When anyone talks about the materials used to make cars, the first thing that comes to mind is metal. That comes as no surprise, of course. After all, a car is 65% metal and alloy throughout. Still, car manufacturers use a lot of other materials, namely glass (for the windscreens and windows) as well as plastic. Lots and lots of plastic. The reason for this is simple: automotive plastic is sturdy and, more importantly, it’s incredibly light. But what happens to all that plastic when a car reaches the end of its life. Can you recycle plastic car parts? The answer is YES!
In this article, we’re going to look at five ways you can recycle plastic car parts when you don’t need them anymore. That could be when the car reaches the end of its life. Or, it may be when you want to discard them before installing brand new plastic parts to renew your car’s interior.
Why It’s Important to Recycle Plastic Car Parts
Plastic materials of any kind, as you may already know, don't break down when you throw them in a rubbish dump. Instead, it stays there for decades, if not centuries, before it degrades. That is exceptionally true when it comes to plastic car parts, which are much sturdier than any other kind of plastic. So, in simple terms, plastic is awful for the environment.
Even though it may take a bit of effort, plastic car parts mustn’t end up in landfills. So, it’s best to reuse and recycle them as much as possible.
How to Recycle Plastic Car Parts
Here are a few ways for you to do your share of recycling plastic car parts.
Used Car Parts Dealers
Firstly, you could sell plastic car parts to used car parts dealers. You see, auto manufacturers designed those plastic parts, especially for your car's make and model. What that means is that somewhere out there is another person who owns the same vehicle and needs your plastic car parts to replace theirs. And where might those people search for plastic car part replacements? That's right, at used car parts dealers! So, if you're interested in getting rid of your used plastic car parts, the first thing you should do is contact the used car parts dealers in your area.
Typically, they would sell plastic car parts for several different car brands and models. Since it’s difficult to get generic plastic car parts, they’d probably be interested in buying the parts that you have to offer.
By selling your plastic car parts to them, you’re assured that those parts are not heading straight for a landfill. Your car might have reached the end of its life, but its plastic parts will continue living on to serve another car!
Auto Repair Shops
Somewhat similar to used car parts dealers are auto repair shops. In this context, what we’re talking about are the workshops that specialise in fixing vehicles damaged in car accidents. When cars get smashed up in collisions, their plastic parts also get damaged and need replacing. So, these auto repair shops are always on the lookout for replacement plastic parts that are still useful for the cars that they repair.
Participate in Government Recycling Initiatives
Local governments usually run programs to recycle plastic car parts. It helps avoid potential problems, not to mention eyesore, which may stem from dumping piles of plastic to the landfills.
Talk to them about any ongoing recycling initiatives that they may be running. There might be programs specifically for recycling end-of-life vehicles or general recycling programs you can participate in which include plastic recycling.
Take It to a Recycling Centre
Of course, you could just take your plastic car parts out and bring them to a nearby regular recycling centre. It would be a good idea to call them ahead of time and ask if they'll accept plastic car parts. The reason for this is simple: the type of plastic from cars use is very different from the regular plastic we use daily. So, it may be challenging or impossible for some recycling centres to take in your used plastic car parts.
Sell Them Online
If all of the options mentioned above seem like too much work, don't worry. You can always use the internet to find willing buyers for your plastic car parts. Online, you could easily see the used car parts dealers and auto repair shops mentioned above. Even better, you can also reach more recycling facilities! That's because doing it online allows you to look for ways to recycle plastic car parts far beyond your immediate location.
Of course, doing things online comes with its fair share of challenges. For instance, you’d have to figure out how to get the plastic car parts to your buyer after they’ve agreed to take it.
Smaller plastic car parts are much easier to ship, but the bigger ones will be a challenge. Still, you should remember that you’re dealing with hardened plastic car parts, not fragile glass. Those plastic car parts will be able to take a bump or two while you have them transported to their final destination!
Look for a Reliable Website
If you’re looking for a website to help you do all that, you have to check out Carpart.com.au. It’s a great website where you can put your car parts up for sale to buyers from all over Australia. Just snap a few pictures and provide the correct details of the plastic car parts you’re selling, and it’ll go up on the site for sale.
If that doesn’t help, you can also use the website’s Directory to find used car parts dealers and wreckers from all over the country. Through the Directory, you can get their contact details to speak to them directly about taking your plastic car parts off your hands!
By Ray Hasbollah