Plastic recycling

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Plastic recycling
Clockwise from top left:
  • Sorting plastic waste at a single-stream recycling centre
  • Baled colour-sorted used bottles
  • Recovered HDPE ready for recycling
  • A watering can made from recycled bottles
.

Plastic recycling is the reprocessing of plastic waste into new and useful products. When performed correctly, this can reduce dependence on landfill, conserve resources and protect the environment from plastic pollution and greenhouse gas emissions.[1][2][3][4] Although recycling rates are increasing, they lag behind those of other recoverable materials, such as aluminium, glass and paper. The global recycling rate in 2015 was 19.5%, while 25.5% was incinerated and the remaining 55% disposed of to landfill.[5] Since the beginning of plastic production in the 20th century, until 2015, the world has produced some 6.3 billion tonnes of plastic waste, only 9% of which has been recycled, and only ~1% has been recycled more than once.[5]

Recycling is necessary because almost all plastic is non-biodegradable and thus builds-up in the environment, where it can cause harm. For example, approximately 8 million tons of waste plastic enter the Earth's oceans every year, causing damage to the aquatic ecosystem and forming large ocean garbage patches.[6][7]

Presently, almost all recycling is perform by remelting and reforming used plastic into new items; so-called mechanical recycling. This can cause polymer degradation at a chemical level, and also requires that waste be sorted by both colour and polymer type before being reprocessed, which is complicated and expensive. Failures in this can lead to material with inconsistent properties, which is unappealing to industry.[8]

In an alternative approach known as feedstock recycling, waste plastic is converted back into its starting chemicals, which can then be reprocessed back into fresh plastic. This offers the hope of greater recycling but suffers from higher energy and capital costs. Waste plastic can also be burnt in place of fossil fuels as part of energy recovery. This is a controversial practice, but is nonetheless performed on a large scale. In some countries, it is the dominant form of plastic waste disposal, particularly where landfill diversion policies are in place.

Plastic recycling has been advocated since the early 1970s,[9] but due to severe economic and technical challenges, did not impact plastic waste to any significant extent until the late 1980s. The plastics industry has been criticised for lobbying for the expansion of recycling programs while industry research showed that most plastic could not be economically recycled; all the while increasing the amount of virgin plastic being produced.[10][11]

History[edit]

Although plastics were known before the 20th century, large-scale production was not realised until WWII. With metal supplies allocated towards military use and an increased demand for high-performance materials, these hitherto untested synthetic alternatives became appealing. Nylon replaced silk in parachutes, while Perspex was a light-weight alternative to glass in aeroplanes. After the war these processes were commercialised rapidly, with the plastic age beginning from around 1950, greatly aided by the post-war economic boom.

Global environmental movements in the 1960s and 1970s led to the formation of environmental agencies in many jurisdictions, including the U.S. (EPA, 1970), EU (DG ENV, 1973) Australia (EPA, 1971) and Japan (JEA 1971). In this atmosphere of environmental awareness, plastic waste came under scrutiny.[9] The earliest major development to abate plastic pollution was arguably the 1973 and 1978 MARPOL agreement, whose Annex V completely banned the dumping of plastics into the ocean.

Plastic industry lobbying[edit]

Photograph of Girl Scouts picking up discarded trash in 1970.
Girl Scouts on a Keep America Beautiful cleanup in 1970. The Keep American Beautiful campaign was a greenwashing campaign by the plastics and other polluting industries founded in the 1970s to try to displace responsibility of plastic pollution and other disposable packing trash onto consumers as "littering".[12]

As the threat of more regulation from the environmental movement grew, the plastics industry responded with lobbying to preserve their business interests. In the U.S., the Resource Recovery Act, passed in 1970, directed the nation towards recycling and energy recovery.[9] By 1976, there had been more than a thousand attempts to pass legislation to ban or tax packaging, including plastics.[13] The plastics industry responded by lobbying for plastic to be recycled. This involved a $50 million per year campaign through organisations such as Keep America Beautiful with the message that plastic could and would be recycled,[10][11] as well as lobbying for the establishment of curbside recycling collections.[14]

However, petrochemical industry leaders understood plastic could not be economically recycled using the technology of the time. For example, an April 1973 report written by industry scientists for industry executive states that, "There is no recovery from obsolete products" and that, "A degradation of resin properties and performance occurs during the initial fabrication, through aging, and in any reclamation process." The report concluded that sorting the plastic is "infeasible". The scientific community also knew this, with contemporary reports highlighting numerous technical barriers.[15][16][17][18]

Globally, plastic waste was almost entirely disposed of via landfill until the start of the 1980s when rates of incineration increased. Although better technology was known,[19] these early incinerators often lacked advanced combustors or emission-control systems, leading to the release of dioxins and dioxin-like compounds.[20] The replacement or upgrading of these facilities to cleaner ones with waste-to-energy recovery has been gradual.

It was not until the late 1980s that plastic recycling began in earnest. In 1988 the U.S. Society of the Plastics Industry created the Council for Solid Waste Solutions as a trade association to sell the idea of plastic recycling to the public.[21] The association lobbied American municipalities to launch or expand plastic waste collection programs and to lobby U.S. states to require the labelling of plastic containers and products with recycling symbols.[10][11] This coincided with their introduction of resin identification codes in 1988, which provided a standard system for the identification of various polymer types at materials recovery facilities, where plastic sorting was still largely performed by hand.

Global recycling trade[edit]

Increasing globalisation during the 1990's allowed the export of plastic waste from advanced economies to developing and middle-income ones, where it could be sorted and recycled more inexpensively. This formed part of a growing global waste trade, which saw the annual trade in plastic waste increase rapidly from 1993 onwards.[22]

Many governments count items as recycled if they have been exported for that purpose, however the practice has been accused of being environmental dumping, as environmental laws and their enforcement are generally weaker in less developed economies and the exported plastic waste can be mishandled, allowing it to enter the environment as plastic pollution.[23][24] By 2016 about 14 Mt of all plastic waste intended for recycling was exported, with China taking around half of it (7.35 million tonnes).[22] However, much of this was low quality mixed plastic which was hard to sort and recycle and ended up accumulating in landfills and at recyclers, or being dumped. In 2017, China began restricting waste plastics imports in Operation National Sword. Europe and North America suffered from extreme waste stream backlogs, and waste plastic ended up being exported to other countries mostly in South East Asia, like Vietnam and Malaysia, but also to places like Turkey and India with less stringent environmental regulations.[25][26] In 2019, international trade in plastic waste became regulated under the Basel Convention.

Production and recycling rates[edit]

see caption
Global quantities of plastic produced and disposed of annually (1950-2015), showing the estimated amounts disposed of via landfill, recycling and incineration.

The total amount of plastic ever produced worldwide, until 2015, is estimated to be 8.3 billion tonnes.[5] Approximately 6.3 billion tonnes of this has been discarded as waste, of which around 79% has accumulated in landfills or the natural environment, 12% was incinerated, and 9% has been recycled, although only ~1% of all plastic has ever been recycled more than once.[5]

By 2015 global production had reached some 381 Mt per year,[5] greater than the combined weight of everyone on Earth.[27] The recycling rate in that year was 19.5%, while 25.5% was incinerated and the remaining 55% disposed of, largely to landfill. These rates lag far behind those of other recyclables, such as paper, metal and glass. Although the percentage of material being recycled or incinerated is increasing each year, the tonnage of waste left-over also continues to rise. This is because global plastic production is still increasing year-on-year. Left unchecked, production could reach ~800 Mt per year by 2040, although implementing all feasible interventions could reduce plastic pollution by 40% from 2016 rates.[28]

A focus on global averages can disguise the fact that recycling rates also vary between types of plastic. Several types are in common use, each having distinct chemical and physical properties. This leads to differences in the ease with which they can be sorted and reprocessed; which effects the value and market size for recovered materials.[29] PET bottles and HDPE have the highest recycling rates, whereas polystyrene and polyurethane foams are often not recycled at all.

One of the reasons for low levels of plastic recycling is weak demand from manufactures, who fear that recycled plastics will have poor or inconsistent mechanical properties.[8] The percentage of plastic that can be fully recycled, rather than downcycled or go to waste, can be increased when manufacturers of packaged goods minimise mixing of packaging materials and eliminate contaminants. The Association of Plastics Recyclers has issued a "Design Guide for Recyclability".[30]

Regional data[edit]

The recycling activities of the largest produces of plastic waste have the greatest effect on global averages. These are a mix of advanced economies and large developing nations, however, not all of these publish official statistics on their plastic recycling rates. Others may release partial data, usually limited to population centres. This makes it difficult to draw accurate comparisons, especially as the published recycling rates vary hugely between counties.

