Recycling of plastic materials is an important topic, driven by commercial and environmental influences. Pressures on landfill capacity and other concerns such as legislation or regulations have caused the plastics industry to pay much greater attention to the recycling of heterogeneous plastic waste. Separation and cleaning techniques have been developed along with the means of reusing recycled material. The latter sometimes give variable compositions and poorer properties, but additives can be used to improve the properties of recycled polymers. Blending of recycled polymers may also help to improve the properties of the materials.
Furthermore the conditions of the recycling process can have significant impact on the properties of the recycled polymer. Polyethylene packaging containers or agricultural films can be recycled into new containers or films or alternatively can be incinerated to produce energy. For example HDPE obtained from recycled post-consumer containers can be readily fabricated into useful items by conventional injection moulding and extrusion blow moulding. The properties of mouldings produced from the recycled material have properties very similar to virgin material.
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