6 Steps In The Plastic Recycling Process

6 Steps In The Plastic Recycling Process

Plastic recycling is a common method of returning natural resources to the environment to ensure their long-term viability. According to studies, waste plastic has affected all countries throughout the world, as well as all major companies that use plastics in their manufacturing and packaging processes.

Every minute, equivalent to one garbage truckload of plastic is dumped into the ocean. If we carry on as usual by 2050, it is estimated that the oceans would be more inhabited with plastic than fish or other sea inhabitants.

Plastic recycling is the process of recovering scrap or discarded plastic and repurposing it into a new product. Since plastic is not an environmentally friendly material, it must be recycled for future use to contribute to the global effort to protect the environment.

The plastic recycling process steps:

1. Collection + Distribution

The collection of post-consumer materials from homes, businesses, and institutions is the initial step in the mechanical recycling process. Local governments, private corporations or online scrap buyers can accomplish this, with the latter being a popular choice for businesses.

Taking plastics to common collection places, such as designated recycling bins or facilities, is another option. This could be as basic as a bottle bank on a street corner or as complicated as a municipal solid waste site with huge areas for diverse recyclable and non-recyclable materials (MSW).

2. Sorting + Categorizing

Sorting is the next step in the plastic recycling process. Different types of plastic must be separated by recyclers. Plastics can also be classified based on other characteristics such as colour, thickness, and application. This is done by machines at the recycling facility and is an important step in enhancing plant efficiency and minimizing end-product contamination.

3. Washing

Washing is an important stage in the plastic recycling process because it removes contaminants that might hinder the process or even damage a batch of recycled plastic. Impurities such as adhesives product, labels, food residue are typically targeted in this stage. While plastic is typically washed at this point, it is important to remember that plastics must still be as clean as possible before disposal and collection.

4. Shredding

After that, the plastic is then torn by shredders into much smaller particles. Unlike formed plastic items, these smaller bits can be processed for reuse in subsequent phases. Breaking down the plastic into smaller pieces also makes it easier to find any leftover contaminants. This is especially true of pollutants like metal, which may not have been eliminated by washing but may now be easily collected with a magnet.

5. Identification and Separation of Plastics

The class and quality of the plastic parts are assessed here. They are first separated based on density, which is determined by floating plastic particles in a container of water. After that, the air classification test assesses the thickness of the plastic fragments/pieces. The shredded plastic is placed in a wind tunnel, with thinner fragments floating and thicker portions remaining at the bottom.

6. Extruding + Compounding

The shredded plastic particles are turned into a viable product for manufacturers in this final step of the plastic recycling process. To make pellets, the shredded plastic is melted and mashed together.



Starting in 2020, the Tricity-based start-up collects all recyclable items including E-waste, aluminum, plastics, iron, paper, glass, books, and so on. Scrapbuk is one of the best online plastic scrap buyers. To sell, an individual has to do is simply make a pickup request online. 

Our executive comes on the scheduled time and gathers the materials, weighs them on a computerized scale, and then determines the total worth of the items you're selling. After he gives you the same amount and takes your scrap. Whole plastic scrap is manually sorted and inspected, which takes time and effort, and then these are either kept in the warehouse or transported to recyclers. You won’t have to for any pickup fees.


Authored By:

Anamika Manhas