The first universal recycling symbol was launched almost 50 years ago, however according to the most recent statistics only around 14% of plastic waste gets collected for further recycling. In 2016, the price per recycled PET bottle dropped down by 31%. Such a significant drop partially explains why recycling is currently stagnating – plastic bottles are simply getting less valuable each year. Naturally, that copes with the global decrease of oil prices. Furthermore, when additional value losses in sorting and reprocessing are factored in, only 5% of material value is retained for a subsequent use.
If we compare plastic recycling with recycling of metal, which is more lucrative, it is more challenging to recycle plastic waste due to its low value. However, the awareness coupled up with plastic recycling is currently increasing. It is safe to say, an attitude prevails that we should recycle anything that is not sustainable, especially plastic waste at all costs.
Plastic recycling machines
What comes together with plastic waste prevention? A few definitive steps have the potential to drastically improve plastic waste situation in the world. First, plastic garbage needs to be collected from sea- and ocean sides which is the step involving active participation of the local population. The next stage after waste has been collected would be to thoroughly recycle collected ocean plastic and other household plastic waste. At this point, plastic recycling machines come forward bringing undeniable value to plastic waste managing process.
Plastic recycling process
Initial recycling starts with separating different types of plastic polymers from one another since when melted together different polymers tend to separate. After separation comes chipping when plastic products are shredded down or chipped into smaller parts. The final stage of plastic recycling process is melting itself. Shredded plastic pieces are melt down into pellets. Those pellets can be used for further manufacturing of plastic goods: such as plastic bottles and containers, plastic furniture and other household items.
Thermal depolymerization stands for the process of breaking down a polymer into a monomer (or mix of monomers). As a matter of fact, all polymers convert or depolymerize as a result of heat influence. In thermal depolymerization, hydrous pyrolysis is used to reduce plastic waste into petroleum (or crude oil). Under pressure and heat complex polymers tend to decompose into petroleum hydrocarbons with a more simple structure.
Revolution in plastic bottles production
Big names, like Procter & Gamble, take the recycling initiative seriously and set an example for future generations. During the Our Ocean Conference 2017 which took place in Malta, P&G representatives announced launch of a revolutionary product – Fairy Ocean Plastic bottle. This unique bottle is fully made of recycled plastic, especially plastic waste which was dragged out of the ocean. We might be aware of the not-so-bright situation in terms of ocean pollution with plastic waste. So the ocean plastic bottle launch highlights the issue and raises awareness around water pollution. The message is straight forward: we should protect ocean from plastic waste.
Ocean plastic bottle
The one and only Ocean plastic bottle will actually be available for direct sale at the UK market in 2018. This means, British consumers will get a chance to experience a unique result of worldwide recycling efforts. Actually, around 320,000 plastic bottles will be launched to reach the end consumers.