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5 Stages of the Plastic Recycling Process
Plastic recycling is the term given to the processing of waste plastic which turns old or scrap plastic in to a useable product which can then re-enter the manufacturing chain.
In order for the plastic to be in a suitable format for re use in manufacturing environments such as by injection moulding companies the waste or scrap plastic, needs to go through several recycling processes.
Stage One – Sorting the Plastic
Firstly the waste plastic needs to be collected by the recycling company, once the plastic arrives at the recycling plant the first stage is sort the plastic in to the specific types, plastic recycling is more complex than that of metal or glass recycling due to the many different types of plastic and more importantly mixed plastic cannot be used in manufacturing without delivering poor quality products, hence why plastic recycling companies need to be thorough when it comes to sorting the waste plastic in to the different forms prior to the next stage in the recycling process.
Stage Two - Washing Waste Plastic
Once the waste plastic has been identified and separated in to one of its many forms the cleaning process can begin, this usually starts with washing to remove paper labels, adhesives and other impurities, all the labels on your plastic containers, bottles and even your wheelie bin need to be completely removed as these will lower the quality of the finished recycled plastic.
Stage Three- Shredding the Plastic
The shredding stage is when the waste plastic is taken and loaded on to conveyor belts or directly in to huge hoppers that funnel the clean scrap towards rotating metal teeth that rip the plastic in to small pellets which are bagged up afterwards ready for testing.
Stage Four – Identify and Classify the Plastic
Once the shredded plastic has been bagged it is then chemically tested and labelled as to its exact specification, this rGrade plastic can be used as is by adding to a mix of virgin plastic in a manufacturing run, alternatively the rGrade plastic can be further recycled.
Stage Five - Extruding
This is the final stage in recycling plastic, this involves melting the clean shredded plastic and extruding in to the form of pellets which then go on to manufacture the next lot of plastic products.
Reasons to Recycle Plastic
Millions of tons of waste plastic end up in landfill when the vast majority of it can be recycled, it’s all too easy for us to throw away rubbish without a second thought but we need to take care of our planet and not just reduce the amount of rubbish we bury but also given that plastic is derived from oil a natural product with ever depleting resources it makes sense to recycling as much as possible. Recycled products are becoming more popular and are set to continue as oil exploration moves to ever more hostile and difficult to reach locations, which will of course result in prices of products made from oil will increase.
Ck Polymers: http://www.ckpolymers.co.uk
Plastic recycling: http://www.ckpolymers.co.uk/
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Established in 2000, CK Polymers is a multi national distributor of rGrade plastic raw materials with customer bases throughout the UK, mainland Europe and Asia. All materials are sourced from within the UK and Ireland.