What Happens Inside a Plastic Recycling Plant?
To fully understand the process inside a plastic recycling plant, we need to know steps involved in the plastic recycling process.
There are at least five steps involved:
Collection; Plastic waste are collected from various sites (restaurant, school, communities, etc). In developing countries, this process involves informal business, such as waste pickers / street pickers, waste collectors, and waste aggregators. This process is very essential to prevent ocean and land plastic pollution.
Sorting; The secret of plastic recycling is that mixed type of plastic can not be recycled together. It will decrease its purity level, thus decrease its value. Therefore, a sorting process is needed to separate plastic based on its type, color, and non-plastic contaminants.
Shredding; Plastic will be shredded into small and reusable fragments. These fragments or flakes will be sorted again to remove impurities.
Washing; Plastic will be cleaned and dried several times using various washing and drying machine.
Extrusion; Sorted and clean plastic flakes will be manufactured into pellets using extrusion machine. These plastic pellets will be used as raw materials for various finished plastic products.
Different plastic recycling plants takes different steps and approach. Some of them only manufactured plastic flakes, but some of them produces plastic pellets. Some of them use minimum machinery while some of them use a lot of it.
The following video shows inside tour of a plastic recycling plant.
Nara Loca Abadi is a recycled plastic specialist that concerned about the earth and environment by promoting the use of recycled PET flakes, recycled PET, recycled PP & HDPE granules to various plastic and polyester manufacturers.