Plastics industry has become one of the most important department in daily life around the world. In 2018, global plastics production almost reached 360 million tonnes. The increasing production and consumption of plastic products has been a significant pressure for the natural environment. Therefore, the development on plastics recycling industry has raised more and more interests. The life service of plastic products goes from less than 1 year to 50 years or more. Based on current recycling technologies, there are two processing methods for plastics recycling, mechanical recycling and chemical recycling.
Mechanical recycling is a widely adopted way of recycling. It is generally for plastic products made up of single polymer. Plastic products are selected, classified and broke into graininess or powder. Then the plastic graininess or powder will become a raw material for other plastic products.
Chemical recycling is a developing trend for plastic recycling. For those plastic products made up of two or more types of polymers, they can not be reverted to commercial raw material merely by mechanical recycling process. It uses a thermochemical process called pyrolysis to extract different polymers from mix plastic waste, and then transforms the plastic waste into raw material (pyrolysis oil).
Plastics recycling is necessary to the global sustainable development. Between 1,000 and 2,000 gallons of gasoline can be saved by recycling just one ton of plastics. By recycling one ton of plastic wastes, you can save roughly 2,000 pounds of oil, the amount of water used by one person in two months' time, and two people’s energy consumption for one year.