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How plastic contributes to sustainability
Plastics role in sustainability
Methods for recycling plastic
While mechanical recycling is the most common approach for recycling today in the advanced materials industry, both chemical and energy recovery recycling are popular alternatives.
This method is ideal for recycling mass quantities of plastic, because even though the chemical structure of the materials degrade slightly when reworked, it is possible to upgrade it again with antioxidants and other additives to increase the quality.
Chemical recycling helps to divert certain plastic waste from landfills. With chemical recycling, plastic debris is sorted and separated for chemical processing. The chemical structure of waste is transformed, converting it into shorter molecules that are used for new reactions.
When plastic cannot be efficiently recycled, energy recycling is the most resource-efficient solution. This process takes place in modern combined heat and power recovery plants (CHP Plants), where waste plastics and other highly calorific materials are used to generate heat and power.
Reusable plastic reduces waste
Reusability has a major impact on plastic waste footprint.
Such materials also have the highly desirable benefit of removing BPA (bisphenol A – a synthetic organic compound) from the formulation, which may be added when other processing techniques are used.
While all plastic can be recycled, not all plastic waste can be sustainably or economically recycled. In those cases, plastic can go through energy recovery in order to produce energy and power.