Advanced recycling accounted for less than 1% of global waste plastics disposal in 2016. According to a McKinsey & Company study, 40 percent of plastic waste generated globally in 2016 was landfilled, 25 percent was incinerated, 19 percent was abandoned to the environment and 16 percent was recycled. Chemical recovery is less than 1%.
The reasons for the significant increase in the share of advanced recycling are:
(1) Increased rigid demand, increased taxation of 100% virgin plastics, and enhanced consumer preference for environmental protection, resulting in increased demand for chemically recycled PCR plastics.
(2) The improvement in technology level, encouragement of relevant policies, and positive future expectations, so that the potential supply capacity of chemically recycled PCR plastics has increased.
What is the relationship between physical recycling and advanced recycling?
From the perspective of raw material characteristics, physical recycling has a high cost performance and wide application in the treatment of PET, HDPE and other high-value waste plastics. Advanced recycling mainly deals with waste plastics that cannot be recycled by physical recycling, have low recycling efficiency or are downgraded to non-recyclable after physical recycling, also known as “low-value waste plastics”.
In terms of product characteristics, most physical recycling is downcycling. It is less likely that the products can be used directly in areas with high plastic requirements, such as food and drug applications. Advanced recycling is the process of turning waste plastics into monomers and then re-polymerizing them, resulting in a product of the same quality as virgin plastics, which can be used in areas with high requirements for plastics.
Physical recycling and chemical recycling are overall complementary. As the value of products extracted from scrap plastics through advanced recycling techniques becomes higher (e.g., monomer processes), more plastic wastes will use advanced recycling techniques in the future.
Recently, many giant companies have been actively investing in advanced recycling. In 2018, the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, in partnership with the United Nations Environment Programme, launched the Global Commitment to a New Plastics Economy as an important point in the development of advanced recycling. Chemical, packaging and branding giants have made commitments to make the plastics recycling economy a corporate performance indicator for sustainable sectors and product departments.
Pyrolysis is the ultimate treatment for advanced recycling.
The industrial continuous waste plastic pyrolysis production technology andequipment developed by Niutech have the advantages of wide material adaptability and complex processing components; low processing energy consumption and low cost; excellent processing effect and good product quality; strong equipment stability and long service life. The whole set of pyrolysis equipment has passed EU CE certification, German TUV certification and ATEX certification. Products are sold to Xinjiang, Shandong, Henan, Hunan, Hubei, Zhejiang, Jiangsu, Shaanxi, Guangdong and other domestic regions and projects as well as Germany, the United States, Britain, Denmark, Brazil, Hungary, Turkey, Estonia, Iraq, India, Thailand, etc. which have won the unanimous recognition of global customers.
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