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Thursday, May 23, 2024

Plastic Waste Recycling: Process, Type, Industry’s Challenges

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Plastics are among the most powerful and effective materials in modern times; we currently consume around 20 times as much as we did 50 years ago. Because of its popularity and extensive use, it is critical to dispose of it ethically and correctly once it has become waste. By reusing and recycling products as much as possible, we can extend the life of plastics.

What method is used to recycle it?

Plastics include:

  • Sorted according to polymer type
  • Shredded
  • Washed
  • Melted
  • Palletized
  • New goods have been created.

It’s a two-step procedure:

  • The majority of the sorting is automated, with a hand sort to confirm that all pollutants have been removed.
  • Plastic can be shredded into flakes or melted processed into pellets after it has been sorted and cleaned before being moulded into new goods.

Plastics Types

The six most common forms of plastic are shown below.

  • Take-out food containers, lunch boxes, and ice cream cartons are all made of polypropylene (PP).
  • Plastic cutlery or foam hot drink cups made of polystyrene (PS).
  • Juice or squeeze bottles made of plasticized polyvinyl chloride or polyvinyl chloride (PVC).
  • Garbage bags made of low-density polyethylene (LDPE).
  • Soft drink bottles made of polyethylene terephthalate (PET).
  • High-density Polyethylene(HDPE) – milk bottles or shampoo containers

Plastics that aren’t used for anything else (Polycarbonate, Polylactide, Acrylic, Acrylonitrile butadiene, Styrene, Fiberglass, and Nylon)

Which Plastics Can Be Recycled?

Only HDPE, PET, and PVC plastic items are currently recyclable through curbside recycling programs. Other plastics, such as PS, PP, and LDPE, cannot be recycled because they get stuck in sorting machinery and cause it to stop or break. Small plastics, plastic wrap, plastic bags, some wrappers, polystyrene foam, deodorant, flexible packaging, polycarbonate, and BPA are among the plastics that cannot be recycled curbside.

The Plastic Recycling Industry’s Challenges

  • The following are some of the issues that the plastic recycling business faces.
  • Mixed plastics recycling that is both cost-effective and efficient. Experts feel that considering recycling when designing plastic products and packaging can help.
  • Post-consumer flexible packaging is recovered and recycled. Due to a lack of technology that can effectively separate plastic waste, local governments and most material recovery facilities are unable to aggressively collect plastic waste.
  • Plastic pollution in the oceans is expected to grow in the next ten years. This is a growing concern, Solution is to force many organizations to take action to better manage plastic resources and minimize pollution.

Plastic recycling also contributes to economic growth by creating job opportunities, increasing landfill diversions, and allowing businesses to save money on landfill charges. The money saved can then be put into a more efficient plastic recycling system. Plastic recycling is being adopted by an increasing number of businesses as a sustainable approach.

Check out our website if you wish to start plastic waste recycling in an environmentally responsible way.


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