12 largest producers of plastic waste (+EU) and their recycling rates in 2010
Country Plastic waste per year (Mt)[31] Waste per person per day (Kg)[31] Recycled Incinerated (with energy recovery) Landfill (and incineration without energy recovery) Comments
China 59.08 0.12 - - - No official statistics
United States[32] 37.83 0.34 8% 14% 78% Source: EPA
EU total*[33] 24.7 0.15 24% 34% 42%
Germany[33] 14.48 0.48 33% 65% 2%
Brazil 11.85 0.17 - - - No official statistics
Japan[34] 7.99 0.17 27% 49% 24%
Pakistan 6.41 0.10 - - - No official statistics
Nigeria 5.96 0.10 12% 0% 88% Estimated values
Russia 5.84 0.11 6% 0% 94% World bank estimates (2013)[35]
Turkey 5.60 0.21 5% 0% 95% Estimated values
Egypt 5.46 0.18 - - - No official statistics
Indonesia 5.05 0.06 19% 0% 81% Estimated values
United Kingdom[33] 4.93 0.21 23% 8% 69%
Spain[33] 4.71 0.28 23% 17% 60%
France[33] 4.56 0.19 18% 40% 42%
India 4.49 0.01 42% 18% 40% Estimated values
Rest of World 60.76 - - - - No official statistics
World Total[5] 245.00 0.10 16% 22% 62%

* Although not formally a country, legislation affecting recycling is often made at the EU level

Identification codes[edit]

See caption
Global plastic waste generation by polymer type. Colours indicate recyclability:
  • Blue is widely recycled
  • Yellow is sometimes recycled
  • Red is usually not recycled

Many plastic items bear symbols identifying the type of polymer from which they are made. These resin identification codes, often abbreviated RICs, are used internationally,[36] and were originally developed in 1988 by the Society of the Plastics Industry (now the Plastics Industry Association) in the United States, but since 2008 have been administered by ASTM International, a standards organisation.[36]

RICs are not mandatory in all countries, but many producers voluntarily mark their products. More than half of U.S. states have enacted laws that require plastic products be identifiable.[37] There are seven codes in all, six for the most common commodity plastics and one as a catch-all for everything else. The EU maintains a similar nine-code list which also includes ABS and polyamides.[38] RICs are clearly based on the recycling symbol and have drawn criticism for causing consumer confusion, as it implies the item will always be recyclable when this is not necessarily the case.[39]

RICs are not particularly important for single-stream recycling, as these operations are increasingly automated. However, in some countries citizens are required to separate their plastic waste according to polymer type before refuse collection and for this RICs are very useful. For instance, in Japan PET bottles are collected separately for recycling.

Plastic identification code Type of plastic polymer Properties Common applications Melting- and glass transition temperatures (°C) Young's modulus (GPa)
Symbol Resin Code 01 PET.svg
Polyethylene terephthalate (PET) Clarity, strength, toughness, barrier to gas and moisture Soft drink, water and salad dressing bottles; peanut butter and jam jars; ice cream cone lids; small non-industrial electronics Tm = 250;[40] Tg = 76[40] 2–2.7[41]
Symbol Resin Code 02 PE-HD.svg
High-density polyethylene (HDPE) Stiffness, strength, toughness, barrier to gas and moisture Water pipes, gas and fire pipelines, electrical and communications conduits, five gallon buckets, milk, juice and water bottles, grocery bags, some toiletry bottles Tm = 130;[42] Tg = −125[43] 0.8[41]
Symbol Resin Code 03 PVC.svg
Polyvinyl chloride (PVC) Versatility, ease of blending, strength, toughness. Stretch wrap for non-food items, sometimes blister packaging. Non-packaging uses include electrical cable insulation, rigid piping and vinyl records. Tm = 240;[44] Tg = 85[44] 2.4–4.1[45]
Symbol Resin Code 04 PE-LD.svg
Low-density polyethylene (LDPE) Ease of processing; strength; flexibility; ease of sealing; moisture barrier. Frozen food bags; squeezable bottles, e.g. honey, mustard; cling films; flexible container lids Tm = 120;[46] Tg = −125[47] 0.17–0.28[45]
Symbol Resin Code 05 PP.svg
Polypropylene (PP) Strength; resistance to heat, chemicals, grease and oil; moisture barrier. Reusable microwaveable ware or take-away containers; kitchenware; yogurt or margerine containers; disposable cups and plates; soft drink bottle caps. Tm = 173;[48] Tg = −10[48] 1.5–2[41]
Symbol Resin Code 06 PS.svg
Polystyrene (PS) Versatility, clarity, easily formed, easily foamed Egg cartons; disposable cups, plates, trays and cutlery; foam food containers; packing peanuts and package cushioning; Tm = 240 (only isotactic);[43] Tg = 100 (atactic and isotactic)[43] 3–3.5[41]
Symbol Resin Code 07 O.svg
Other (often polycarbonate or ABS) Dependent on polymers or combination of polymers Beverage bottles, baby milk bottles. Non-packaging uses for polycarbonate: compact discs, "unbreakable" glazing, electronic apparatus housing, lenses (including sunglasses), instrument panels.[49] Polycarbonate: Tg = 145;[50] Tm = 225[51] Polycarbonate: 2.6;[41] ABS plastics: 2.3[41]

Plastic waste composition[edit]





Global plastic waste production by polymer type (2018)[5]
Polymer Waste production (Mt) Percentage of all plastic waste Polymer type Thermal character
High-density polyethylene (HDPE) 64 19.8% Polyolefin Thermoplastic
Low-density polyethylene (LDPE) 45 13.9% Polyolefin Thermoplastic
polypropylene (PP) 62 19.1% Polyolefin Thermoplastic
Polystyrene (PS) 19 5.9% Unsaturated polyolefin Thermoplastic
Polyvinyl chloride (PVC) 17 5.3% Halogenated Thermoplastic
Polyethylene terephthalate (PET) 35 10.8% Condensation Thermoplastic
Polyurethane (PUR) 18 5.6% Condensation Thermoset[52]
PP&A fibers[53] 51 15.7% Condensation Thermoplastic
All Others 12 3.7% Various Varies
Total (excludes additives) 324 100% - -

Collecting and sorting[edit]

See caption
Bales of colour sorted PET bottles (blues, clear and greens) Olomouc, the Czech Republic.
Manual separation of co-mingled waste (2 min).

Recycling begins with the collection and sorting of waste. Curbside collection operates in many counties, with the collections being sent to a materials recovery facility or MBT plant where the plastic is separated, cleaned and sorted for sale. Anything not deemed suitable for recycling will then be sent for landfill or incineration. These operations account for a large proportion of the financial and energy costs associated with recycling.

Sorting plastic is more complicated than any other recyclable material because it comes in a greater range of forms. Glass is separated into three streams (clear, green and amber) metals are usually either steel or aluminum and can be separated using magnets or eddy current separators, paper is usually sorted into a single stream. By comparison about six types of commodity polymer account for about 75% of plastics waste, with the remaining 25% consisting of a myriad of polymer types, including polyurethanes and synthetic fibers which can have a range of chemical structures. Different polymers are generally incompatible with each other when recycled, but even items made from the same polymer type may be incompatible depending on what additives they contain. These are compounds blended into plastics to enhance performance and include stabilisers, fillers and, most importantly, dyes.[54] Clear plastics hold the highest value as they may yet be dyed, while black or strongly coloured plastic is much less valuable, as their inclusion can give discoloured products. Thus, plastic normally needs to be sorted by both polymer type and colour to give a material suitable for recycling. This can lead to large inventories of products, which are often not well standardised between recyclers. This inconsistency in quality can act as a barrier to recycling.

Various approaches and technologies have been developed to sort plastic,[2] which can be combined in different ways.[55] As different polymer types can be incompatible with one another, accurate sorting is essential, although in practice no approach is 100% efficient.[56][57][55] Bioplastics and biodegradable plastics currently account for only a small share of household waste but their increasing popularity may yet further complicate waste plastic sorting.

