Mechanical Recycling

MECHANICAL RECYCLING (of plastics) is the recovery of materials from waste while maintaining the polymers’ molecular structure. In principle all types of (thermo-) plastics can be mechanically recycled with little or no quality impairment.

When available in large amounts, clean and mono-type plastic is ideal for Mechanical Recycling and a win-win situation from an environmental and economic perspective: Environmental benefits from substituting virgin material generally exceed the environmental burden from collection, transport and recycling operations, while the costs of such operations can be outbalanced by potential revenues from selling recyclates on the market.

The composition of products, method and efficiency of waste collection schemes, sorting and recycling technologies as well as the demand for plastics recyclates play a significant role in determining what type and how much plastics waste can be mechanically recycled while ensuring environmental benefits and reasonable costs.

Plastics (-containing) waste that cannot be sustainably recycled to the required standard, from a cost, societal and environmental perspective provides a valuable resource for other recovery solutions e.g. feedstock recycling and efficient energy recovery to maximise the recovery of its embedded energy and resources.

PlasticsEurope is committed to help further develop quality-focused recycling processes for plastics waste and to promote such solutions in all European countries.

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Did you know ?
  • Main countries of Europe will save at least 78.000 tons of plastics per year if the produced pens were made from recycled plastic.