Mechanical Methods Of Recycling
Most plastics are recycled mechanically though they can also be recycled other ways.
Compared with lucrative recycling of materials, such as glass and metal, plastic polymers recycling is often more challenging because of low density and low value. There are also numerous technical hurdles to overcome when recycling plastic. Wikkipedia
Mechanical recycling, very simply, consists of melting down the old plastic and using it to make new products
Mechanical recycling can only be done a few times before the polymers break down and the quality of the plastic degrades. So, unlike glass for instance, you cannot necessarily use mechanically recycled polymers to remake the same product. You have to use them to make something different. The chain of recycling might go as follows
Virgin PET bottle to fleece or carpet
Carpet fibers to plastic lumber.
Plastic lumber to waste disposal plant – though manufacturers claim that plastic lumber can be recycled again.
This process is sometimes called DOWNCYCLING.
Sadly it is not quite as easy as that. There are hundreds of kinds of plastic – some easy to recycle, others not (plastic film for example ). Consequently is not cost effective to recycle all plastics. While it is theoretically possible to recycle nearly all plastics. generally it is the simpler plastics that actually are recycled.
ALL the above is open to change and may have changed by the time you read this. It will also depend where you are reading it.