Is Resin Recyclable?

When we talk about resin, we think about the material that has recently become the popular choice in manufacturing decorations and jewelry. It has now become very popular in the art and craft spaces.

Plant resins, an organic type of resins, are the most preferred choice material in the production of adhesives, varnishes, and food glazing agents. At one point, they were also used in the production of perfumes and incense. The use of resins dates back to the Middle Stone Age when it was used as an adhesive for hafting stone tools.

pouring-red-resin-into-resin-mold

Resin is one of the many useful and vital products that man has discovered and learned to utilize to meet his everyday needs. But are we concerned with how the use of resins affects our environment? If you are eager to save our environment, you will be asking if we can recycle resins or dump them in landfills.

Relax; this blog post will provide you with the answers to these questions and many more. And, if you were not conscious or concerned with the state of your environment, reading this blog post should cause a change and make you start taking active steps to save your environment.

Can You Recycle Resin?

There are many items we own that are manufactured from resins. For example, the resin is used to produce durable castings, countertops, and floors. If you are an art person, you can DIY (do it yourself) and produce coasters, jewelry, keychains, ashtrays, and anything you want resins.

Since resin can be used to produce anything, the manufacturing industries use resins, and you use resins in your home. However, this brings about a question. Can we recycle resin? How do we properly dispose of resin in an environmentally friendly way?

Yes, you can recycle resins. However, not all resins can be recycled. There are five types of resins. You have polyester/fiberglass resin, polyurethane resin, epoxy resin, silicone resin, and eco-resin. The resins that you can recycle are eco-resin, silicone resin, and epoxy resin.

Is Resin Toxic?

The most popular choice of resin for home improvement constructions and projects is epoxy resin. It is often used because it is extremely versatile, durable, and easy to use. However, with the increased use of resins, and the increased demand for them, a question arises, is resin toxic? Does resin cause any health effects?

Resins are regarded to be non-toxic. Therefore, as long as you follow all the specified instructions and health precautions, there is no need to be worried about resins causing health issues.

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You should know that resin in its natural form is not toxic. However, if foreign products are mixed with it, the toxicity status could change. This does not mean that every foreign product added to resin makes it toxic.  There are three ways humans can be exposed to resins, orally, dermal and inhalation.

Orally, meaning ingestion, but you cannot be careless enough to ingest resin. One of the ways resin has been ingested is when molds used for resins are used for food. When you use utensils and containers previously for resin for food, you will ingest resins.

Dermally means through skin contact. When working with resins, it is essential to wear hand gloves and long sleeves. These are the protection you have against resin. When resin comes in contact with your skin, skin problems like toxic eczema, allergic dermatitis, contact dermatitis, and severe irritation could arise.

Inhaling resins do not cause any health problems because they are not volatile. Remember we said resin in its pure form is harmless. However, if you inhale the fumes caused by the chemical reactions between resin and a hardener, you could be at risk of developing cancer because they are carcinogenic.

Inhaling highly concentrated resin vapor can irritate the respiratory system, resulting in sensitization. Resin vapors are not usually highly concentrated at room temperature. Avoid inhaling the sanding dust of partially cured resins; the chemicals remain active until the resins have been fully cured.

To prevent all these health problems from arising when working with resins, ensure you wear personal protection equipment (PPE). You must wear safety goggles, a respirator, protective clothing, disposable gloves, and ensure you work in a room with proper ventilation.

Let us look at some of the health issues caused by exposure to resins.

Skin Irritation

Physical contact with resin often results in skin irritation. Some common symptoms associated with exposure to resins are swelling on the skin, redness, and itching on the hands.

Contact with liquid resins or partially cured resins can produce symptoms worse than that of cured resin. In addition, it can lead to skin allergies that can be developed even after many years of exposure to it.

Eyes, Nose, And Throat Irritation

Most resin chemicals and their vapors can cause eyes, nose, and throat irritation. The outcome of these irritations is usually a severe headache. If resin liquid splashes into the eye, this is the worst-case scenario and can cause severe damage and pain. This is why you always need to wear protective clothing when working with resin.

Nervous System Disorder

When resin solvents get absorbed into the body through the skin, the nervous system is often affected. It has the same effect as getting drunk on alcohol. The most common symptoms of exposure to resin solvents are confusion, nausea, headache, and loss of consciousness.

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Is Resin Environmentally Friendly?

There are different types of resins; these resins all have different chemical compositions and properties. The difference in chemical properties and composition is dependent on the use of the resin. As an environmentally conscious person concerned for the environment, you would ask if all types of resins are safe for our environment?

