manufacturers and businesses would agree to take part in these goals, then they
would be possible. While the best option would be for people to stop buying and
disposing of so much plastic, it is not easy to change the whole world’s views.
Through innovation and better recycling practices, the amount of plastics produced
and in landfills can be reduced.
the goal of finding a way to make recycling films and plastic packaging more
economical, it is important to research and analyze the facilities that already
recycle plastic films and packaging. By understanding their methods, it will be
easier to find a way to make the process more economical. A separate bin and
sorting machine would prevent these flexible plastics from creating issues in
the regular sorting process, but creating a second recycling line for a
resource that is not very profitable does not sound economical. However, it
could be more economical if we had more flexible plastics to recycle, resulting
in more of the final product. Of course, this should not be accomplished by
covering every product in plastic film, because there is no reason to add fuel
to this never-ending plastic fire. Instead, recycling facilities should work
with businesses that discard shrink-wrap and other large plastics films, like
greenhouse film, to add to the new recycling line of flexible plastics.
achieve the goal of creating more advanced technology that can differentiate between
the different plastics, it is necessary to create a multidisciplinary team of
engineers. Mechanical, Electrical, and Industrial Engineers will be on the
team, as well as Computer Programmers. Research and development will need to be
completed to enhance the current sorting technology. On the other hand, if
instead manufacturers are convinced to use a standard plastic material, then
the team will look different, but still multidisciplinary. The team will need
to include Chemical, Industrial, and Sales Engineers. Chemical Engineers will
need to develop a plastic that can accommodate to most manufacturers plastic
needs, while Industrial and Sales Engineers communicate to business owners why
they should switch to a standard plastic. If all products were made from the
same plastics, then recycling facilities could increase the amount of
recyclable plastics, as well as decrease the probability of
cross-contaminations. With less contaminations, the quality of the resins would
innovations to the recycling industry will help reduce the amount of waste
going into landfills and increase the amount of plastics that can be recycled.
The recycling facilities will also see an increase in profits, since they will
be able to sell more of the resin created if there is less cross-contamination.
One goal that must be accomplished for these innovations to work is creating
more advanced technology that can differentiate between the different plastics
like PET and PVC, or convincing manufacturers to use a standard plastic
material. Another goal is to find a way to make recycling films and plastic
packaging more economical, since their weight to volume ratio is not high
enough to make recycling them profitable.
has become increasingly popular as people start to see our oceans fill with
plastics and harm our environment. Prior to the single-stream recycling
facilities, consumers used to sort each recyclable they had into the correct
bin. Due to advanced sorting machines, recycling facilities now allow consumers
to put all recyclables into one bin (i.e. single-stream). This has made it less
of a hassle for consumers to recycle, which in turn led to more people recycling.
While these machines have made it easier to recycle, there is still a lot of
cross-contamination with the plastics. The resin becomes unusable when it is contaminated
with other types of plastics. Also, films and flexible plastic packaging do not
have an economical method of being recycled. I would like to innovate the recycling
industry by maximizing the amount and quality of resin from recycled plastics
and create an economical way to recycle flexible plastic packaging.