塑料回收概述

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Plastic recycling refers to the process of recovering waste or scrap plastic and reprocessing the materials into functional and useful products. This activity is known as the plastic recycling process. The goal of recycling plastic is to reduce high rates of plastic pollution while putting less pressure on virgin materials to produce brand new plastic products. This approach helps to conserve resources and diverts plastics from landfills or unintended destinations such as oceans.  

回收塑料的必要性

Plastics are durable, lightweight and inexpensive materials. They can readily be molded into various products which find uses in a plethora of applications. Every year, more than 420 million tons of plastics are manufactured across the globe. Consequently, the reuse, recovery and the recycling of plastics are extremely important.  

什么塑料是可回收的?

There are six common types of plastics. Following are some typical products you will find for each of plastic:

PS(聚苯乙烯) – Example: foam hot drink cups, plastic cutlery, containers, yogurt.

PP(聚丙烯) – Example: lunch boxes, take-out food containers, ice cream containers.

LDPE(低密度聚乙烯) – Example: garbage bins and bags.

PVC (Plasticised Polyvinyl chloride or polyvinyl chloride)—Example: cordial, juice or squeeze bottles.

HDPE(高密度聚乙烯) – Example: shampoo containers or milk bottles.

PET(聚对苯二甲酸乙二醇酯) – Example: fruit juice and soft drink bottles.

Currently, only PET, HDPE, PVC plastic products are recycled under curbside recycling programs. PS, PP, LDPE typically are not recycled because these plastic materials are more difficult and expensive to process. Lids and bottle tops cannot be recycled as well. “To recycle or Not to Recycle” is a big question when it comes to plastic recycling. Some plastic types are not recycled because they are not economically feasible to do so.

Some Quick Plastic Recycling Facts

  • 约8.5% of plastic production was recycled in the U.S. during 2018, varying by product category. Plastic packaging and containers were recycled at 13.1%. 
  • Currently, 30 percent of plastic waste is recycled in Europe.
  • 美国人回收3.02 million tons of plastics in 2018, up from 3 million in 2017.
  • Currently, around 50% of plastics we use are thrown away just after a single use.
  • Plastics accounted for 12% of total global waste generation in 2016.
  • Plastics can take hundreds of years to degrade
  • The plastics that end up in the oceans break down into small pieces and every year around 100,000 marine mammals and one million seabirds are killed by this pollution.

塑料回收过程

The simplest of plastic recycling processes involves collecting, 排序, 分解, 洗, 融化, 和球团. The actual particular processes vary based on plastic resin or type of plastic product.

Most plastic recycling facilities use the following two-step process:

第一步: Sorting plastics automatically or with a manual sort to make sure all the contaminants are removed from the plastic waste stream. 

第二步: Melting down plastics directly into a new shape or 分解 into flakes then 融化 down before being finally processed into granulates.

The Latest Advances in Plastic Recycling

Ongoing innovations in recycling technologies have made the plastic recycling process easier and more cost-effective. Such technologies include reliable detectors and sophisticated decision and recognition software that collectively enhance the productivity and accuracy of automatic 排序 of plastics.

Another notable innovation in plastic recycling has been in finding higher value applications for recycled polymers in closed-loop recycling processes. 自2005年以来, 例如, PET sheets for thermoforming in the UK can contain 50 percent to 70 percent recycled PET through the use of A/B/A layer sheets.

最近, some European countries including Germany, 西班牙, 意大利, 挪威, Austria have begun collecting rigid packaging such as pots, 浴缸, trays as well as a limited amount of post-consumer flexible packaging. Due to recent improvements in 洗 and 排序 technologies, the recycling of non-bottle plastic packaging has become feasible.

Challenges for the Plastic Recycling Industry

Plastic recycling faces many challenges, ranging from mixed plastics to hard-to-remove residues. The cost-effective and efficient recycling of the mixed plastic stream is perhaps the biggest challenge facing the recycling industry. Experts believe that designing plastic packaging and other plastic products with recycling in mind can play a significant role in facing this challenge.

The recovery and recycling of post-consumer flexible packaging is a 回收的问题. Most material recovery facilities and local authorities do not actively collect it due to a lack of equipment that can efficiently and easily separate them. 

Oceanic plastic pollution has become a recent flashpoint for public concern. Ocean plastic is expected to triple in the next decade, public concern has prompted leading organizations around the world to take action towards better plastic resource management and pollution prevention.

塑料回收法

Programs that encourage or require the recycling of plastic bottles have been instituted in several U.S. 国家包括 加州, 康涅狄格, 麻萨诸塞州, 新泽西, 北卡罗莱纳, 宾西法尼亚, 威斯康辛州. Please follow the respective links to find the detailed of plastic recycling laws in each state.

展望未来

Recycling is critical to effective end-of-life plastic management. Increasing recycling rates have resulted from greater public awareness and the increased effectiveness of recycling operations. Operational efficiency will be supported by ongoing investment in research and development.

Recycling of a greater range of post-consumer plastic products and packaging will further boost recycling and divert more end-of-life plastic wastes from landfills. Industry and policymakers can also help stimulate recycling activity by requiring or incentivizing the use of recycled resin versus virgin plastics.

Plastic Recycling Industry Associations

Plastic recycling industry associations are the bodies responsible for promoting plastic recycling, enabling members to build and maintain relationships among plastic recyclers, lobbying with government and other organizations to help create the best possible environment for the plastic recycling industry.

The Association of Plastic Recyclers (4月): 4月代表了 international plastic recycling industry. It represents its members which include plastic recycling companies of all sizes, consumer plastic product companies, plastic recycling equipment manufacturers, testing laboratories and organizations that are committed to the advancement and success of plastic recycling. APR has multiple education programs to update its members about the latest plastic recycling technologies and developments.

欧洲塑料回收 (前): Established in 1996, PRE represents plastic recyclers in Europe. Currently, it has more than 120 members from all over Europe. PRE arranges plastic recycling shows and annual meetings to enable its members to discuss the latest developments and challenges in the industry.

Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries (ISRI): ISRI represents over 1600 small to large multinational companies include manufacturers, 处理器, brokers and industrial consumers of many different types of scrap commodities. The associate members of this Washington DC-based association include equipment and key service providers to the scrap recycling industry.