Polypropylene recycling offers a unique opportunity to give one of the most versatile plastic materials a new and extended life. Abbreviated as PP, polypropylene is a recyclable thermoplastic polymer that is extremely rugged, versatile, and resistant to a range of bases, acids, and chemical solvents.
The high melting point of polypropylene makes it undoubtedly the most popular plastic packaging material. In fact, around 5 billion pounds of polypropylene plastics are produced every year. However, the American Chemistry Council reports that polypropylene recycling occurs at a rate less than 1% for post-consumer recovery, which is the lowest recycling rate for plastic. Let’s take a closer look at the importance of polypropylene recycling for businesses.
Polypropylene is the second-most commonly used plastic and one of the most versatile types of plastics. It was discovered in the mid-1950s by Italian scientists. Today, it’s only surpassed in production volume by polyethylene, which was created a couple decades earlier. Here are a few attributes that make polypropylene such a unique and valuable plastic material:
As we previously mentioned, the polypropylene recycling rate is nothing short of dismal. Due to the short lifespan of PP packaging, most of polypropylene materials end up in landfills as garbage. The US Environmental Protection Agency estimates that around 20% of solid waste created can be sourced back to some type of plastics.
Once in landfills, polypropylene slowly degrades and can take anywhere from 20-30 years to totally breakdown. This characteristic poses massive environmental concerns because the additives used in the manufacturing may include toxins like cadmium and lead.
Much of the research suggests cadmium from plastic products can percolate and have dangerous consequences for several biosystems.
And when these types of thermoplastics are burned, it can discharge harmful vinyl chloride and dioxins. As a result, it’s imperative for businesses to engage in polypropylene recycling — a more cost-effective and eco-friendly solution.
The recycling process for polypropylene includes five different steps:
Recycling polypropylene is truly emerging as an economically viable, important option on a very large scale. The top benefit of recycling PP is the reduction of finite, raw resources, such as propane gas and oil.
It’s estimated that a stunning 8% of all of the oil used in the world (approximately 400 million tons) is used in the manufacturing of traditional plastic. Considering the inherent flexibility of polypropylene, it can be recycled back into a myriad of products, such as:
As leaders in the recycling industry, the experts at AAA Polymer can help you get the most from polypropylene recycling. Contact AAA Polymer today to learn how we can help you with polypropylene recycling