Manual separation[edit]

Sorting through waste by hand is the oldest and simplest method of separating plastic. In developing countries this may be done by waste pickers, while in a recycling center workers pick items off a conveyor-belt. It requires low levels of technology and investment, but can have high relative operating costs due to the need for a large workforce. Although many plastic items have identification codes workers rarely have time to look for them, so there are problems of inefficiency and inconsistency in the sorting process. Regardless, even advanced facilities retain manual pickers to troubleshoot and correct sorting errors by equipment.[55] Globally, the process focuses on those materials which are most valuable, such as clear PET bottles, with a significant amount of the waste continuing on to landfill. Working conditions can be unsanitary.[58]

Density separation[edit]

Plastic densities[59]
Plastic Type Density (g/cm3)
Polyvinyl chloride 1.38-1.41
Polyethylene terephthalate 1.38-1.41
Polystyrene 1.04-1.08
High-density Polyethylene 0.94-0.98
Low-density Polyethylene 0.89–0.93
Polypropylene 0.85-0.92
Polystyrene foam 0.01-0.04

Plastics can be separated by exploiting differences in their densities. In this approach the plastic is first ground into flakes of a similar size, washed and subjected to gravity separation.[60] This can be achieved using either an air classifier or hydrocyclone, or via wet float-sink method.[61] These approaches only allow partial sorting, as some polymers have similar density ranges.[60] Polypropylene (PP) and polyethylene (PE) will remain together as will Polyethylene terephthalate (PET), polystyrene (PS), and PVC. In addition, if the plastic contains a high percentage of fillers, this may affect its density.[62] The lighter PP and PE fraction is known as mixed polyolefin (MPO) and can be sold as a low-value product,[63] the heavier mixed plastics fraction is usually unrecyclable.

Electrostatic separation[edit]

In electrostatic separators, the triboelectric effect is used to charge plastic particles electrically; with different polymers being charged to different extents. They are then blown through an applied electric field, which deflects them depending on their charge, directing them into appropriate collectors. As with density separation, the particles need to be dry, have a close size distribution and be uniform in shape.[64] Electrostatic separation can be complementary to density separation, allowing full separation of polymers,[65] however, these will still be of mixed colours.

Sensor based separation[edit]

Photograph of the interior workings of a recycling plant
An advanced recycling plant using optical separation

This approach can be highly automated and involves various types of sensors linked to a computer, which analyses items and directs them into appropriate chutes or belts.[66] Near-infrared spectroscopy can be used to distinguish between polymer types,[67] although it can struggle with black or strongly coloured plastics, as well as composite materials like plastic-coated paper and multilayered packaging, which can give misleading readings. Optical sorting such as colour sorters or hyperspectral imaging can then further organise the plastics by colour. Sensor based separation is more expensive to install but has the best recovery rates and produces more high-quality products.[55]

Plastic scrap[edit]

Plastic waste can be broadly divided into two categories; industrial scrap (sometimes referred to as post industrial resin) and post-consumer waste. Scrap is generated during the production of plastic items and is usually handled completely differently to post-consumer waste.[68] It can include flashings, trimmings, sprues and rejects. As it is collected at the point of manufacture it will be clean, and of a known type and grade of material, and is usually of high quality and value. As scrap is mostly traded company-to-company rather than via municipal facilities, it is often not included in official statistics.[68]

Mechanical recycling[edit]

Diagram showing plastic or other polymer compatibilisation.
Polymer compatibilisation

The majority of plastic waste is made of thermosoftening polymers, which can be re-melted and reformed into new items in a practice known as mechanical recycling. Globally, this is by far the most common form of recycling and in many countries it is effectively the only type practised. This predominance is due to it being the simplest and most economical form of recycling, in addition to it having a lower carbon footprint than most other processes.[69] However, several factors can lead to the quality of the polymer being reduced when it is recycled this way, which limits its applicability and effectiveness.[69] Thus, the limits of mechanical recycling are in practise often the current limits of plastic recycling.

Plastics are reprocessed at anywhere between 150–320 °C (300–610 °F), depending on the polymer type,[60] and this is sufficient to cause unwanted chemical reactions which result in polymer degradation.[70] This reduces the physical properties and overall quality of the plastic and can produce volatile, low-molecular weight compounds, which may impart undesirable taste or odour, as well as causing thermal discolouration. Additives present within the plastic can accelerate this degradation. For instance, oxo-biodegradable additives, intended to improve the biodegradability of plastic, also increase the degree of thermal degradation.[71][72] Similarly, flame retardants can have unwanted effects.[73] The quality of the product also depends strongly on how well the plastic was sorted. Many polymers are immiscible with one another when molten and will phase separate (like oil and water) during reprocessing. Products made from such blends contain many boundaries between the different polymer types and cohesion across such boundaries is weak, leading to poor mechanical properties.

Many of these problems have technological solutions, though they bear a financial cost. Advanced polymer stabilisers and can be used to protect plastics from the rigours of thermal reprocessing.[74] Volatile degradation products can be removed by a range of devolatilisation techniques. Flame retardants can be removed by chemical treatment,[75] while damaging metallic additives can be rendered inert with deactivators. Finally, the properties of mixed plastics can be improved by using compatibilisers.[76][77] These are compounds which improve miscibility between polymer types to give a more homogeneous product, with better internal cohesion and improved mechanical properties. They act at the boundary between different polymers and are small-molecules possessing two different chemical regions, each of which is compatible with a certain polymer. This allows them to act like molecular-nails or screws, anchoring the areas of different polymer to one another. As a result, compatibilisers are normally limited to systems dominated by two particular types of plastic and are not a cost-effective option for unsorted mixtures of various polymer types. There is no one-size-fits-all compatibiliser for all plastic combinations. Even with these technologies, it is particularly challenging to recycle plastic so that it can meet food contact standards.

Closed-loop recycling[edit]

In closed-loop (or primary) recycling used plastic is endlessly recycled back into new items of the same quality and sort. For instance, turning drinks bottles back into drinks bottles. It can be considered an example of a circular economy. The continual mechanical recycling of plastic without reduction in quality is very challenging due to cumulative polymer degradation,[78] and risk of contaminant build-up. In 2013 only 2% of plastic packaging was recycled in a closed loop.[79] Although closed-loop recycling has been investigated for many polymers,[78] to-date the only industrial successes have been with PET bottle recycling.[80] The reason for this is that polymer degradation in PET is often repairable. PET's polymer chains tend to cleave at their ester groups and the alcohol and carboxyl groups left by this can be joined back together by the use of chemical agents called chain extenders.[81] PMDA is one such compound.

Open-loop recycling[edit]

Photograph of a re-usable carrier bag made from recycled plastic bottles processed using open-loop recycling.
This re-usable carrier bag has been made from recycled plastic bottles. It is an example of open-loop recycling

In open-loop recycling (also known as secondary recycling, or downcycling) the quality of the plastic is reduced each time it is recycled, so that the material is not recycled indefinitely and eventually becomes waste. It is the most common type of plastic recycling.[79] The recycling of PET bottles into fleece or other fibres is a common example, and accounts for the majority of PET recycling.[82] Although this approach only delays material from heading to landfill or incineration, life-cycle assessment shows it to be of ecological benefit.[83][4][82] Environmentally successful recycling displaces demand for fresh plastic production and if open-loop recycling achieves this then it's benefits are indistinguishable from closed-loop recycling.[84] If instead, it is used to produce new cheap and low-quality items which would not otherwise have been made, then it is not displacing current production and is of little or no benefit to the environment.

The reduction in polymer quality can be offset by mixing recycled plastic with virgin material when making a new product. Compatibilised plastics can be used as a replacement for virgin material, as it is possible to produce them with the right melt flow index needed for good processing.[85] Low quality mixed plastics can also be recycled in an open-loop, although there is limited demand for such products, as in addition to poor mechanical properties, incompletely sorted waste often contains a wide range of dyes and colourants. When these are mixed during reprocessing the result is usually a dark-brown product which is unappealing for many applications. These blends find use as outdoor furniture or plastic lumber. As the material is weak, but of low cost it is produced in thick planks so as to be sturdy.

