Recycling of Plastic :-
The biggest problem with plastic recycling is that it is difficult to automate the sorting of plastic waste, and so it is labor intensive. Typically, workers sort the plastic by looking at the resin identification code, though common containers like soda bottles can be sorted from memory.
Only 3.5 percent of all plastics are recycled in any way. People who use “single stream” curbside recycling would be astonished to know how little of the plastic that goes into their bin is actually recycled. It is estimated that between 500 billion and a trillion plastic bags are consumed worldwide each year. Less than 1 percent of these are recycled as it costs more to recycle a bag than to produce a new one.
Rarely are plastic containers recycled back into what they were as plastic bottles are generally not recycled back into bottles but made into something else such as carpet padding, plastic lumber and outdoor furniture. Shopping bags are not recycled into new shopping bags. The harsh economic reality behind bag recycling is that it costs $4,000 to process and recycle one ton of plastic bags, which can then be sold on the commodities market for $32, according to the Christian Science Monitor.
Recycling of plastic is associated with skin and respiratory problems, resulting from exposure to and inhalation of toxic fumes, especially hydrocarbons and residues released during the process. What is worse, the recycled plastic degrades in quality and necessitates the production of more new plastic to make the original product. Recycling of plastic is very uneconomical, dirty and labour-intensive as has been reveled by a study conducted by the Public Interest Research Group, based in Delhi, India.
Giving an overview of the `recycling status’ in India, Mr S. Sugumar of Central Institute of Plastics Engineering & Technology observed that there were around 20,000 recyclers in the country, who recycled about 1,000 tonnes of plastics each day. Plastic waste generation is estimated at around 1.3 million tonnes per annum. Most of the recycling is carried out mechanically.