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Afbeelding: why is plastic hard to recycle

Why is plastic so hard to recycle?

24 July 2020

As you’ve seen, recycling plastic offers myriad environmental benefits. You might ask yourself why we do not recycle all plastic. The reason is that recycling plastic is a complex process. For example, a number of plastic contaminants cannot be used in the food industry out of food safety concerns. Furthermore, exporting products made from recycled plastic to the US is subject to strict regulations. It is the responsibility of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to determine if and how recycled materials can be used in relation to food products. That means products have to meet the FDA’s specifications with regard to composition, additives and properties. If that is the case, your product is deemed “FDA COMPLIANT.” Certain plastics are not available in every colour. For example, it is hard to make a properly transparent product using recycled plastic. This is because plastic made from different types of plastic waste can never be fully transparent.

The recycling process

The recycling of plastic starts with the user. People at home can separate plastic from their other waste. Subsequent separation is virtually impossible for plastic. It is important that the raw materials are properly separated to ensure these resources can be used effectively in the production processes of new products. After being collected, the plastic waste is transported to the waste processor’s collection point. The quality of the waste is monitored there. Next, the different types of plastic are sent to a sorting installation. It sorts the plastic and removes any contaminants and other materials, such as metal and paper. After being sorted, the different types of plastic are shredded, washed and then melted down into raw material for the production of new plastic products.

plastic recycling
recycling plastic

Rompa Group and recycling

Did you know Rompa recycles products? Together with our customers, we collect outdated plastic products from consumers. What follows is an intensive process of disassembling, washing and sorting. Next, the plastic is shredded to make granulate.

In certain situations, customers can choose what percentage of recycled granulate they want to use for the production of their new product. Rompa can advise you in this matter. Whether it is possible to manufacture a 100% recycled product of the same quality as an entirely new product depends on the intended application. You can also have rejected products reused by recycling them. Together, we will look for the ideal solution to make your production process as sustainable as possible.

To make sure Rompa is always able to provide our customers with proper solutions based on up to date information, we need to be aware of new innovations and trends within the polymer industry. On a frequent base, we tend to plan back to back sessions with our partners in the chemicals market. Due to these knowledge sessions, we stay updated on different resins (both commodities and specialities), applications, possibilities, potential alternatives, trends and the latest innovations. In the end, to make sure we are able to find the best solutions for our customers. Sabic is our partner in the field of sustainability. There complete portfolio of solutions that span design for recyclability, mechanically recycled products, certified circular products from feedstock recycling of plastic waste streams and certified renewables products from bio-based feedstock.