Plastic recycling refers to the process of recovering plastic waste and transforming it into functional products. Plastics recycling helps conserve energy, reduce plastic pollution, while also reducing the pressure on virgin materials to create new plastic products. Australia consumed more than 844,300 tonnes of plastic in 2016 alone, making it one of the most common component of rubbish that is collected from our homes and other spaces. Plastic waste typically comprises packaging material such as drink containers, confectionary packets, water bottles and similar packaging items used in other consumer goods industries. Australia is gradually improving its plastics packaging recycling rate, having recycled 263,000 tonnes of plastics packaging in 2016. A long road lies ahead of us, and we need to increase our commitment to plastic recycling before our landfill waste can be fully plastic-free.
Some of the most common products found in recyclable plastic waste are as follows:
- Plasticised Polyvinyl chloride or polyvinyl chloride (PVC), found in products such as cordial, juice or squeeze bottles
- High-density polyethylene (HDPE), usually found in milk bottles
- Polyethylene terephthalate (PET), found in fruit juice and soft drink bottles
While other plastic items such as lids, foam cups and bottle tops do have the potential to be recycled, containing plastic types such as polystyrene (PS) and polypropylene (PP), they aren’t presently recycled because of their potential to disrupt the working of sorting equipment in recycling facilities. Additionally, some plastics aren’t considered recyclable because it isn’t an economically feasible approach to handling such waste. Other challenges associated with the industry pertain to cost-effectiveness and efficiency of the mixed plastic stream. Some industries may also consider it less economically viable to invest in collection and sorting facilities for plastic bags and films.
Despite these limitations, it’s important to maximise the efficiency of plastics recycling by ensuring recyclable products don’t end up in landfills, instead developing them to be a profitable item in their own right. The recycled plastic goods industry has immense potential. Just a few of the articles made from recycled plastic includes bottles, carrier bags, bin liners, fibre filling for duvets, sleeping bags, pillows, drainage pipes, ducting and flooring, fleece and compost bins. Evidently, the opportunity lies in repurposing plastic waste to make a lucrative venture out of it.
Investing in the plastic waste management industry for the future
While plastics recycling equipment are an expensive investment, businesses stand to reap several benefits from them in the long run. Genox is one of the most prominent manufacturers of plastics processing equipment, ranging from shredders (plastic shredders), granulators and washing tanks to full-fledged recycling plants. Through extensive research and development, Genox has developed an extensive range of technically advanced machinery for plastics processing. Some of the most commonly used equipment are the GC and GXC range of granulators. Equipment specialising in food packaging items usually also come with a washer and dryer that cleans plastics of contaminants before they are recycled into uniformly-sized flakes.
Genox can also manufacture recycling equipment that’s customised to suit specific business requirements. Applied Machinery, are the exclusive distributors of Genox recycling machinery in Australia and we maintain a constant inventory of machines in stock here in Melbourne for quick delivery across the nation. We provide turnkey solutions for all of our equipment including installation and of training to ensure our customers are able to get maximum benefits from all of their Genox equipment.