It is the process of recovery of plastic waste and reprocessing them to create products that are functional and useful.
There are multiple plastic recycling processes and each one is based on the type of plastic or the type of plastic product. However, the simplest plastic recycling processes include the following:
The first step involves collecting plastic waste from communities.
Plastic waste is then sorted by their respective types and if they are recyclable or not.
Involves shredding of the waste into flakes.
After shredding, the plastic flakes are soaked in hot water to eradicate contaminants.
Involves heating the plastic to a melting point so that it can be processed into granules.
Involves the molding of plastic to form the desired product.
Polystyrene – These plastics can include containers, plastic cutlery, and foam hot drink cups.
Polypropylene – They are usually food containers, lunch boxes, take-out food containers, ice cream containers.
Low-density polyethylene – They can include garbage bins and bags.
Polyvinyl chloride (PVC) – Their applications can be found in pipes, cables, blood bags, and tubing.
High-density polyethylene (HDPE) – Almost every shampoo container and milk bottle are made of HDPE.
Polyethylene terephthalate (PET) – Applications of PET can be commonly found in water bottles and soft-drink bottles.
Polyethylene terephthalate (PET ) is the most commonly used plastic and probably the easiest plastic to recycle. The plastic is crushed and shredded into small pieces which are then reprocessed to make polyester fiber (mechanical recycling).
High-density polyethelene (HDPE) is the most commonly recycled plastic. The plastic is chopped, washed and converted into flakes or pellets.
Plastic is a threat to the environment, but it’s the largest source of a circular economy if recycled. Advanced recycling has a crucial role to play in the current recycling techniques as it can capture value from plastic waste streams that have traditionally been ignored or discarded. Advanced recycling allows the increased production of more sustainable materials and uses the planet’s resources wisely while reducing the use of conventional approaches such as landfills and combustion.
Several research projects are undertaken to find ways to fight challenges brought about by mass consumer plastic uses. Resultantly, the plastic recycling market has become a flourishing space and witnesses a continual rise. According to Market Research Future (MRFR), the global plastic recycling market is expected to expand at approximately 5.82% CAGR during the assessment period.
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