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METHODS OF RECYCLING PLASTICS

Plastics are everywhere these days and disposable plastic containers make up a huge amount of the trash the average
person throws away each day. These plastics are often not very biodegradable and break down into toxins that can
seep into the earth and groundwater. Fortunately, recycling can keep those plastics out of landfills and reduce the
amount of new materials spent on a variety of objects. You can identify recyclable plastic by the recycling triangle
symbol which can usually be found imprinted somewhere on the bottom of a bottle with a numbered and lettered
abbreviation to label its type.

Mechanical Recycling
Mechanical recycling, very simply, consists of melting down the old plastic and using it to make new products.
Mechanical recycling can only be done a few times before the polymers break down and the quality of the plastic
degrades. Therefore, unlike glass for instance, you cannot necessarily use mechanically recycled polymers to remake
the same product. You have to use them to make something different. The chain of recycling might go as follows:

Virgin PET bottle to fleece or carpet


Carpet fibers to plastic lumber.
Plastic lumber to waste disposal plant though manufacturers claim that plastic lumber can be
recycled again

This process is also called as DOWNCYCLING.

Chemical Recycling
Another way to recycle plastics is chemically. Here plastics are actually dissolved back into their original
chemical components. These are then cleaned up and reused to make new plastics, which, it is claimed, are as good
as the original. At present, it is a limited, expensive and problematic solution and cannot be applied to all plastics. Even
so, some companies are already employing it.

Sorting Plastics for recycling


Plastics must often be of nearly identical composition to mix efficiently.

PET or PETE (polyethylene terephthalate). Recycling type #1 is most often used for soft drink bottles, water
bottles, plastic beer bottles, plastic peanut butter jars, salad dressing and vegetable oil bottles and food trays.
When recycled it is made into polar fleece, tote bags, furniture, carpet and new beverage containers.

HDPE (high-density polyethylene). Recycling type #2 is used in milk and juice jugs, cleaning product
bottles, yogurt tubs, some trash bags and cereal box liners. Recycled back into bottles, pens and building
materials.

V (Vinyl) or PVC. Recycling type #3 is found on some window cleaner, detergent and shampoo bottles, as
well as clear food packaging, siding, windows, piping and medical equipment. Occasionally recycled by plastic
lumber makers back into building materials.

LDPE (low-density polyethylene). Look for Recycling type #4 on squeeze bottles and plastic shopping, dry
cleaning or bread bags. Recycled into trashcan liners, shipping envelopes, and lumber.
PP (polypropylene). Recycling type #5 comes in straws, some yogurt containers, syrup and ketchup bottles,
pill bottles, and caps. Turned into rakes, brooms, batteries and trays.

PS (polystyrene). Recycling type #6 is used for disposable plates and cups, compact disc cases, egg
cartons, carryout containers, and aspirin bottles. Recycled into foam packaging, insulation and more egg
cartons and carryout containers.

Miscellaneous. Recycling type #7 includes multi-gallon water bottles, 'bullet-proof' materials, sunglasses,
DVDs, iPod cases, nylon. Not often recycled, but sometimes turned into lumber.

When different types of plastics are melted together, they tend to phase- separate, like oil and water, and set in these
layers. The phase boundaries cause structural weakness in the resulting material, meaning that polymer blends are
useful in only limited applications. This means that plastics have to be identified and sorted into types.
TECHNOLOGICAL INSTITUTE OF THE PHILIPPINES MANILA
363 P. CASAL STREET, QUIAPO, MANILA

COLLEGE OF ENGINEERING AND ARCHITECTURE


CHEMICAL ENGINEERING DEPARTMENT

CHE 512
PLASTICS TECHNOLOGY

ASSIGNMENT

SUBMITTED BY:
ALDA, GLADYS M.

SUBMITTED TO:
ENGR. LINA D. DELA CRUZ

DATE:
FEBRUARY 02, 2017