What is the plastic recycling process?
Before recycling, most plastics are sorted according to their resin type. In the past, plastic reclaimers used the resin identification code (RIC), a method of categorization of polymer types, which was developed by the Society of the Plastics Industry in 1988. Polyethylene terephthalate, commonly referred to as PET, for instance, has a resin code of 1. Most plastic reclaimers do not rely on the RIC now; they use various sorting systems to identify the resin, ranging from manual sorting and picking of plastic materials to mechanized automation processes that involve shredding, sieving, separation by rates of density i.e. air, liquid, or magnetic, and complex spectrophotometric distribution technologies e.g. UV/VIS, NIR, Laser, etc. Some plastic products are also separated by color before they are recycled.
And the most effective way of assorting plastic waste is to see the codes, most plastic products have plastic codes on themselves by Roman numbers:
After sorting, for mechanical recycling the plastic recyclables are then shredded. If the plastic waste scrap is extremely dirty, like ground film, it needs washing first to make the efficiency higher. These shredded fragments then undergo processes to eliminate impurities like paper labels. This material is melted and often extruded into the form of pellets which are then used to manufacture other products. The highest quality purification may be referred to as “regeneration”.
In a simple way, the plastic recycling process concludes: material source——-assorting——–crush——–wash——–granulating/pelletizing/granules making———products futher processing
The plastic recycling equipments always include: washing line, crusher/shredder machine, plastic granultor machine.
Most commly materials is PET in types of water bottles, liquids bottles, bags, film, containers, injection products; LDPE in types of packaging films, bags, food containers; PP in shapes of car parts, computer and televesion, air conditioner parts, shampoo containers, etc. And the other types of plastics are less.
We conclude the recycling process in another ways as below:
Step 1: Collection
As long as you decide to start your business, you need to source your nearby or where is convenient to you or ecnomical.
Step 2: Sorting
After plastics are collected and transported to a recycling facility, the next step is sorting.
Machines sort plastics into different areas based upon a multitude of properties that are often dependent upon the recycling facility or what final product is being produced.
Plastics are usually sorted in a few common ways, such as the type of plastic (material it is made with), color of the plastic, or even how it was made. This is important because different types of plastics must be processed in different ways and some recycling facilities are only capable of recycling one type of plastic.
Step 3: Washing
Just like with clothes, fruits/vegetables, and many other things, plastics must be washed before they are further processed. The goal of this step is to remove impurities and everything that is not made from plastic.
Step 4: Resizing
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.
Step 5: Identification and separation of plastics
The identification and separation of plastics is when the now small plastic particles are tested to determine their quality and class.
Step 6: Compounding
The final step in the recycling process is often considered the most exciting because it is when the plastic particles are made into recycled materials usable for future production. Compounding is 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
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