How to Use Recycled Pellets in the Production Process - Post-consumer Waste

2022-05-09 | Technical Blog | By Maria Lopez |

Plastic pellets made from post-consumer waste are small granulates, used in production processes such as in Blown Film Machines, Injection Machines, Plastic Molding Machines, and other machines that produce plastic films, bottles, containers, bags, and more.

These small pieces of material are the most important in the process of plastic products. Not only because they are the principal material but also because they give the quality of the final product.

The industry of plastic is quite big but without virgin materials, the industry will collapse. Therefore, it is important to take care of this situation. Around the world, there is a big consumption of plastic, most of this plastic is necessary for health.

Why is it important to recycle plastic products?

We need to be aware of whether the products that we consume can be recycled or not. If you know the material of your products you will know if they can be recycled and used once again in the production line.

This time we will emphasize the materials that can be recycled like HDPE, LDPE, LLDPE, and PP.

We focus on these materials because they have higher consumption compared to others. (See the graphic)

World plastic production by types
( Global plastic production per type by percentage )

As you can see in the graphic polyolefins are produced on big scales because of their properties. Most daily life products are made from polyolefins. For this reason, it is important to recycle these end products.

How to recycle post-consumer plastic waste?

Post-consumer waste comes dirty and humid. Therefore, the recycling process will start with a washing line. The washing line will have three steps:

  1. Crushing

    The plastic waste will be put into a shredder to reduce its size.

  2. Washing

    The washing line will remove the dirt and grease that the waste contains.

  3. Drying

    After going through the washing line it is necessary to reduce the humidity of the waste to a level of 3%-5%. In this way can be recycled in the plastic recycling machine.

After the whole process, the material will be processed in the Plastic Recycling Machine. It depends on the material and shape of it of which recycling machine will be the perfect fit to reprocess the post-consumer waste. Our recommendation is a:

Two-Stage Recycling machine by POLYSTAR:

Repro-Flex Plus model comes with a cutter-compactor. The cutter integrated pelletizing system eliminates the necessity of pre-warm the material before extrusion. After cutting and compacting the waste will be fed directly into the extruder with a centrifugal force.

This recycling machine can reprocess PE and PP films, multi-layered film, stretch films, EPE foam, pre-washed film flakes, and non-printed and highly surface printed films (up to 95%). This is able thanks to the repositioning of the filter and the third degasification in the venting area between the first and second extruder.

The quality of the pellets produced by the two-stage recycling machine is higher than others. This is possible thanks to the die face pelletizer. This system is automatically controlled, in speed and blade pressure. The final product will be more uniform-sized pellets.

POLYSTAR two-stage plastic recycling
Two-stage plastic recycling machine

Recycled pellets for the production

Each material has different properties, for this reason, it is important to know what you can do with them after the production of recycling pellets. Unlike the in-house recycled pellets, the post-consumer recycled pellets can’t be used to produce the same product as before.

For example, if you recycled in-house film rolls you can use the recycled pellets from these films into film rolls again. But in the case of post-consumer waste recycled pellets, there are different uses.

These are some products that you can make with recycled pellets from post-consumer waste:

  • R-HDPE: industrial bags, detergent bottles, traffic cones, trash cans, flowerpots, and others.

    HDPE Plastic recycling processes

  • R-LDPE: Garbage bags, thermoplastics, containers, agricultural films, and construction films.

    The recycling product processes including blown film, bag making, washed film and recycling.

  • R-PP: battery boxes, broom fibers, plastic chairs, textiles, trays.

    Laminated film recycled pellets and put back to injection molding machine.

Most of the pellets coming from post-consumer waste are used for injection blow molding but these pellets can be used for garbage bags too. Therefore, the circle will be closed.

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About the Author
Maria Lopez

Marketing Manager at POLYSTAR

Maria Lopez is a content marketer at POLYSTAR. She authors in-depth guides that provides solutions to Plastic Producers. Not only to select your machine but also to keep you updated with the new trends.

You can find Maria on LinkedIn.