How Does a Plastic Baler Work? 

With the fantastic focus we’ve seen our clients put on reducing plastic recycling and introducing even tougher policies for environmental health (and the work we’ve been putting ourselves, not to toot our own horn!), it’s great to see such fast-moving improvements in recycled plastic tech across the board. 

What’s more, older tech is being re-invented and put to use for sustainability purposes, and phs Wastekit are big fans of the way the old hay baler machine model is now being used to bale plastic for optimum plastic recycling capabilities. 

We all know the reasons recycled plastic is the best plastic, and why recycling, in general, is the only option when it comes to waste management. From the increasingly important environmental health factors to cost-management—and with consumers more aware than ever of environmental health impactsit pays for businesses to get it right.  

More and more of our clients are turning to on-site plastic balers as great options for sustainable waste management, so now seems a good time to ask: exactly how does a plastic baler work? 

Plastic balers weren’t always plastic balers 

Firstly, we think plastic balers are a brilliant example of re-purposing old tech for new functions. Baling machines (or balers) were first invented almost a hundred years ago and, to begin with, were used only on farms to bale hay. They went out of fashion for a while and didn’t receive much in the way of technical updates—until, in the 1940s, some enterprising soul saw the need for better, more efficient and more cost-effective waste management techniques, and started to see the ‘yesterday’s tech’ baler in a new light.  

It wasn’t long before the baler had been re-created as the waste baler: capable of compressing certain kinds of waste into bundles, which took up much less space than rubbish in its usual form and made disposing of it considerably simpler.  

A generation later, in the 70s and 80s, the waste balers began to be used for recycling, too: first for paper and cardboard and, later, for plastic. 

So, how does a plastic baler work?  

Like its baling predecessors, the plastic baler is a pretty simple piece of techwhich is great for owners and operators, because there’s less that can go wrong. Like the mobile compressors in rubbish collection lorries, the plastic baler’s main function is to compress unwanted materials into smaller and denser bundles, making for much easier storage and disposal. Plastic balers do this by dint of pneumatic or hydraulic machinery and those systems can handle all sorts of different types of plastics to be recycled, including plastic bags, packaging and wraps, as well as harder materials like plastic bottles and caddies. 

On top of having reasonably simple tech, they’re also pretty straightforward to operate—although, of course, anyone operating them needs to have full and comprehensive training beforehand.  

Before any materials go into a baler, they have to have been visually checked to make sure nothing’s going in that shouldn’t. So, a team needs to check through the contents on its way in and make sure that no metal, for instance, or contaminated plastic is caught up in the plastic to be recycled. It’s also important that types of plastic recycling are bunched together (all plastic bottles in one place and all plastic bags in another etc.).  

Once the plastic to be plastic recycling has been checked, it’s put into the baling chamber and that’s when the machine does its thing, compressing the contents into comparatively tiny bundles. The baler will let you know when it’s finished, at which point operators can tie up the recycled plastic packages with bale wire and move the completed packets into a storage area. 

And hey, presto! It’s a simple process that’s extremely effective. Not only will it reduce physical amounts of recycled plastic but that waste will also be neatly sorted and ready to go for recycling. Plastic balers are fantastic, viable options for companies that regularly generate any amount of plastic waste and want to keep ahead of recycling regulations with efficiency. 

To find out more about how phs Wastekit can help your company with efficient, cost-effective and sustainable waste management solutions, get in touch today. 

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