Thermosets[edit]

Although thermoset polymers do not melt, technologies have been developed for their mechanical recycling. This usually involves breaking the material down to a crumb, which can then be mixed with some sort of binding agent to form a new composite material. For instance, polyurethanes can be recycled as reconstituted crumb foam.[86][87] Tire recycling similarly produces crumb rubber, which can be used as aggregate. Various devulcanisation technologies have also been developed to allow the recycling of rubber wastes,[88] though few of these are commercially important.

Feedstock recycling[edit]

In feedstock recycling (also called chemical recycling or tertiary recycling) polymers are reduced to their chemical building-blocks (monomers), which can then be polymerised back into fresh plastics.[89][90][91] In theory, this allows for near infinite recycling; as impurities, additives, dyes and chemical defects are completely removed with each cycle.[92][93] In practice, chemical recycling is far less common than mechanical recycling. In 2018 Japan had one of the highest rates in the world at ~4%, compared to 23% mechanical recycling,[94] in the same period Germany reported a feedstock recycling rate of 0.2%.[95] Implementation is limited because technologies do not yet exist to depolymerise all polymers reliably on an industrial scale but also because the equipment costs are much higher. Depolymerising, purifying and re-polymerising the plastic can also be energy intensive, leading to the carbon footprint of feedstock recycling normally being higher than that of mechanical recycling.[69] PET, PU and PS are depolymerised commercially to varying extents,[92] but the feedstock recycling of polyolefins, which make-up nearly half of all plastics, is much more limited.[93]

Thermal depolymerisation[edit]

Certain polymers like PTFE, polystyrene, nylon 6, and polymethylmethacrylate (PMMA) undergo thermal depolymerisation when heated to sufficiently high temperatures.[96] The reactions are sensitive to impurities and require clean and well sorted waste to produce a good product. Even then, not all depolymerisation reactions are completely efficient and some competitive pyrolysis is often observed; the monomers, therefore, require purification before reuse. The feedstock recycling of polystyrene has been commercialised,[93] but global capacity remains fairly limited.

Chemical depolymerisation[edit]

Condensation polymers bearing cleavable groups such as esters and amides can be completely depolymerised by hydrolysis or solvolysis. This can be a purely chemical process but may also be promoted by enzymes, like PETase, which is able to breakdown PET.[97][98] Such technologies have lower energy costs that thermal depolymerisation but are more limited in terms of the polymers they can be applied to. Thus far polyethylene terephthalate has been the most heavily studied polymer,[99] with commercial scale feedstock recycling being performed by several companies.[92]

Energy recovery[edit]

Photograph of piles of trash including large amounts of plastic at an incinerator
Piles of trash including large amounts of plastic at an incinerator in Ko Tao, Thailand. Well regulated incinerators reduce harmful toxins released during the burning process, but not all plastic is burned in proper facilities.

Energy recovery (also called energy recycling or quaternary recycling) involves burning waste plastic in place of fossil fuels for energy production.[100][101] Its inclusion as a type of recycling can be controversial, but it is nonetheless included in the recycling rates reported by many countries,[102][103] although it is not considered recycling by the EU.[104] Care should be taken not to conflate it with incineration without energy recovery, which is historically more common, but which offsets neither plastic nor fuel production.

Energy recovery is often the default waste management method of last resort, a position previously held by landfill. In urban areas a lack of suitable sites for new landfills can drive this,[105] but it is also a result of regulation, such as the EU's Landfill Directive or other landfill diversion policies. Compared to the other recycling options its appeal is largely economic. If the correct technologies are used then the plastics do not need to be separated from one another, or from other forms of municipal solid waste (garbage), which greatly reduces costs. Compared to the sometimes variable market for recyclates, demand for electricity is universal and better understood, reducing the perceived financial risk of operations. As means of waste management, it is highly effective, reducing the volume of waste by about 90%, with the residues sent to landfill or used to make cinder block. Although its CO2 emissions are obviously high, comparing its overall ecological desirability to other recycling technologies is difficult.[4] For instance, while recycling greatly reduces greenhouse gas emissions compared to incineration, it is an expensive way of achieving these reductions when compared to investing in renewable energy.[106]

Plastic waste may be simply burnt as refuse-derived fuel (RDF) in a waste-to-energy process, or it may be chemically converted to a synthetic fuel first. In either approach PVC must be excluded or compensated for by installing dichlorination technologies, as it generates large amounts of hydrogen chloride (HCl) when burnt. This can corrode equipment and cause undesirable chlorination of the fuel products.[107] The burning of plastics has long been associated with the release of harmful dioxins and dioxin-like compounds, however these hazards can be abated by the use of advanced combustors and emission control systems. Incineration with energy recovery remains the most common method, with more advanced waste-to-fuel technologies, such as pyrolysis, being hindered by technical and cost hurdles.[105][108]

Waste-to-fuel[edit]

Mixed plastic waste can be depolymerised to give a synthetic fuel. This has a higher heating value than the starting plastic and can be burnt more efficiently, although it remains less efficient than fossil fuels.[109] Various conversion technologies have been investigated, of which pyrolysis is the most common.[110][111] Conversion can take place as part of incineration in an IGC cycle, but often the aim is to collect the fuel so that it may be sold. Pyrolysis of mixed plastics can give a fairly broad mix of chemical products (between about 1 and 15 carbon atoms) including gases and aromatic liquids.[112][113][114] Catalysts can give a better defined product with a higher value.[115][116][117] The liquid products can be used as synthetic diesel fuel,[118] with some commercial production taking place in several countries.[119] Life-cycle analysis shows that plastic-to-fuel can displace the production of fossil fuels and result in lower net greenhouse gas emissions (~15% reduction).[120]

Compared to the widespread use of incineration, plastic-to-fuel technologies have historically struggled to be economically viable because of the costs of collecting and sorting the plastic and the relatively low value of the fuel produced.[110][121] Large plants are seen as being more economical than smaller ones but require more investment to build.[122][123]

Other processes[edit]

