more idea – if this is a unique manufacturer, maybe if this cards are safe from any microorganisms and with non-sensitive data, maybe they can take them back and melt and make new ones out of them?

    It would be worth to ask?

  4. Rick Rybicki says:

    It’s a pity all those unwanted cards are in USA. It’s just the supply of “raw material” that I’m looking for to convert into “Recyclopicks” (find them on ebay).
    Unfortunately the cost and waste of resources involved in shipping is prohibitive.
    I’m sure there must be similar hoards of unused and unwanted cards in UK.
    Best wishes, Rick.

  5. Joe says:

    Those recyclopicks are ace! Every guitarist/mandolin player etc etc should have some!

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