Resins are environmentally friendly. However, not all resins are environmentally friendly. For example, epoxy resins are environmentally safe only after they have been dried and catalyzed. Nevertheless, you still need to dispose of it properly to keep the environment safe.

Natural resins produced from plants are the most environmentally-friendly resins. They are organic, and they do not pose a threat to the environment. Nature cannot be dangerous to nature.

Artist resin and epoxy resin, on the other hand, has petroleum as one of their main manufacturing products. We know the problems caused by petroleum extraction in our environment. It pollutes sources of water supply, the air, and even the soil.

Disposing of epoxy resin by pouring it down the drain is one way it is damaging our environment. When epoxy resin comes in contact with water, it releases chemicals into the water. If these chemicals find their way into our water supply, it becomes contaminated. In addition, if the chemicals are displaced on land, that soil becomes unproductive.

Epoxy resin is very dangerous to the environment in its liquid form. But, using epoxy resin to coat products helps preserve them and reduce waste. For example, when items like tables and floors are coated with epoxy resin, they have a longer lifespan than they normally do or are coated with other chemicals.

You can see that although resins can have a dangerous impact on the environment, properly disposing of them is one of the best ways to protect our environment.

Is Resin Hazardous?

Epoxy resin is also known as polyepoxide and is produced from combining epoxy resin and a curing agent (or hardener or catalyst). Whether we are aware or not, epoxy is used in many things around us, from paints and coatings to bonding adhesives, sealers and patchers, flooring, aerospace and marine applications, and many more.

Cured resins are less hazardous. During the sanding of cured resin, dust will be produced, and inhaling this dust can lead to serious health problems. However, partially cured resins and liquid resins are very hazardous, they pose serious threats to human health, and preventative measures must be carried out when working with them.

High temperatures and poor ventilation speed up the evaporation of liquid resins, and when it evaporates, the fumes become respirable. The clouds of dust produced in the process of sanding resins contain hazardous components.

How To Dispose of Resin?

If you are interested in protecting your environment, it is expected that your method of disposing of used and unwanted items would be to recycle them. However, there are other ways you can dispose of items you do not want. You can upcycle them. You can use them for other purposes.

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We would look at some fun ways to upcycle resin. So please, enjoy and endeavor to try out one of the methods.

1. Glossy Impact

You can use resin to create a glossy impact on your works of art like you would see in an art gallery. First, create this, attach art paper to a canvas, like a 10 x 10-inch wrapped canvas.

Cover the paper with a decoupage medium, ensuring you smooth out the bubbles. Let it dry. Pour the resin in the center of the art and let it run down the sides. Smoothen the edges with your fingers. Let the art dry for at least twenty-four hours.

2. Still River Imitation

You can capture the river rock view with this simple idea. You need some river rocks, a lamp with a glass base, an artificial bloom, polycrylic spray, and resin. First, you need to clean the river rocks with soapy water and let them dry.

Arrange the rocks into the base of the lamp, pour resin over the center of the rocks, so it fills around the rocks. Using the polycrylic spray, spray the artificial bloom, dry it, and place it over the rocks. Let the resin dry after twenty=four hours before you use the lamp.

3. Resin Photo Art

You can also use resin to preserve your photographs. For this, you need to have a mold you would want to resin to take. Then, trip the photo to fit inside the resin mold. Pour and spread the resin until the surface is covered. Using a heat gun, heat the resin and remove the bubbles. Then let it dry.

4. Doodle Craft

You can create doodle crafts using resins. Embellish a tabletop with a marking pen and some drops of colorful resin. Draw the shapes of your choice, could be berries, leaves, or flowers; it varies from person to person.

If you are not good at doodling, you can use stencils or stamps. Fill the areas of the design by dipping the tip of the brush into tinted resin and tapping it gently on the desired spots to create a three-dimensional effect.

Conclusion

We should all be conscious of the state of our environment in everything we do; it is impossible to enjoy our stay on the planet earth if we do not treat the planet well. Recycling is one of the least things we can do to protect our environment.

If you have been looking for ways to dispose of resin in a way that is not harmful to the environment, this blog post will provide you with some tips. So enjoy, and let us save our planet.

References:

https://www.artresin.com/blogs/artresin/how-is-artresin-non-toxic-when-is-it-not-non-toxic

https://blog.lifetimegreencoatings.com/how-do-epoxies-negatively-affect-our-health

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About Rinkesh

A true environmentalist by heart ❤️. Founded Conserve Energy Future with the sole motto of providing helpful information related to our rapidly depleting environment. Unless you strongly believe in Elon Musk‘s idea of making Mars as another habitable planet, do remember that there really is no 'Planet B' in this whole universe.