Plastic Recycling is the process by which plastics waste converted into the reusable plastic material. This process contains several steps and techniques depends upon the types of plastics waste. In This Article, I am going to explain the full theory of plastics recycling.
Importance of Recycling of Plastic –
As you all know Plastic Pollution has now become one of the greatest environmental protection challenges on our planet.
The main reason for this problem is that people of our society are not well aware of plastic. We have paid attention to the utilities of plastics for a long time, but you would be surprised to know that at present, only 10 percent of the plastic waste released annually is recycled.
What are Common Recycled Plastics?
Have you ever noticed why such symbols are shown in the plastic items used in our daily life? These are the Recycling codes of plastic materials.
The Products having the above recycling codes are commonly recyclable. These numbers show the following plastic materials –
- Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET)
- High-Density Polyethylene (HDPE)
- Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC)
- Low-Density Polyethylene (LDPE)
- Polypropylene (PP)
- Polystyrene (PS)
- All Other Plastics
In these symbols, everyone has a different meaning. Here every symbol shows the recycling code of the Plastic material. It also denotes by which material, the product is made.
Recycling of Plastic Methodology –
There are two most commonly used Process for Recycling of Plastics –
- Advanced Recycling
- Traditional Recycling
The advanced Recycling process works in many steps from collecting and reuse of Plastic waste. First of all, the recycling companies collect plastics wastes from various sources. But they got the mixture of a large number of different types of Plastics.
After collecting Plastics wastes, they eliminate all types of plastics by specific techniques. and then these plastics wastes change into small pellets or chips. So that this can be used as raw material during the Processing.
Mostly Traditional Recycling is used for thermoplastics. In this process, Recyclers melt the plastics waste with the help of injection molding and make new products. However, the primary process is the same as per advanced recycling like collecting, shorting, and making pellets.
Steps of Plastic Recycling
Most of the waste management companies faced a lot of investment in building an infrastructure for the Recycling Processes. So here are the most common steps taken to complete the full process of recycling plastics wastes.
Step 1. Collection of the Plastics Waste
This step is very challenging for the plastics waste management teams. basically, They collect the plastics wastes by using these four methods –
- curbside Bins
- drop-off Bins
- buy-back the plastics wastes
- deposit/refund programs.
Step 2. Shorting of Plastic Types from Waste
Waste management companies regularly send the plastics waste to Shorting Plants. Here all different types of plastics which are mixed together are Shorted into Types of plastics like PP, PET, HDPE, LDPE, etc.
Step 3: Washing to Remove Impurities
As you know plastics waste contains many impurities like dust, oil, chemicals, etc. So That In the third step plastics waste is washed to remove all impurities that can cause a break of the properties of plastic products.
Step 4: Shredding and Resizing (Dry mechanical treatment)
After Shorting and washing Process all specific types of plastics found separately. So after that Dry mechanical treatment Process starts. In the Shredding and Resizing Process, waste products resized into small pieces (about 6 cm). So that it can be made cleaner and easier to process in the next steps.
Step 5: Identification and Separation of Plastics
In this process resized plastic waste parts checked for their quality and strength properties. After testing the quality of the material, it is sent for further processing.
Step 6: Compounding
In the Compounding process, these materials used as per application and demand in the market. For better processing and productivity these plastics waste turned in Pellets form with the help of extrusion process.
Benefits of Plastic Recycling
- By Plastic Recycling, we can use plastic waste in making other useful products.
- Plastics recycling can make the environment pollution-free.
- Recycled Plastics can be made Biodegradable Plastics which is environmentally friendly.
- Plastics recycling can make a large number of employment and additional income to governments and industries.