Plastic is undoubtedly one of the most widely used materials across the world. Thousands of types of plastics are used to manufacture a variety of products from pet bottles to clothing. This in turn has increased the amount of used plastic being dumped as waste. Plastic waste is fast becoming a threat for our world.
The lifespan of plastics and other solid wastes such as used tires can be optimized by recycling and reusing them. Recycling equipment such as plastic shredder is commonly used today to recycle used plastics. To know how plastic is recycled and the many benefits of this process, read on.
Process of Plastic Recycling
Before understanding how recycling plastic can bring huge benefits to your businesses, let’s first take a look at how the process of plastic recycling unfolds.
- Collection – The variety of plastics available is vast. Plastic collection centers collect tons and tons of scrap plastic and send it to a collecting yard. These scrap pieces are then packed and transported to plastic processing plants.
- Sorting – Recycling actually starts with sorting the varied plastic items on the basis of their color and resin content. All the other contaminants are eliminated at this stage. Custom made machines sort the plastic based on their resin content. The scrap plastics are then sorted by symbols marked on their bottom surface in a recycling mill.
- Shredding – After sorting, the plastics are shredded into tiny pieces or flakes. Heavy and light weight plastic flakes are further separated with a specifically designed machine to ensure that various plastics are not mixed up as different plastics are suitable for making different items.
- Cleaning – The flakes or chunks are completely separated and then washed with detergents to completely remove contamination. The cleaned chunks are then processed for separating plastic resin types and are later dried with moderate heat.
- Melting – Dried flakes are melted and molded into the desired shape or are further processed into granules. The flakes are melted with the help of regulated temperatures with specialized equipment to ensure that they are not destroyed.
- Pellet Making – Once melted, the processed plastic pieces are further compressed into small sized pellets which are called nurdles. These are ready to either reuse or get redesigned into new plastic products. It should be noted that recycled plastic is rarely used to make identical plastic items or redesigned into its original form. The nurdles are transported to companies which use them to manufacture useful plastic products.
Benefits of Recycling Plastic
Recycling plastic has numerous benefits. Some of them are described below:
- Plastics are non-biodegradable and they pose a threat to environment as well as humans. They block and pollute waterways and water bodies. Rather than discarding them as waste, recycling plastics keeps them from turning into pollutants and preserves environment.
- There is a booming manufacturing industry which uses recycled plastics as raw materials to manufacture new useful plastic products. Recycled plastics are sent to these industries to be processed, redesigned and converted into new shapes and are used to manufacture different appliances.
- If plastics are recycled, the amount of plastic waste being taken to the landfills is greatly reduced. Landfill spaces are fast depleting. Recycling helps preserve precious landfill space which can be used for human settlement or agriculture or other important economic activities.
- Recycling of plastics requires less energy as compared to manufacturing it from scratch. Hence, a lot of energy can saved by recycling materials and this energy can be utilized for other important things in the economy.
- Collecting and recycling plastics has generated a lot of jobs and opened up new business avenues which garner huge profits. This industry will in the long run contribute towards improving the economy and boost the standard of living of many people.
Industries across the world are gradually realizing the many advantages of recycling not just plastic but many other waste materials for effective waste management. If you too want to know more about how recycling equipment such as industrial shredders can benefit your business, contact us today.
Compactor Management Company (former Northern California Compactors, Inc.) offers installation and support services for waste recycling equipment such as trash compactors, balers, shredders & conveyor systems. Established in 1981, it offers waste management solutions across the United States.