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  • Plastic Disposal – is it Safe to Burn?


    No, plastic is not safe to burn – so please don’t do it. Thankfully, there are plenty of other options to consider if you need to dispose of plastics, all of which are safer and less time-consuming.

    Why is Burning Plastic Unsafe?

    When plastic burns, it releases a suite of dangerous chemicals; carbon monoxide, hydrochloric acid, sulfur dioxide – even heavy metals. These gases can seriously damage health in both the short and long term, and reduce air quality. Indoors, even in a fireplace or ventilated area, you’d create a toxic soup and the adverse effects would come on quite quickly.

    Far worse, burning plastics collapse into a bubbling, molten goo. Bubbling plastic can spit and pop – closed plastic bottles can even explode – which can send the molten liquid outwards. If this unbelievably hot, sticky plastic comes into contact with a person, it can cause incredible pain and severe burns.

    It sticks to the skin tightly, and peeling it off can take the skin with it. It’s really nasty stuff that you don’t want to get anywhere near to.

    So please, don’t burn plastic – besides, there’s so much more you can do with it anyway!

    Recycle Plastic

    The best thing to do with plastic is to recycle it. Plastic is one of the slowest materials to decompose – taking up to 1,000 years to break down – which makes it one of the worst waste materials to end up in landfill.

    Recycling helps to keep plastic out of landfill, waterways and the ecosystem at large – and it stems the creation of new plastic from raw materials.

    But even recycling takes energy and further resources. So, while it’s still the best way to deal with bulk plastics, smaller steps can start at home.

    Reuse or Upcycle Plastic

    Bottles, takeaway containers and bags can all be used multiple times, and for multiple purposes – keeping them out of the bin for longer. Further life can be breathed into plastic items by upcycling them; making a used plastic bottle into a bird feeder, garden sprinkler or desk tidy makes use of them long after they’ve served their initial purpose.

    Landfill is Still Better than Burning

    Although it’s still not great, landfill is a better option than burning – which is testament to just how bad burning plastic really is. Landfill keeps plastic contained for at least enough time

    A Sustainable Future – with Plastic

    At McCarthy, we’re always reviewing our plastic recycling processes, to guarantee our methods are as efficient and as sustainable as possible. We continue to invest in our goal: achieving 100% recycling rates.

    Find out more information about our waste management solutions, skip hire and plastic recycling methods – contact us.

    Plastic Disposal – is it Safe to Burn?
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