How PET is recycled?
All scraps that constitute waste are collected. It is taken to a recycling plant for further inspecting and screening. According to the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (2021), the annual waste produced by a population of 100 million Filipinos is 21 million metric tons.
Once PET is collected, it will be compressed to ensure ease of transport. Due to its lightweight property, the efficiency of transport is assured. Furthermore, this course of action reduces greenhouse gas emissions from transportation (Petcore, n.d.)
As the PET is in the form of small crushed flakes, it is thoroughly washed to remove the ground-up lids, rings, labels, and residual glue. Moreover, it is processed by a high-temperature decontamination section to remove the post-consumer substances and flavors.
As the accumulated waste is transported to the recycling plant, the separation of recyclable materials such as plastics, glass, and metals is conducted. They move at their respective recycling streams. A high-value recyclable polymer such as PET is segregated manually or by using an automatic system. Being meticulous is essential in determining the presence of other plastics because contamination of the PET recycling process is possible, which will limit the quality for reduction, efficiency is detrimentally affected, and it would be not valuable enough (Petcore, n.d.).
Bales of compressed PET are directed to the processing center in which the waste PET is converted into recycled PET (rPET). It is further separated with respect to their color streams and a plastic bottle shredder is used to create small crushed flakes.
After decontamination, it is melted into spherical like crystalline PET pellets which will be suitable for creating new materials such as PET bottles, fibers, etc.
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PET pellets are shipped to the manufacturers that will use the rPET. Recycled PET meets the standards set by agencies and governments around the world that it is safe to use in food packaging
An endless bottle-to-bottle loop is deemed idealistic but possible; however, there are instances when the plastic collected and transported for recycling is substandard. Thereby, it is heated and converted into fiber which can be serviceable in creating seat belts, bags, carpets, roofing insulation, and clothing.
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Waste PET is converted into renewable unsaturated polyesters by forming partial glycolysis. Which is turned into bio-based unsaturated esters. Once it is prepared, it is mixed with glass fibers and cured the material by free radical polymerization. Finally, the output is a high-performance product (Allen,2019).
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The following are the objectives of using wasting plastics into asphalt mixes: a) it will minimize landfilling b) being independent on nonrenewable resources, c) it will open to more options of asphalt pavement building. Furthermore, appropriate engineering performance (viscosity, rutting, fatigue cracking, thermal cracking, and moisture resistance) is a needed parameter to secure its quality. PET is granulated by 1.18-2.36 mm which is mixed in the asphalt mixture (Wu & Montalvo, 2021)
Granulated PET is used as the construction material because it can withstand high amounts of load and pressure and is lightweight. Its low cost and durability make it suitable to use as a brick (Pokale, Gund, Gholve, & Chauhan, 2022).
With an equal ratio of plastic waste and quarry dust, it offers a high compressive strength with melting point of 1400C. Furthermore, plastic paver block reduces plastic pollution and overall cost of production. All things considered, it is deem economical and eco-friendly to have this approach than the conventional paver blocks (Lognayan,2020).
Solar water disinfection
using PET bottles
Exposing the PET bottle filled with untreated water in sunlight for at least six hours destroys pathogenic germs, which makes the disinfection process effective. Given that it is effective, simple, and cost-efficient, it is suitable especially for developing countries (Kumar et.al., 2021).
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