In our daily life, we inadvertently receive a lot of disposable plastic packaging and utensils from supermarkets and restaurants, but they have become our household garbage, which has plunged us into recycling. The wrapper wrapped with apple is glue, the styrofoam lunch box with fork chicken rice is glue, and the pearl milk teacup with empty hands is glue. Where will they settle down? Is it a recycling site or a landfill? If handled improperly, the plastic that hasn't changed for thousands of years can only be squeezed into the landfill, and will never "end of life."
According to waste reduction statistics of the Taiwan Environmental Protection Agency, the amount of recycled plastic materials in Tokyo has dropped from 126,000 metric tons in 2016 to 116,000 metric tons in 2017. Hong Kong's recovery rate performance is declining. However, recycling is only the final "gatekeeper" of waste disposal. It is pointed out that since 1950, only 9% of the plastics made by humans have been recycled, and the characteristics of plastics are difficult to decompose. When they fall into the natural environment, they will only be broken into plastic particles and polluted by wind, rivers, and rain. Every inch of land, sea, and glaciers. Taking Hong Kong as an example, we have discovered in 2018 that plastic waste will wash out of Tolo Harbour and pollute the ocean through large and small rivers. Therefore, in addition to guarding the last line of defense, we must also start at the source to reduce plastic pollution. To sum up, avoid using disposable plastic supplies and learn to "walk plastic" as the best policy. Recycling is only "last kindness" to the earth.
The Taiwan Environmental Protection Agency has set a 2030 plastic reduction target. Since July this year, it has also cooperated with hypermarkets and recycling companies to recycle up to 40 kilograms of plastic sealing films every day, making them into "recycled granules", which have been successfully exported. In the world, it can also be processed into clothing raw materials and plastic products to form a complete plastic recycling economy.
A board of goods is temporarily placed in the warehouse of the hypermarket after purchase. The outer layer is covered with a plastic sealing film. The main purpose is to prevent rain and humidity, and it can also fix the goods. However, before the goods were put on the shelf, as soon as the sealing film was torn off, it became waste garbage. In the past, it could only be thrown away and burned in an incinerator, but now it has more new uses. The staff carefully checked that if there are marks of Mike pen on the sealing film, or tape is affixed, it must be sorted first, and the remaining clean sealing film is centralized and can be processed again to form a circular economy.
Since July 2019, the Taiwan Environmental Protection Agency has cooperated with tandem hypermarkets and plastic recycling manufacturers to give new life to the sealing film. Taking hypermarkets as an example, it produces an average of nearly 40 kilograms of the waste plastic film a day, up to 1,500 metric tons a year. Bags of plastic are sent to the remanufacturing line by the garbage collection company. The waste plastic that was originally treated as rubbish is sent to the conveyor belt, crushed first, and then followed by two cleaning procedures before it can enter the real processing production line. The 180-200-degree high-temperature extruder is the final one. Renewable particles.
The factory's 10 production lines can produce more than 10 tons of recycled pellets on an average day. Don't underestimate them. Now the industry has successfully exported to China, Southeast Asia, and other regions, and the picture is still very wide. It can be used as raw material for clothes. Or other plastic products, forming a complete plastic recycling economy. Taiwan’s plastic recycling industry has established a stable technology internationally, and even the United Nations Environment Agency’s International Resource Group has come to Taiwan to take the time to visit production lines. It is not only a hypermarket. A total of 12 online shopping companies in Taiwan have also joined the "Package Reduction" plan. For painting, it is necessary to save unnecessary packaging materials. It is estimated that the annual reduction will be 1700 metric tons. The EPA has set a 2030 plastic reduction target. In addition to the restrictions on plastic straws implemented in July, the future will include plastic bags, beverage cups, or disposable tableware. It Will be gradually restricted, and the goal is to ban it by 2030.
The market price of new plastics is not stable today, which is the biggest limitation of the plastic waste recycling industry. The selling price of new plastics is often affected by political and economic factors, which indirectly affect the price of recycled plastics.
Plastic recycling process
Different plastics have different processing procedures, but can also be roughly divided into the following steps: pre-washing and disinfecting plastic bottles, plastic classification, broken plastic, cleaning and dehydration, granulation, and manufacturing various plastic products.
First, sort the pile of plastic bags into different categories. Since the plastic materials of various codes have to be handled separately, the codes may be different even if they are also plastic handle bags: most of the general plastic bags are codes 2 or 4. In addition to the codes printed on the plastic bags for identification, separate the two types of plastic bags before proceeding to the next step. The sorted plastic bag material will be processed according to the characteristics (such as material, use, color, etc.) required by the reconstructed product: first place the plastic bag on the conveyor belt, crush the material and heat it to change its shape. The heated plastic material is drawn into slender strips, which are cooled to fix the mass, and then the strips are cut into pellets. Granular recycled plastic materials can be made into other plastic products by adding new raw materials or color materials, not only plastic bags but also daily necessities.