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Understanding the 4 Most Common Methods of Recycling Plastics

Efficient plastic waste recycling fosters our industry’s shift toward a circular economy, aiding in the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions by repurposing discarded materials as valuable resources within this sustainable model.

The initial stages of collection and sorting are pivotal in ensuring that segregated plastics reach recycling facilities.  Enhancements in collection methods and sorting technologies are imperative for achieving higher recycling rates.

Notably, recycling rates soar tenfold when plastics are collected separately as opposed to mixed collections.

Recycling waste into reusable materials is a cornerstone of sustainability, diminishing the necessity for fresh resources and curtailing energy consumption and emissions associated with refining and manufacturing processes.

Plastic recycling encompasses 4 various methods.

Mechanical recycling is a common method employed for recycling plastics, such as PET and HDPE. This approach involves reprocessing plastic waste without altering its chemical composition. Through mechanical recycling, plastics are sorted, cleaned, melted, and molded into new products. It’s a straightforward and cost-effective method that helps conserve resources and reduce environmental impact by giving new life to discarded plastics.

Chemical recycling is an emerging approach that offers a promising solution for handling plastic waste. Unlike mechanical recycling, which focuses on reprocessing plastics without altering their chemical structure, chemical recycling involves breaking down polymers into their molecular components through various processes such as pyrolysis, gasification, and depolymerization. These shorter molecules can then be used as feedstock for manufacturing new plastics and chemicals. Chemical recycling holds significant potential for scalability and complementing traditional recycling methods, offering a more comprehensive solution for tackling plastic pollution and advancing towards a circular economy.

Dissolution recycling is an innovative method for managing mixed plastics waste. This process selectively dissolves polymers in a solvent, allowing them to be separated from the waste stream and recovered in a pure form without altering their chemical composition. Dissolution recycling offers a targeted approach to separating plastics, such as PVC, PS, PA, and PP, from mixed, multi-material waste, facilitating their reuse in various applications. With several industrial examples already in existence, dissolution recycling demonstrates significant potential for enhancing plastic waste management and advancing sustainability efforts.

Organic recycling presents a sustainable solution for managing biodegradable plastics waste. This method involves controlled microbiological treatment of biodegradable plastics under either aerobic conditions (composting) or anaerobic conditions (bio gasification). Through the actions of microorganisms, biodegradable plastics are broken down into stabilized organic residues, carbon dioxide, and methane. Organic recycling offers an environmentally friendly approach to managing biodegradable plastics waste, reducing the burden on landfills and minimizing greenhouse gas emissions. With its focus on harnessing natural processes, organic recycling contributes to the transition towards a more circular and environmentally sustainable economy.

The Plastiko, Inc. team can confidently help you select materials that meet the demanding requirements of your products. Whether it’s achieving optimal performance, ensuring safety and reliability, or meeting regulatory standards, rigorous testing plays a vital role in qualifying plastic resins for use in diverse applications. Ultimately, Plastiko, Inc. commitment of providing customers with top quality resins contributes to the production of your products will meet the needs and expectations of your customers.

Get in touch with Plastiko, Inc today to discuss your challenges and requirements for sourcing recycled resins: 314-558-6700 or visit our full website: https://plastikoinc.com/