Cheap to produce, versatile, and durable; plastic was touted as a miracle product back in the day until its toxic properties were discovered later on. Since 1950, the quantity of plastic has doubled every 15 years and reached a staggering 448 million tons by 2015, according to National Geographic.
Due to its non-biodegradability, recycling efforts have been made throughout the globe to reduce its harmful impact on the environment.
In this blog, we take a look at the recycling stages plastic goes through from start to finish.
Plastic is produced in a number of forms including bottles, jars, containers, plastic bags, industrial plastic, and packaging plastic to name a few. Due to its widespread use and availability, plastic collection centers were established as part of a government cleanliness drive and have now evolved into self-sustaining businesses where plastic waste is collected and sold to generate income.
Thousands of tons of plastic are collected and sent to collection yards where it’s compressed into smaller units and delivered to processing plants. Unfortunately, the countries that manufacture the highest quantity of plastic are Asian countries that often lack adequate recycling capabilities.
After being transported to a processing plant, plastic items are sorted on the basis of their color and resin content in order to eliminate all contaminates. Specially designed machines sort the plastic whereas the recycling mill handles scrap at the bottom.
At this stage, plastic is shredded into tiny pieces whereas containers and bottles are compressed and cut into small flakes. Since different plastics are used to make different end products, heavier flakes are separated from lighter ones to ensure they don’t mix together.
4. Cleaning and Melting
The separated plastic flakes undergo a washing process where detergent is used to remove any leftover contaminants. Once this process is complete, the flakes are subjected to further sorting that separates different resin types that are then exposed to moderate heat.
The melting process exposes the plastic to certain temperatures and allows them to be molded into different shapes or melting and processed into granules. The temperatures are closely regulated to prevent the plastic from being destroyed.
The final stage involves compressing the plastic into tiny pellets. These pellets can be reused and easily redesigned to form a wide range of new products. The pellets are sent to manufacturing plants to be used as a material for recycled plastic products.
Recycling plastic waste is a duty we collectively share to ensure a cleaner planet for the coming generations. Junk Call offers junk removal services in Orange County. They ensure your waste is recycled and properly disposed of. Contact us today for more information.