Plastic recycling process
Plastic recycling process: collection, sorting, washing, resizing, identification and separation, and compounding.
Step 1: Collection
The first step is collecting the plastic material that is to be recycled. This step is reliant upon businesses, restaurants, and the public to dispose of their plastic waste in the correct place. It is ideal for the government to have a recycling collection system that goes to people’s houses or businesses to collect the plastic waste.
Step 2: Sorting
Sorting is the second step; machines sort plastics into different areas based on a multitude of properties that are often dependent upon the recycling facility or what final product is being produced. Commonly, sorting in a few ways, like the type of plastic, color of the plastic.
Step 3: Washing
Third step- washing; the goal of this step is removing impurities.
Step 4: Resizing
Next, Resizing, consists of shredding or
granulating the plastic waste into small particles. This increases the surface area of the plastic, making it
easier to process, reshape, and transport if needed. This is often done with metal detectors or magnets that will help remove leftover metal in the mixture.
Step 5: Identification and separation of plastics
The fifth step is identification and separation; when the small plastic particles are tested to determine their quality and class. The first quality tested is density. This is done by floating the particles in a large tank of water. Next, their air classification is determined. Air classification is an official term for how thick or thin a particle is. Melting point and color are two other features plastic usually tested.
Step 6: Compounding
Final step, compounding. When the small particles are smashed and melted together into plastic pellets. The pellets can then be used in the production of other plastic products, such as LDPE bags.