Millions of tonnes of plastic waste are generated annually, and this has led to numerous solutions being developed, many of which operate at a considerable scale. A process has been developed in which many kinds of plastic can be used as a carbon source (in place of coke) in the recycling of scrap steel,[124] with roughly 200,000 tons of waste plastics being processed this way each year in Japan.[125] Ground plastic may be used as a construction aggregate or filler material in certain applications. While it is generally unsuitable in structural concrete, its inclusion in asphalt concrete, (forming rubberised asphalt), subbase and recycled insulation can be beneficial.[126] An example of this is the construction of plastic roads. These are rarely made entirely of plastic but can incorporate significant amounts of plastic waste in their design. The practice is popular in India, which by 2021 had constructed some 700 km (435 miles) of highways.[127][128] However, the practise has also come in for criticism, in-part over uncertainties over the leaching of plastic additives into the environment.[129]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Hopewell, Jefferson; Dvorak, Robert; Kosior, Edward (27 July 2009). "Plastics recycling: challenges and opportunities". Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences. 364 (1526): 2115–2126. doi:10.1098/rstb.2008.0311. PMC 2873020. PMID 19528059.
  2. ^ a b Al-Salem, S.M.; Lettieri, P.; Baeyens, J. (October 2009). "Recycling and recovery routes of plastic solid waste (PSW): A review". Waste Management. 29 (10): 2625–2643. doi:10.1016/j.wasman.2009.06.004. PMID 19577459.
  3. ^ Ignatyev, I.A.; Thielemans, W.; Beke, B. Vander (2014). "Recycling of Polymers: A Review". ChemSusChem. 7 (6): 1579–1593. doi:10.1002/cssc.201300898. PMID 24811748.
  4. ^ a b c Lazarevic, David; Aoustin, Emmanuelle; Buclet, Nicolas; Brandt, Nils (December 2010). "Plastic waste management in the context of a European recycling society: Comparing results and uncertainties in a life cycle perspective". Resources, Conservation and Recycling. 55 (2): 246–259. doi:10.1016/j.resconrec.2010.09.014.
  5. ^ a b c d e f g Geyer, Roland; Jambeck, Jenna R.; Law, Kara Lavender (July 2017). "Production, use, and fate of all plastics ever made". Science Advances. 3 (7): e1700782. Bibcode:2017SciA....3E0782G. doi:10.1126/sciadv.1700782. PMC 5517107. PMID 28776036.
  6. ^ Hardesty, Britta Denise; Chris Wilcox (13 February 2015). "8 million tons of plastic are going into the ocean each year". The Conversation. Retrieved 21 February 2015.
  7. ^ Jambeck, Jenna, Science 13 February 2015: Vol. 347 no. 6223; et al. (2015). "Plastic waste inputs from land into the ocean". Science. 347 (6223): 768–771. Bibcode:2015Sci...347..768J. doi:10.1126/science.1260352. PMID 25678662. S2CID 206562155.
  8. ^ a b "COMMUNICATION FROM THE COMMISSION TO THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT, THE COUNCIL, THE EUROPEAN ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL COMMITTEE AND THE COMMITTEE OF THE REGIONS A European Strategy for Plastics in a Circular Economy". eur-lex.europa.eu.
  9. ^ a b c Huffman, George L.; Keller, Daniel J. (1973). "The Plastics Issue". Polymers and Ecological Problems: 155–167. doi:10.1007/978-1-4684-0871-3_10. ISBN 978-1-4684-0873-7.
  10. ^ a b c National Public Radio, 12 September 2020 "How Big Oil Misled The Public Into Believing Plastic Would Be Recycled"
  11. ^ a b c PBS, Frontline, 31 March 2020, "Plastics Industry Insiders Reveal the Truth About Recycling"
  12. ^ "The Litter Myth : Throughline". NPR.org. Retrieved 15 June 2021.
  13. ^ Jaeger, Andrew Boardman (8 April 2017). "Forging Hegemony: How Recycling Became a Popular but Inadequate Response to Accumulating Waste". Social Problems. 65 (3): 395–415. doi:10.1093/socpro/spx001. ISSN 0037-7791.
  14. ^ Elmore, Bartow J. (2012). "The American Beverage Industry and the Development of Curbside Recycling Programs, 1950–2000". Business History Review. 86 (3): 477–501. doi:10.1017/S0007680512000785. JSTOR 41720628.
  15. ^ Paul, D. R.; Vinson, C. E.; Locke, C. E. (May 1972). "The potential for reuse of plastics recovered from solid wastes". Polymer Engineering and Science. 12 (3): 157–166. doi:10.1002/pen.760120302.
  16. ^ Sperber, R. J.; Rosen, S. L. (January 1974). "Reuse of Polymer Waste". Polymer-Plastics Technology and Engineering. 3 (2): 215–239. doi:10.1080/03602557408545028.
  17. ^ Buekens, A.G. (January 1977). "Some observations on the recycling of plastics and rubber". Conservation & Recycling. 1 (3–4): 247–271. doi:10.1016/0361-3658(77)90014-5.
  18. ^ Leidner, J. (January 1978). "Recovery of the Value from Postconsumer Plastics Waste". Polymer-Plastics Technology and Engineering. 10 (2): 199–215. doi:10.1080/03602557809409228.
  19. ^ Poller, Robert C. (30 December 1979). "Reclamation of waste plastics and rubber: Recovery of materials and energy". Journal of Chemical Technology and Biotechnology. 30 (1): 152–160. doi:10.1002/jctb.503300120.
  20. ^ Victorin, K; Stahlberg, M; Ahlborg, U (June 1988). "Emission of mutagenic substances from waste incineration plants". Waste Management & Research. 6 (2): 149–161. doi:10.1016/0734-242X(88)90059-6.
  21. ^ Liesemer, Ronald (May 1992). "A perspective of the plastics waste issue in the United States". Makromolekulare Chemie. Macromolecular Symposia. 57 (1): 1–13. doi:10.1002/masy.19920570103.
  22. ^ a b Brooks, Amy L.; Wang, Shunli; Jambeck, Jenna R. (June 2018). "The Chinese import ban and its impact on global plastic waste trade". Science Advances. 4 (6): eaat0131. Bibcode:2018SciA....4..131B. doi:10.1126/sciadv.aat0131. PMC 6010324. PMID 29938223.
  23. ^ "Trashed: how the UK is still dumping plastic waste on the rest of the world". Greenpeace UK. Retrieved 20 May 2021.
  24. ^ Bishop, George; Styles, David; Lens, Piet N.L. (September 2020). "Recycling of European plastic is a pathway for plastic debris in the ocean". Environment International. 142: 105893. doi:10.1016/j.envint.2020.105893. PMID 32603969.
  25. ^ Wang, Chao; Zhao, Longfeng; Lim, Ming K; Chen, Wei-Qiang; Sutherland, John W. (February 2020). "Structure of the global plastic waste trade network and the impact of China's import Ban". Resources, Conservation and Recycling. 153: 104591. doi:10.1016/j.resconrec.2019.104591.
  26. ^ "Piling Up: How China's Ban on Importing Waste Has Stalled Global Recycling". Yale E360. Retrieved 12 October 2020.
  27. ^ Walpole, Sarah Catherine; Prieto-Merino, David; Edwards, Phil; Cleland, John; Stevens, Gretchen; Roberts, Ian (December 2012). "The weight of nations: an estimation of adult human biomass". BMC Public Health. 12 (1): 439. doi:10.1186/1471-2458-12-439. PMC 3408371. PMID 22709383.
  28. ^ Lau, Winnie W. Y.; Shiran, Yonathan; Bailey, Richard M.; Cook, Ed; Stuchtey, Martin R.; Koskella, Julia; Velis, Costas A.; Godfrey, Linda; Boucher, Julien; Murphy, Margaret B.; Thompson, Richard C.; Jankowska, Emilia; Castillo Castillo, Arturo; Pilditch, Toby D.; Dixon, Ben; Koerselman, Laura; Kosior, Edward; Favoino, Enzo; Gutberlet, Jutta; Baulch, Sarah; Atreya, Meera E.; Fischer, David; He, Kevin K.; Petit, Milan M.; Sumaila, U. Rashid; Neil, Emily; Bernhofen, Mark V.; Lawrence, Keith; Palardy, James E. (18 September 2020). "Evaluating scenarios toward zero plastic pollution". Science. 369 (6510): 1455–1461. Bibcode:2020Sci...369.1455L. doi:10.1126/science.aba9475. PMID 32703909. S2CID 221767531.
