Paper waste accounts for around 40% of municipal solid waste (MSW), making it the most commonly discarded item. Although paper waste is biodegradable, recycling improves the urban solid waste management scheme. Paper recycling is a straightforward procedure for recovering waste paper from municipal solid waste and turning it into fresh paper items.
Pre-Consumer Waste & Post Consumer Waste
A material that is not generated in a paper mill is known as pre-consumer waste. It is a form of waste that has been discarded before it is suitable for commercial use. Old corrugated containers (OCC), old books, old newspapers (ONP), and other post-consumer waste materials are examples of post-consumer waste.
Newspapers, shredded sheets, phonebooks, cardboard, magazines, computer paper, envelopes, junk mail, and construction paper are all recyclable paper materials.
Millions of new paper items are made from recycled cardboard and other paper products, such as egg cartons, tissue, toilet paper, newspaper, paper bags, notebooks, stamps, business cards, and calendars.
Paper recycling has its own set of limits. Paper can contain a wide range of inorganic and organic constituents, including up to 10,000 separate chemicals, which could contaminate newly produced paper products. As an example, Bisphenol (a chemical typically used in thermal paper) has been identified as a contaminant in many recycled paper materials, for example. While several steps (e.g., improved decontamination, optimized paper collection for recycling) can minimize the chemical load of paper recycling, even entirely ceasing the use of a chemical (phase-out) can still result in its distribution in the paper cycle for decades.
There are 5 basic paper grade categories:
- Old Corrugated Containers(boxing and packaging)
- Mix Paper(phone books, magazines)
- Old Newspapers
- De-inked Paper(envelopes, letterheads)
- Pulp substitutes(discarded scraps from mills)
- Steps To Recycle Paper
- Paper from the bin is collected and placed in a big recycling container of paper from other recycling bins.
- The paper is taken to a recycling facility and classified into different types and grades.
- To strip inks, plastic tape, staples, and glue, the separated paper is washed in soapy water. The paper is placed in a large container and combined with water to form a slurry.
- Different paper items, such as cardboard, newsprints, and office paper, can be made by adding different materials to the slurry.
- Large rollers are used to scatter the slurry into large, thin sheets.
- After drying, the paper is folded up and ready to be sliced and taken to the stores.
The method of recovering waste or scrap plastic and reprocessing the materials into usable and valuable items is known as plastic recycling. The plastic recycling process is the term for this activity. Plastic recycling aims to minimize high levels of plastic waste while reducing the need for virgin materials to make new plastic items. This method conserves money and keeps plastic out of landfills and unintended places like the ocean.
The Need For Recycling Plastic
Plastics are a long-lasting, lightweight, and low-cost material. They can be easily moulded into a variety of items that can be used in a variety of applications. Plastics are produced by over 420 million tones per year all over the world. 1 As a result, the reuse, recovery, and recycling of plastics are important.
Recyclable Plastics :
6 common types of plastics:
Here are some typical products you will find for each plastic:
- PS (Polystyrene)
- Foam hot drink cups
- Plastic cutlery
- PP (Polypropylene)
- Take-out food containers
- Ice cream containers
- LDPE (Low-density polyethene)
- Garbage bins
- PVC (Plasticised Polyvinyl chloride or polyvinyl chloride)
- Squeeze bottles
- HDPE (High-density polyethene)
- Shampoo containers
- Milk bottles
- PET (Polyethylene terephthalate)
- Fruit juice
- Soft drink bottles
Only PET, HDPE, and PVC plastic materials are currently recyclable by curbside recycling services. PS, PP, and LDPE are normally not recycled because processing these plastics are more complex and costly. 2 Lids and bottle tops are also not recyclable. When it comes to plastic recycling, the dilemma of “to recycle or not to recycle” is a significant one. Any forms of plastic aren’t recycled because it’s not cost-effective to do so.
Plastic Recycling Process
The specific methods differ depending on the plastic resin or the form of the plastic component.
The following two-step procedure is used by the majority of plastic recycling facilities:
Step 1: Sorting plastics, either automatically or manually, to ensure that all pollutants are separated from the waste stream.
Step 2: Melting down plastics directly into a new form or shredding plastics into flakes and melting them down before being refined into granulates.
End-of-life plastic management is impossible without recycling. Increased public awareness and the efficiency of recycling activities have resulted in higher recycling rates. Continuous investment in research and development would help to improve operational performance.
More post-consumer plastic materials and containers will be recycled, which would increase recycling and remove more end-of-life plastic waste from landfills. Industry and policymakers will also aid in the promotion of recycling by encouraging or incentivizing the use of recycled resin rather than virgin plastics.