Plastic recycling refers to a process in which the discarded plastic is converted into reusable form. Discarded plastic can be rigid such as bottles, and containers; or non-rigid such as films, and wrappers. Plastic recycling market is segmented on resin type such as PET. Polyethylene terephthalate abbreviated PET, is the most common thermoplastic polymer resin of the polyester family and are used in fibers for clothing, containers for liquids and foods, and thermoforming for manufacturing.
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The prime uses for recycled PET are polyester fiber, strapping, and non-food containers. Most thermoplastics can be recycled; PET bottle recycling is more applied than many other plastic applications because exclusive use of PET for widely used carbonated soft drink and water bottling. Recycling of thermoplastic can undergo two processes. First one includes the recycling back to the initial raw materials where the structure of the polymer is completely destroyed; and the other process includes the recycling where the original polymer properties are being maintained.
The recycling of thermoplastics is sustainable initiative. Large amounts of plastics wastes are degrading environment, hence an initiative for cleaning and sorting the wastes is of utmost use. In thermoplastics recycling industry, the recycling of the bottles is main part, which are used in all kinds of liquid packaging like water, juices, beer, sauces, detergents, household chemicals, and carbonated soft drinks. Bottles are easy to differentiate because of consistency and shape. Bottles separate from waste plastic streams either by automatic or by hand-sorting processes.
The established polyester recycling industry consists of three major sections; waste logistics: PET bottle collection and waste separation, flake production: production of clean PET bottle flakes, and flake processing: conversion of flakes to final product. The first step includes the bottle waste with a PET content greater than 90. In the second step, the collected bottles are transformed to clean bottle flakes. This step can be complicated depending on required final flake quality. During the third step, bottle flakes are processed to any kind of products like film, bottles, fiber, or filament.
Recycling Polyester staple Fiber (RPSF) is prominent segment in recycling PET and it has been projected that the RPSF is going to be the fiber of the future in the entire textile industry. It is formed by re-melting the thermoplastic PET bottles and then thick material is pressed leaving them as filaments. Filaments can be used as endless threads and cut into length-defined fibers for spinning. After weaving, the fabric is transformed into garment, such as pullovers, jackets or sweatshirts. The recycled thread or yarn can be used either alone or together with other fibers to create strong, durable and rough products, such as jackets, coat, shoes, bags, hats and accessories.
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Factors like demand in light weighting vehicles, and packaging industry, is expected to drive the market during the forecasted period. On the other hand, factors like stringent government regulations, environmental issues would limit the growth of the market. Polypropylene manufacturers are shifting their emphasis from synthetic to bio-based polypropylene as a result of increase in demand for the latter.
On the basis of region, the global market is segmented into North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, the Middle East and Africa, and Latin America. Of these regions, Asia Pacific is expected to dominant in the global market throughout the forecast period. Asia Pacific is engaged in activities such as converting the plastic into recycled resins for further applications and cheap labor and lenient governmental policies have kept the region at the forefront. Europe is also expected to show steady growth in the global market due to stringent laws pertaining to the use of plastic in the region. The region is recycling plastic wastes ever year due to ban on dumping plastic in landfills. The increasing awareness about environment protection is also anticipated to boost the Europe plastic recycling market.
Key manufacturers of PET recycling market are PET Recycling Plant, DAK Americas LLC, M&G Polymers USA, Nan Ya Plastics Cooperation, and KW Plastics.