  29. ^ "Why plastic recycling is so confusing". BBC News. 18 December 2018. Retrieved 6 August 2021.
  30. ^ "PET_APR_Design_Guide.pdf" (PDF). PlasticsRecycling.org. Retrieved 13 July 2017.
  31. ^ a b Ritchie, Hannah; Roser, Max (1 September 2018). "Plastic Pollution". Our World in Data. Retrieved 22 September 2021.
  32. ^ US EPA, OLEM (12 September 2017). "Plastics: Material-Specific Data". www.epa.gov. Retrieved 22 September 2021.
  33. ^ a b c d e "Plastics facts 2011". www.plasticseurope.org.
  34. ^ "An Introduction to Plastic Recycling" (PDF). Plastic Waste Management Institute. Retrieved 22 September 2021.
  35. ^ "Waste in Russia: Garbage of valuable resource?". www.ifc.org.
  36. ^ a b "Standard Practice for Coding Plastic Manufactured Articles for Resin Identification". Standard Practice for Coding Plastic Manufactured Articles for Resin Identification. ASTM International. Retrieved 21 January 2016.
  37. ^ "19". Holt Chemistry (Florida ed.). Holt, Rinehart, and Winston. 2006. p. 702. ISBN 978-0-03-039114-9. More than half the states in the United States have enacted laws that require plastic products to be labelled with numerical codes that identify the type of plastic used in them.
  38. ^ Official Journal of the EC; Commission Decision (97/129/EC) establishing the ID system for packaging materials pursuant to European Parliament & Council Directive 94/62/EC
  39. ^ Petsko, Emily. "Recycling Myth of the Month: Those numbered symbols on single-use plastics do not mean 'you can recycle me'". Oceana. Retrieved 12 October 2020.
  40. ^ a b Scott, Chris. "poly(ethylene terephthalate) information and properties". PolymerProcessing.com. Retrieved 13 July 2017.
  41. ^ a b c d e f "Modulus of Elasticity or Young's Modulus – and Tensile Modulus for common Materials". EngineeringToolbox.com. Retrieved 13 July 2017.
  42. ^ "Dyna Lab Corp". DynaLabCorp.com. Archived from the original on 22 November 2010. Retrieved 13 July 2017.
  43. ^ a b c "Sigma Aldrich" (PDF). SigmaAldrich.com. Retrieved 13 July 2017.
  44. ^ a b Scott, Chris. "poly(vinyl chloride) information and properties". PolymerProcessing.com. Retrieved 13 July 2017.
  45. ^ a b Modern Plastics Encyclopedia 1999, p B158 to B216. (Tensile modulus)
  46. ^ "Dyna Lab Corp". DynaLabCorp.com. Archived from the original on 21 September 2011. Retrieved 13 July 2017.
  47. ^ "Wofford University". LaSalle.edu. Archived from the original on 11 January 2010. Retrieved 13 July 2017.
  48. ^ a b Scott, Chris. "polypropylene information and properties". PolymerProcessing.com. Retrieved 13 July 2017.
  49. ^ "What is Polycarbonate (PC)?".
  50. ^ "polycarbonate information and properties". PolymerProcessing.com. 15 April 2001. Retrieved 27 October 2012.
  51. ^ Scott, Chris. "polycarbonate information and properties". PolymerProcessing.com. Retrieved 13 July 2017.
  52. ^ The majority of polyurethanes are thermosets, however some thermoplastics are also produced, for instance spandex
  53. ^ PP&A stand for polyester, polyamide and acrylate polymers; all of which are used to make synthetic fibres. Care should be taken not to confuse it with polyphthalamide (PPA)
  54. ^ Hahladakis, John N.; Velis, Costas A.; Weber, Roland; Iacovidou, Eleni; Purnell, Phil (February 2018). "An overview of chemical additives present in plastics: Migration, release, fate and environmental impact during their use, disposal and recycling". Journal of Hazardous Materials. 344: 179–199. doi:10.1016/j.jhazmat.2017.10.014. PMID 29035713.
  55. ^ a b c d Cimpan, Ciprian; Maul, Anja; Wenzel, Henrik; Pretz, Thomas (January 2016). "Techno-economic assessment of central sorting at material recovery facilities – the case of lightweight packaging waste". Journal of Cleaner Production. 112: 4387–4397. doi:10.1016/j.jclepro.2015.09.011.
  56. ^ Faraca, Giorgia; Astrup, Thomas (July 2019). "Plastic waste from recycling centres: Characterisation and evaluation of plastic recyclability". Waste Management. 95: 388–398. doi:10.1016/j.wasman.2019.06.038. PMID 31351625.
  57. ^ Antonopoulos, Ioannis; Faraca, Giorgia; Tonini, Davide (May 2021). "Recycling of post-consumer plastic packaging waste in the EU: Recovery rates, material flows, and barriers". Waste Management. 126: 694–705. doi:10.1016/j.wasman.2021.04.002. PMC 8162419. PMID 33887695.
  58. ^ Poulsen, Otto M.; Breum, Niels O.; Ebbehøj, Niels; Hansen, Åse Marie; Ivens, Ulla I.; van Lelieveld, Duco; Malmros, Per; Matthiasen, Leo; Nielsen, Birgitte H.; Nielsen, Eva Møller; Schibye, Bente; Skov, Torsten; Stenbaek, Eva I.; Wilkins, Ken C. (May 1995). "Sorting and recycling of domestic waste. Review of occupational health problems and their possible causes". Science of the Total Environment. 168 (1): 33–56. Bibcode:1995ScTEn.168...33P. doi:10.1016/0048-9697(95)04521-2. PMID 7610383.
  59. ^ Driedger, Alexander G.J.; Dürr, Hans H.; Mitchell, Kristen; Van Cappellen, Philippe (2015). "Plastic debris in the Laurentian Great Lakes: A review". Journal of Great Lakes Research. 41: 9–19. doi:10.1016/j.jglr.2014.12.020.
  60. ^ a b c Ragaert, Kim; Delva, Laurens; Van Geem, Kevin (November 2017). "Mechanical and chemical recycling of solid plastic waste". Waste Management. 69: 24–58. doi:10.1016/j.wasman.2017.07.044. PMID 28823699.
  61. ^ Bauer, Markus; Lehner, Markus; Schwabl, Daniel; Flachberger, Helmut; Kranzinger, Lukas; Pomberger, Roland; Hofer, Wolfgang (July 2018). "Sink–float density separation of post-consumer plastics for feedstock recycling". Journal of Material Cycles and Waste Management. 20 (3): 1781–1791. doi:10.1007/s10163-018-0748-z.
  62. ^ Bonifazi, Giuseppe; Di Maio, Francesco; Potenza, Fabio; Serranti, Silvia (May 2016). "FT-IR Analysis and Hyperspectral Imaging Applied to Postconsumer Plastics Packaging Characterization and Sorting". IEEE Sensors Journal. 16 (10): 3428–3434. Bibcode:2016ISenJ..16.3428B. doi:10.1109/JSEN.2015.2449867. S2CID 6670818.
  63. ^ Hubo, Sara; Delva, Laurens; Van Damme, Nicolas; Ragaert, Kim (2016). "Blending of recycled mixed polyolefins with recycled polypropylene: Effect on physical and mechanical properties". AIP Conference Proceedings. 1779: 140006. doi:10.1063/1.4965586. Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  64. ^ Wu, Guiqing; Li, Jia; Xu, Zhenming (March 2013). "Triboelectrostatic separation for granular plastic waste recycling: A review". Waste Management. 33 (3): 585–597. doi:10.1016/j.wasman.2012.10.014. PMID 23199793.
  65. ^ Dodbiba, G.; Sadaki, J.; Okaya, K.; Shibayama, A.; Fujita, T. (December 2005). "The use of air tabling and triboelectric separation for separating a mixture of three plastics". Minerals Engineering. 18 (15): 1350–1360. doi:10.1016/j.mineng.2005.02.015.
  66. ^ Gundupalli, Sathish Paulraj; Hait, Subrata; Thakur, Atul (February 2017). "A review on automated sorting of source-separated municipal solid waste for recycling". Waste Management. 60: 56–74. doi:10.1016/j.wasman.2016.09.015. PMID 27663707.
  67. ^ Hollstein, Frank; Wohllebe, Markus; Arnaiz, Sixto (24 October 2015). "Identification and Sorting of Plastics Film Waste by NIR-Hyperspectral-Imaging". Near Infrared Spectroscopy: Proceedings of the International Conference. doi:10.17648/NIR-2015-34127.
  68. ^ a b Kleinhans, Kerstin; Demets, Ruben; Dewulf, Jo; Ragaert, Kim; De Meester, Steven (June 2021). "Non-household end-use plastics: the 'forgotten' plastics for the circular economy". Current Opinion in Chemical Engineering. 32: 100680. doi:10.1016/j.coche.2021.100680.
