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Plastic recycling

Plastic Recycling

Plastic recycling encompasses a number of processes through which plastic waste is collected and converted back into useful products, instead of being simply disposed of.
There are four main types of recycling process:

  • Primary Recycling
  • Mechanical Recycling
  • Chemical Recycling
  • Energy Recycling

Extrusion is part of mechanical recycling. Recycling is very important because, if done constantly, it can help conserve resources and protect the environment from plastic pollution.
Recycling and other forms of utilization, such as energy recovery, can be part of reducing plastic in the waste stream, but does not alleviate the environmental unsustainability of the plastics industry. With the Smart energy system, Bausano introduced an innovative heating system through magnetic induction, that helps saving energy during the plastic processing.

Plastics are durable, lightweight and inexpensive materials. With an extrusion line they can readily be molded into various products which find uses in a plethora of applications. For example, Bausano produces Extruder for pipe, window and technical profile or pellets. Every year, more than 420 million tons of plastics are manufactured across the globe. Consequently, the reuse, recovery and the recycling of plastics are extremely important. 

Plastics account for almost 10 percent by weight of the content of municipal garbage. Plastic containers and other household products are increasingly recycled, and, like paper, these must be sorted at the source before processing. Various thermoplastics may be remelted and reformed into new products.


Materials recycled

Currently, only PET, HDPE, and PVC plastic products are recycled under curbside recycling programs. PS, PP, and LDPE typically are not recycled because these plastic materials are more difficult and expensive to process.  Lids and bottle tops cannot be recycled as well.

Types of recycling

There are two broad types of recycling operations: internal and external. Internal recycling is the reuse in a manufacturing process of materials that are a waste product of that process.
External recycling is the reclaiming of materials from a product that has been worn out or rendered obsolete. Plastics subject to recycling may concern post-industrial scraps or post-consumer scraps.

Plastic that comes directly from the factory is called post-industrial. Post-industrial plastic waste comes in all colors, shapes and sizes and is often in the form of films, purges, pieces and fibers. In fact, any type of plastic used in the manufacturing process is considered post-industrial. Scraps of items such as wire liners, seat belts, car bumpers, and other automobile parts are typical examples.

The sources of post-industrial plastic come from a variety of resins. Polystyrene (PS) Low-density Polyethylene (LDPE), Polypropylene (PP), Nylons, Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene (ABS) are just a few of the plastic polymers that can be recycled and reused.
Instead, post-consumer plastics such as bottles, packaging and other household items are certainly the best known.
Post-consumer waste is available in large quantities nowadays and their collection and sorting are very complex. However, it is important to manage post-consumer waste to prevent tons of plastic from polluting the environment.
Above all, it is important considering that post-consumer waste can turn into new feedstock and therefore in a valuable resource for players in the recycled plastic extrusion industry.

Post-consumer plastic transforms from waste into wealth when used as a raw material. In plastic manufacturing processes, post-consumer waste recycling can be extremely cost-effective because it is readily available and affordable.
However, traditional extrusion systems require post-consumer plastic waste to undergo specific and additional treatments (washing, sorting, etc.) before being used, especially when making high quality finished products. To overcome this gap, the Bausano screen changers intended for plastic extrusion have been upgraded and equipped with powerful state-of-the-art filter solutions.

Moreover, it is important to consider the high level of humidity during the process. To overcome this problem, the presence of a degassing system inside the extruder is essential.


Degassing System

Extruder degassing, also known as hot melt degassing, venting or devolatilization, is carried out during various extrusion processes to remove any residual moisture, air, monomers, oligomers, solvents, reaction products, decomposed materials as well as to purify plastics in various steps of plastics recycling.

Bausano can offer support in the choice of the right system, because an effective degassing has multiple effects on products in the plastic industry, including an increase in the free volume, reduction in the residual moisture, improvements in odor, changes in form, modification in mechanical properties and homogenous mixing. Proper degassing can be reached by changing the number, position and geometry of the degassing ports. The degassing process is most effective when used over a conveying section after a mixing section on the extruder. The greatest effect of extruder degassing is seen on hygroscopic polymers like PET, PA, POM, PBT etc. that absorb moisture from the atmosphere. Water vapour must be removed from the polymer melt as it will otherwise degrade the quality of the final product.

Bausano specialized in Polyolefin recycling and PVC regranulation with its E-GO R recycling extruders and MD regranulation series.

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