Environmental Impact of Acrylic
Unfortunately recycling of acrylic is not very easy to do, and therefore not a very green product. The most common method involves using 500°C lead to remove PMMA for reuse. Obviously the use of lead in of itself is not environmentally friendly and has it own issues.
The key cause for environmental problems due to acrylic plastics is that consumers do not dispose these properly. Nearly 25% of waste is landfills comprise plastics. Acrylics or most plastics degrade very slowly hence enter the ocean and coastal ecosystems posing a threat to birds and marine creatures. Acrylic is obtained from fossil fuel and petroleum products that are considered to be non-eco friendly. It is possible to recycle certain forms of acrylic but not all.
We unfortunately remove a high quantity of acrylic skylights, both residential and commercial. It is one of the reasons we recommend Velux glass skylights. We do recycle whatever materials we can, like aluminum from the skylight frames, but there are no recycle centers that accept acrylic.
At one time, a company would pay 10 cents a pound to recycle. We thought was barely worth the trouble, but today, We’d be happy to go to the trouble to do that. We do actively search for any company or government agency that would accept acrylic for recycling. We hope with the focus on companies and individuals trying to protect our environment that someone will find a creative way to make this happen.
We do however have a program in the Denver Metro area that recycles roofing materials into asphalt for roads.