  69. ^ a b c Schyns, Zoé O. G.; Shaver, Michael P. (February 2021). "Mechanical Recycling of Packaging Plastics: A Review". Macromolecular Rapid Communications. 42 (3): 2000415. doi:10.1002/marc.202000415. PMID 33000883.
  70. ^ Yin, Shi; Tuladhar, Rabin; Shi, Feng; Shanks, Robert A.; Combe, Mark; Collister, Tony (December 2015). "Mechanical reprocessing of polyolefin waste: A review". Polymer Engineering & Science. 55 (12): 2899–2909. doi:10.1002/pen.24182.
  71. ^ Babetto, Alex S.; Antunes, Marcela C.; Bettini, Sílvia H. P.; Bonse, Baltus C. (February 2020). "A Recycling-Focused Assessment of the Oxidative Thermomechanical Degradation of HDPE Melt Containing Pro-oxidant". Journal of Polymers and the Environment. 28 (2): 699–712. doi:10.1007/s10924-019-01641-6. S2CID 209432804.
  72. ^ Aldas, Miguel; Paladines, Andrea; Valle, Vladimir; Pazmiño, Miguel; Quiroz, Francisco (2018). "Effect of the Prodegradant-Additive Plastics Incorporated on the Polyethylene Recycling". International Journal of Polymer Science. 2018: 1–10. doi:10.1155/2018/2474176.
  73. ^ Delva, Laurens; Hubo, Sara; Cardon, Ludwig; Ragaert, Kim (December 2018). "On the role of flame retardants in mechanical recycling of solid plastic waste". Waste Management. 82: 198–206. doi:10.1016/j.wasman.2018.10.030. PMID 30509582.
  74. ^ Pfaendner, R.; Herbst, H.; Hoffmann, K.; Sitek, F. (October 1995). "Recycling and restabilization of polymers for high quality applications. An Overview". Angewandte Makromolekulare Chemie. 232 (1): 193–227. doi:10.1002/apmc.1995.052320113.
  75. ^ Zhang, Cong-Cong; Zhang, Fu-Shen (June 2012). "Removal of brominated flame retardant from electrical and electronic waste plastic by solvothermal technique". Journal of Hazardous Materials. 221–222: 193–198. doi:10.1016/j.jhazmat.2012.04.033. PMID 22575175.
  76. ^ Koning, C (1998). "Strategies for compatibilization of polymer blends". Progress in Polymer Science. 23 (4): 707–757. doi:10.1016/S0079-6700(97)00054-3. hdl:2268/4370.
  77. ^ Vilaplana, Francisco; Karlsson, Sigbritt (14 April 2008). "Quality Concepts for the Improved Use of Recycled Polymeric Materials: A Review". Macromolecular Materials and Engineering. 293 (4): 274–297. doi:10.1002/mame.200700393.
  78. ^ a b Eriksen, M.K.; Christiansen, J.D.; Daugaard, A.E.; Astrup, T.F. (August 2019). "Closing the loop for PET, PE and PP waste from households: Influence of material properties and product design for plastic recycling". Waste Management. 96: 75–85. doi:10.1016/j.wasman.2019.07.005. PMID 31376972.
  79. ^ a b "The New Plastics Economy: Rethinking the future of plastics & catalysing action". www.ellenmacarthurfoundation.org. Retrieved 28 May 2021.
  80. ^ Welle, Frank (September 2011). "Twenty years of PET bottle to bottle recycling—An overview". Resources, Conservation and Recycling. 55 (11): 865–875. doi:10.1016/j.resconrec.2011.04.009.
  81. ^ Schyns, Zoé O. G.; Shaver, Michael P. (February 2021). "Mechanical Recycling of Packaging Plastics: A Review". Macromolecular Rapid Communications. 42 (3): 2000415. doi:10.1002/marc.202000415. PMID 33000883.
  82. ^ a b Shen, Li; Worrell, Ernst; Patel, Martin K. (November 2010). "Open-loop recycling: A LCA case study of PET bottle-to-fibre recycling". Resources, Conservation and Recycling. 55 (1): 34–52. doi:10.1016/j.resconrec.2010.06.014.
  83. ^ Huysman, Sofie; Debaveye, Sam; Schaubroeck, Thomas; Meester, Steven De; Ardente, Fulvio; Mathieux, Fabrice; Dewulf, Jo (August 2015). "The recyclability benefit rate of closed-loop and open-loop systems: A case study on plastic recycling in Flanders". Resources, Conservation and Recycling. 101: 53–60. doi:10.1016/j.resconrec.2015.05.014. hdl:1854/LU-6851927.
  84. ^ Geyer, Roland; Kuczenski, Brandon; Zink, Trevor; Henderson, Ashley (October 2016). "Common Misconceptions about Recycling". Journal of Industrial Ecology. 20 (5): 1010–1017. doi:10.1111/jiec.12355. S2CID 153936564.
  85. ^ Gupta, Arvind; Misra, Manjusri; Mohanty, Amar K. (2021). "Novel sustainable materials from waste plastics: compatibilized blend from discarded bale wrap and plastic bottles". RSC Advances. 11 (15): 8594–8605. Bibcode:2021RSCAd..11.8594G. doi:10.1039/D1RA00254F.
  86. ^ Yang, Wenqing; Dong, Qingyin; Liu, Shili; Xie, Henghua; Liu, Lili; Li, Jinhui (2012). "Recycling and Disposal Methods for Polyurethane Foam Wastes". Procedia Environmental Sciences. 16: 167–175. doi:10.1016/j.proenv.2012.10.023.
  87. ^ Zia, Khalid Mahmood; Bhatti, Haq Nawaz; Ahmad Bhatti, Ijaz (August 2007). "Methods for polyurethane and polyurethane composites, recycling and recovery: A review". Reactive and Functional Polymers. 67 (8): 675–692. doi:10.1016/j.reactfunctpolym.2007.05.004.
  88. ^ Asaro, Lucia; Gratton, Michel; Seghar, Saïd; Aït Hocine, Nourredine (June 2018). "Recycling of rubber wastes by devulcanization". Resources, Conservation and Recycling. 133: 250–262. doi:10.1016/j.resconrec.2018.02.016.
  89. ^ Lee, Alicia; Liew, Mei Shan (January 2021). "Tertiary recycling of plastics waste: an analysis of feedstock, chemical and biological degradation methods". Journal of Material Cycles and Waste Management. 23 (1): 32–43. doi:10.1007/s10163-020-01106-2. S2CID 225247645.
  90. ^ Rahimi, AliReza; García, Jeannette M. (June 2017). "Chemical recycling of waste plastics for new materials production". Nature Reviews Chemistry. 1 (6): 0046. doi:10.1038/s41570-017-0046.
  91. ^ Coates, Geoffrey W.; Getzler, Yutan D. Y. L. (July 2020). "Chemical recycling to monomer for an ideal, circular polymer economy". Nature Reviews Materials. 5 (7): 501–516. Bibcode:2020NatRM...5..501C. doi:10.1038/s41578-020-0190-4. S2CID 215760966.
  92. ^ a b c Vollmer, Ina; Jenks, Michael J. F.; Roelands, Mark C. P.; White, Robin J.; Harmelen, Toon; Wild, Paul; Laan, Gerard P.; Meirer, Florian; Keurentjes, Jos T. F.; Weckhuysen, Bert M. (September 2020). "Beyond Mechanical Recycling: Giving New Life to Plastic Waste". Angewandte Chemie International Edition. 59 (36): 15402–15423. doi:10.1002/anie.201915651. PMC 7497176. PMID 32160372.
  93. ^ a b c Thiounn, Timmy; Smith, Rhett C. (15 May 2020). "Advances and approaches for chemical recycling of plastic waste". Journal of Polymer Science. 58 (10): 1347–1364. doi:10.1002/pol.20190261.
  94. ^ Kumagai, Shogo; Nakatani, Jun; Saito, Yuko; Fukushima, Yasuhiro; Yoshioka, Toshiaki (1 November 2020). "Latest Trends and Challenges in Feedstock Recycling of Polyolefinic Plastics". Journal of the Japan Petroleum Institute. 63 (6): 345–364. doi:10.1627/jpi.63.345.
  95. ^ "Plastics - the Facts 2020" (PDF). PlasticsEurope. Retrieved 1 September 2021.
  96. ^ Kaminsky, W; Predel, M; Sadiki, A (September 2004). "Feedstock recycling of polymers by pyrolysis in a fluidised bed". Polymer Degradation and Stability. 85 (3): 1045–1050. doi:10.1016/j.polymdegradstab.2003.05.002.
  97. ^ Tournier, V.; Topham, C. M.; Gilles, A.; David, B.; Folgoas, C.; Moya-Leclair, E.; Kamionka, E.; Desrousseaux, M.-L.; Texier, H.; Gavalda, S.; Cot, M. (April 2020). "An engineered PET depolymerase to break down and recycle plastic bottles". Nature. 580 (7802): 216–219. Bibcode:2020Natur.580..216T. doi:10.1038/s41586-020-2149-4. ISSN 0028-0836. PMID 32269349. S2CID 215411815.
  98. ^ Wei, Ren; Zimmermann, Wolfgang (November 2017). "Microbial enzymes for the recycling of recalcitrant petroleum‐based plastics: how far are we?". Microbial Biotechnology. 10 (6): 1308–1322. doi:10.1111/1751-7915.12710. PMC 5658625. PMID 28371373.
