Why Plastic Recycling is the Need of the Hour
The ultimate goal of plastic recycling is to minimize the rate of pollution caused by plastics and create a cleaner and greener environment for the world community. This in turn greatly reduces the need to produce brand new plastic products using virgin materials.
Plastic is inexpensive, durable, lightweight, and versatile. It can be easily molded and remolded into different products that find use in a plethora of applications. More than 100 million tons of plastic is being manufactured every year across the globe and around 200 billion pounds of new plastic materials are being thermoformed, foamed, coated and extruded into millions of products and packages. Subsequently, the recovery and recycling of plastic products has become extremely important.
What is Scrap Plastic Recycling?
Every hour, Americans use 2.5 million plastic bottles and throw them away. Have you ever wondered what happens to the plastic products after they have served their purpose? Every year plastic products that end up in the sea kill around million seabirds and 100,000 marine mammals. These plastic products and packages account for 10% of the total waste produced across the globe and take hundreds of years to degrade.
Scrap plastic recycling refers to the process of recovering scrap plastic materials and reprocessing them into useful, functional items. The plastic recycling process utilizes 88% less energy than it requires when producing new plastic products from virgin raw materials. It also helps conserve resources, reduces landfill waste and diverts plastics from unintended destinations like the sea.
However, scrap plastic recycling faces many challenges that range from sorting mixed plastics and processing them, to removing residues and recycling the materials.
The simplest process of scrap plastic recycling involves the following six steps:
This is the first step of the scrap plastic recycling process. Plastic products and packaging materials like containers, jars, bottles and bags are collected from restaurants, commercial businesses and homes.
After all the plastic products have been collected for recycling, they are transported to the recycling facility where they are sorted manually or with machines. This step is important to ensure that all the contaminants have been removed from the plastic waste. Plastic waste is sorted on the basis of color and resin content as it is to be processed accordingly.
After sorting and before shredding, the plastics must be washed. Washing removes all the impurities before plastic products are processed.
After washing, plastics are shredded into small, reusable fragments using plastic shredders. These fragments are sorted again by weight to undergo different deconstruction processes where they are cut into small flakes or grounded into particles.
Plastic is cleaned several times during the plastic recycling process. Recycling centers employ specialized machines to sort and separate freshly washed plastic flakes based on their resin content.
This is the final step of the plastic recycling process. During this step, the plastic particles are smashed and melted into pellets which are then used for the manufacturing of finished plastic products.
Plastic recycling also helps boost economic development by generating employment opportunities, maximizes landfill diversions, and helps industries save big on landfill taxes. The money saved can then be invested on effective plastic recycling process. More and more industries are embracing a sustainable approach by adopting the plastic recycling process.
If you too want to take an eco-friendly approach to plastic disposal, check out our extensive inventory of industrial trash compactors, balers and plastic shredders for efficient and cost-effective recycling. Call us at 1-800-464-3095 to learn more about our products and services.