p> The cycle of any environmentally sustainable plastic product should be as follows. Its production, its use (limited by its useful life) and its recycling. There are four possible forms of recycling: through a mechanical process, a chemical process, its recovery as fuel to generate energy, and its reuse for a purpose other than its initial purpose.
Reuse is the most sustainable recycling method with the lowest economic cost and the lowest impact on the environment due to savings in the transport and treatment of the material. It allows to give a new use to an object that no longer serves its original function. An example is turning a plastic bottle into a planter, bird feeder, or magazine container. We must be aware that with each reused object the negative personal impact on the environment is reduced. We can all help.
The mechanical recycling process begins with the separation of the materials before their reconditioning treatment, going through their washing and their subsequent crushing, turning plastic pieces into pellets. It is the most common recycling process.
Chemical recycling consists of subjecting all types of polymers to a pyrolysis process, that disintegrates the original molecules, generating essential oils, which are used to re-synthesize new materials. This process consumes a lot of energy, but on the other hand, allows you to recycle materials without having to separate them, and in addition, it produces materials with the same mechanical characteristics as the virgin ones.This type of recycling requires large amounts of plastic to be carried out and is, possibly, the one that requires the highest economic cost.
CONVERSION INTO COMBUSTIBLES
In cases where the above processes are impossible to apply to a material, for economic or other reasons, a possible solution is to convert plastic waste into fuels suitable for industry. On the other hand, despite the fact that plastic is a good fuel due to its great heat energy, its combustion is a highly polluting process. In addition, its performance is much lower than that of other fossil fuels.
Every time a person buys a product made from reconditioned materials he is promoting recycling in the industry. The consumer, with each purchase decision, is the one who asks companies for the product they want.