Plastics are a broad category of synthetic or semi-synthetic materials made primarily of polymers. It can be moulded, extruded, or pressed into solid objects of diverse shapes due to their fluidity which makes them a highly versatile material and today it occupies a large part in our existence. On the other hand, it is a non-biodegradable substance and as a result, if more plastic is dumped, it will enter the food chain, contaminating the animals and plants we consume.
Did you know that average people like us use 11 kg of plastic per year, that India, consumes 25,940 tonnes of plastic per year, and that the world consumes 300 million tonnes of plastic per year?
In actuality, only 9% of plastic is recycled, with the remaining 12% being burned and the remaining 79% ending up in landfills. Furthermore, our ocean contains 5 trillion bits of plastic, enough to circle the globe 400 times.
The reprocessing of discarded plastic into new and valuable goods is known as plastic recycling. This can reduce landfill dependency, conserve resources, and protect the environment from plastic pollution and greenhouse gas emissions if done appropriately.
Types of Plastic Polymers that are recycled:
Polyethylene terephthalate (PET)
|Clarity, endurance, barrier to gas and moisture||Soft drink, water and salad dressing bottles, peanut butter and jam jars, ice cream cone lids, small non-industrial electronics|
|High-density polyethylene (HDPE)||Stiffness, endurance, barrier to gas and moisture||Water pipes, gas and fire pipelines, electrical and communications conduits, five-gallon buckets, milk, juice and water bottles, grocery bags, some toiletry bottles|
Polyvinyl chloride (PVC)
|Versatility, ease of blending, strength, toughness.||Stretch wrap for non-food items, sometimes blister packaging. Non-packaging uses include electrical cable insulation, rigid piping and vinyl records.|
Low-density polyethylene (LDPE)
|Ease of processing; strength; flexibility; ease of sealing; moisture barrier.||Frozen food bags, squeezable bottles e.g. honey, mustard, cling films, flexible container lids|
|Strength; resistance to heat, chemicals, grease and oil; moisture barrier.||Reusable microwaveable ware or take-away containers, kitchenware, yogurt or margarine containers, disposable cups and plates, soft drink bottle caps.|
|Polystyrene (PS)||Versatility, clarity, easily formed, easily foamed||Egg cartons, disposable cups, plates, trays and cutlery, foam food containers, packing peanuts and package cushioning|
|Other (often polycarbonate or ABS)||Dependent on polymers or combination of polymers||Beverage bottles, baby milk bottles. Non-packaging uses for polycarbonate: compact discs, “unbreakable” glazing, electronic apparatus housing, lenses (including sunglasses), instrument panels|
- Raw Materials– mixed plastic, water, sanitisers, containers, tools
- Machinery– Plastic Sorting Machine, Plastic Shredding Machine, Plastic Melting Machine, Plastic cleaning and sanitizing machine, dyer, cooler, Pellet making machine
- Manpower– Technicians, Skilled and Unskilled Workers.
Factory Setup: Rs. 3,00,000
Recycling Process: Rs, 35,00,000
Profits made- approx. 60,000 per ton, per month
- Licenses– NOC by state pollution control board, Factory License, MSME Registration, GST Registration, FSSAI Certificate
- Area Required– 200sqft- 500sqft
- Water bottle manufacturers
- Beverage Industry
- Packaging Industry
- Bottle Manufacturers
- Retail Shops and Supermarkets
- Construction Works
- Pipe Manufacturers
The pandemic has shifted every focus to itself since 2020 which has led to ignorance of plastic waste, also the major reason for global warming. Plastic Recycling is something most people have no idea about and it could bring change for a good cause. Increased public awareness and the efficiency of recycling processes can result in higher recycling rates. Continuous investment in research and development will help to improve operational efficiency.
More post-consumer plastic products and packaging can be recycled, which will increase recycling and remove more end-of-life plastic trash from landfills. Industry and policymakers can also aid in the promotion of recycling by demanding or rewarding the use of recycled resin rather than virgin plastics.