  99. ^ Geyer, B.; Lorenz, G.; Kandelbauer, A. (2016). "Recycling of poly(ethylene terephthalate) – A review focusing on chemical methods". Express Polymer Letters. 10 (7): 559–586. doi:10.3144/expresspolymlett.2016.53.
  100. ^ Singh, Narinder; Hui, David; Singh, Rupinder; Ahuja, I.P.S.; Feo, Luciano; Fraternali, Fernando (April 2017). "Recycling of plastic solid waste: A state of art review and future applications". Composites Part B: Engineering. 115: 409–422. doi:10.1016/j.compositesb.2016.09.013.
  101. ^ Hopewell, Jefferson; Dvorak, Robert; Kosior, Edward (27 July 2009). "Plastics recycling: challenges and opportunities". Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences. 364 (1526): 2115–2126. doi:10.1098/rstb.2008.0311. PMC 2873020. PMID 19528059.
  102. ^ "An Introduction to Plastic Recycling in Japan 2019" (PDF). Plastic Waste Management Institute. Retrieved 19 May 2021.
  103. ^ US EPA, OLEM (12 September 2017). "Plastics: Material-Specific Data". US EPA.
  104. ^ "Directive 2008/98/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council. Article 3: Definitions". Legislation.gov.uk. Paragraph 15a. 2008. Retrieved 4 August 2021.CS1 maint: location (link)
  105. ^ a b Mukherjee, C.; Denney, J.; Mbonimpa, E.G.; Slagley, J.; Bhowmik, R. (1 March 2020). "A review on municipal solid waste-to-energy trends in the USA". Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews. 119: 109512. doi:10.1016/j.rser.2019.109512.
  106. ^ Gradus, Raymond H.J.M.; Nillesen, Paul H.L.; Dijkgraaf, Elbert; van Koppen, Rick J. (May 2017). "A Cost-effectiveness Analysis for Incineration or Recycling of Dutch Household Plastic Waste". Ecological Economics. 135: 22–28. doi:10.1016/j.ecolecon.2016.12.021.
  107. ^ Fukushima, Masaaki; Wu, Beili; Ibe, Hidetoshi; Wakai, Keiji; Sugiyama, Eiichi; Abe, Hironobu; Kitagawa, Kiyohiko; Tsuruga, Shigenori; Shimura, Katsumi; Ono, Eiichi (June 2010). "Study on dechlorination technology for municipal waste plastics containing polyvinyl chloride and polyethylene terephthalate". Journal of Material Cycles and Waste Management. 12 (2): 108–122. doi:10.1007/s10163-010-0279-8. S2CID 94190060.
  108. ^ Fernández-González, J.M.; Grindlay, A.L.; Serrano-Bernardo, F.; Rodríguez-Rojas, M.I.; Zamorano, M. (September 2017). "Economic and environmental review of Waste-to-Energy systems for municipal solid waste management in medium and small municipalities". Waste Management. 67: 360–374. doi:10.1016/j.wasman.2017.05.003. PMID 28501263.
  109. ^ Nugroho, Arif Setyo; Chamim, Moch.; Hidayah, Fatimah N. (2018). "Plastic waste as an alternative energy". Human-Dedicated Sustainable Product and Process Design: Materials. AIP Conference Proceedings. 1977 (1): 060010. Bibcode:2018AIPC.1977f0010N. doi:10.1063/1.5043022.
  110. ^ a b Butler, E.; Devlin, G.; McDonnell, K. (1 August 2011). "Waste Polyolefins to Liquid Fuels via Pyrolysis: Review of Commercial State-of-the-Art and Recent Laboratory Research". Waste and Biomass Valorization. 2 (3): 227–255. doi:10.1007/s12649-011-9067-5. hdl:10197/6103. S2CID 98550187.
  111. ^ Anuar Sharuddin, Shafferina Dayana; Abnisa, Faisal; Wan Daud, Wan Mohd Ashri; Aroua, Mohamed Kheireddine (May 2016). "A review on pyrolysis of plastic wastes". Energy Conversion and Management. 115: 308–326. doi:10.1016/j.enconman.2016.02.037.
  112. ^ Kaminsky, W.; Schlesselmann, B.; Simon, C.M. (August 1996). "Thermal degradation of mixed plastic waste to aromatics and gas". Polymer Degradation and Stability. 53 (2): 189–197. doi:10.1016/0141-3910(96)00087-0.
  113. ^ Quesada, L.; Calero, M.; Martín-Lara, M. A.; Pérez, A.; Blázquez, G. (1 November 2019). "Characterization of fuel produced by pyrolysis of plastic film obtained of municipal solid waste". Energy. 186: 115874. doi:10.1016/j.energy.2019.115874. ISSN 0360-5442.
  114. ^ Kumagai, Shogo; Yoshioka, Toshiaki (1 November 2016). "Feedstock Recycling via Waste Plastic Pyrolysis". Journal of the Japan Petroleum Institute. 59 (6): 243–253. doi:10.1627/jpi.59.243.
  115. ^ Aguado, J.; Serrano, D. P.; Escola, J. M. (5 November 2008). "Fuels from Waste Plastics by Thermal and Catalytic Processes: A Review". Industrial & Engineering Chemistry Research. 47 (21): 7982–7992. doi:10.1021/ie800393w.
  116. ^ Miandad, R.; Barakat, M. A.; Aburiazaiza, Asad S.; Rehan, M.; Nizami, A. S. (1 July 2016). "Catalytic pyrolysis of plastic waste: A review". Process Safety and Environmental Protection. 102: 822–838. doi:10.1016/j.psep.2016.06.022.
  117. ^ Rehan, M.; Miandad, R.; Barakat, M. A.; Ismail, I. M. I.; Almeelbi, T.; Gardy, J.; Hassanpour, A.; Khan, M. Z.; Demirbas, A.; Nizami, A. S. (1 April 2017). "Effect of zeolite catalysts on pyrolysis liquid oil" (PDF). International Biodeterioration & Biodegradation. 119: 162–175. doi:10.1016/j.ibiod.2016.11.015.
  118. ^ Bukkarapu, Kiran Raj; Gangadhar, D. Siva; Jyothi, Y.; Kanasani, Prasad (18 July 2018). "Management, conversion, and utilization of waste plastic as a source of sustainable energy to run automotive: a review". Energy Sources, Part A: Recovery, Utilization, and Environmental Effects. 40 (14): 1681–1692. doi:10.1080/15567036.2018.1486898. S2CID 103779086.
  119. ^ Oasmaa, Anja (17 June 2019). "Pyrolysis of plastic waste: opportunities and challenges". Pyroliq 2019: Pyrolysis and Liquefaction of Biomass and Wastes. ECI Digital Archives. Retrieved 10 June 2021.
  120. ^ Benavides, Pahola Thathiana; Sun, Pingping; Han, Jeongwoo; Dunn, Jennifer B.; Wang, Michael (September 2017). "Life-cycle analysis of fuels from post-use non-recycled plastics". Fuel. 203: 11–22. doi:10.1016/j.fuel.2017.04.070. OSTI 1353191.
  121. ^ Rollinson, Andrew Neil; Oladejo, Jumoke Mojisola (February 2019). "'Patented blunderings', efficiency awareness, and self-sustainability claims in the pyrolysis energy from waste sector". Resources, Conservation and Recycling. 141: 233–242. doi:10.1016/j.resconrec.2018.10.038.
  122. ^ Fivga, Antzela; Dimitriou, Ioanna (15 April 2018). "Pyrolysis of plastic waste for production of heavy fuel substitute: A techno-economic assessment" (PDF). Energy. 149: 865–874. doi:10.1016/j.energy.2018.02.094.
  123. ^ Riedewald, Frank; Patel, Yunus; Wilson, Edward; Santos, Silvia; Sousa-Gallagher, Maria (February 2021). "Economic assessment of a 40,000 t/y mixed plastic waste pyrolysis plant using direct heat treatment with molten metal: A case study of a plant located in Belgium". Waste Management. 120: 698–707. doi:10.1016/j.wasman.2020.10.039. PMID 33191052.
  124. ^ "Scientists use plastic to make steel". CNN.com. Archived from the original on 12 August 2005. Retrieved 10 August 2005.
  125. ^ Nomura, Seiji (March 2015). "Use of Waste Plastics in Coke Oven: A Review". Journal of Sustainable Metallurgy. 1 (1): 85–93. doi:10.1007/s40831-014-0001-5. S2CID 137233367.
  126. ^ Awoyera, P.O.; Adesina, A. (June 2020). "Plastic wastes to construction products: Status, limitations and future perspective". Case Studies in Construction Materials. 12: e00330. doi:10.1016/j.cscm.2020.e00330.
  127. ^ "In India, 703 km length of National Highways have been constructed using waste plastic".
  128. ^ "Use of Plastic Waste in Road Construction".
  129. ^ Conlon, Katie (18 April 2021). "Plastic roads: not all they're paved up to be". International Journal of Sustainable Development & World Ecology: 1–4. doi:10.1080/13504509.2021.1915406. S2CID 234834344.

External links[edit]