Plastic recycling isthe process of recovering plastic waste and obtainingsome functional and useful products out of it. This is known as the plastic recycling process. The aim of recycling plastic is to decrease plastic pollution while reducing pressure on virgin materials for the production of new plastic products. This can help in conserving resources and draw plastics away from landfills oroceans.
What is the Need forRecycling Plastic?
Plastics are durable, lightweight and inexpensive materials. They can be easily casted into many different products which can be usedexcessively in a lot of applications. More than 420 million tons of plastics are produced all over the globe every year.Hence, the reuse, recovery and recycling of plastics becomeparticularly important.
What Plastics Are Recyclable?
There are six common types of plastics. Following are some typical products that are spotted for each of plastic:
PS (Polystyrene) –
Foam hot drink cups, plastic cutlery, containers, and yogurt are someexamples.
PP (Polypropylene) –
Found in lunch boxes, take-out food containers, ice cream containers.
LDPE (Low-density polyethylene) –
Bags and garbage bins are examples of LDPE.
PVC (Plasticised Polyvinyl chloride or polyvinyl chloride)—
Readily found in cordial, juice or squeeze bottles.
HDPE (High-density polyethylene) –
Shampoo containers or milk bottles contain HDPE.
PET (Polyethylene terephthalate) –
fruit juice and soft drink bottles are some examples of PET.
Currently, only PET, HDPE, and PVC plastic products are recycled under recycling programs. PS, PP, and LDPE do not get recycled because apparently their processing is more difficult and expensive. Lids and bottle tops too aren’t recycled. “To recycle or Not to Recycle” is the dilemma when it comes to plastic recycling. There are some plastic types that do not get recycled because it is not economically achievable.
Some Facts About Plastic Recycling
- Around 50% of plastics that we use are thrown away just after a single use.
- Plastics accounted for 12% of total global waste generation in 2016.
- Plastics takes hundreds of years to degrade.
- The plastics that end up in the oceans break down into small pieces and every year around 100,000 marine mammals and one million seabirds are killed by this pollution.
The Process of Plastic Recycling
The simplest plastic recycling processes require collecting, sorting, shredding, washing, melting, and pelletizing of plastic. The actual processes of plastic recycling vary based on plastic resin or type of plastic product.
Most of the plastic recycling facilities consider the following two-step process:
Step One: Sorting plastics mechanically or manually to ensure that all the contaminants have been removed from the plastic waste.
Step Two: Melting down plastics straight away into a new shape or shredding them into flakes then melting down before they process into granulates.
Challenges for the Plastic Recycling Industry
Plastic recycling faces many challenges, varying from mixed plastics to hard-to-remove residues. The cost-effective and efficient recycling of mixed plastic is the biggest challenge the recycling industry is facing. Experts suggest that designing plastic packaging and other plastic products keeping recycling in mind can help in overcoming this challenge.
The recovery and recycling of post-consumer packaging is a problem. Most material recovery facilities and local authorities do not collect it because of the lack of equipment.
Oceanic plastic pollution has become a major public concern. Ocean plastic is expected to triple in the next decade, and public concern has forced leading organizations around the world to take necessary action towards better plastic resource management and pollution prevention.
Kabadi Plus aims to help you with your plastic recycling process. Download our app now for further assistance.