Mechanical recycling is processing plastics waste into secondary raw materials or products without significantly changing the material’s chemical structure. In principle, all types of thermoplastics can be mechanically recycled with little or no impact on quality.
Collection of end-of-life plastic products from separate and mixed waste streams
Once plastic waste arrives at the recycling plant, it is sorted. While some sorting may have taken place at the collection stage, further separation by colour or thickness may be necessary.
Plastics need to be shredded into smaller pieces before they can go on for reuse.
Washing removes dust and dirt to ensure plastics are clean before they go onto the next stage. This can include removing traces of food, drink or labels.
Second sorting and control
Plastics are sorted again and controlled before being sent to extrusion.
Plastics flakes are finally converted into homogenous pellets ready to use in the manufacture of new products