Recycled Plastic Enhances Sustainability of Blow Molding Manufacturing

2023-06-19 | Technical Blog | By Resul Gökpınar |

Blow molding plastic manufacturing is one of the most common plastic production methods with a long history. Considering it is one of the most demanding industries for plastic polymers, economic and environmental sustainability of the industry become a big concern. Using more recycled content in blow molding manufacturing, and recycling blow molded products to circulate the plastic in the industry can significantly ease these concerns.

How the recycled plastic supports blow molding manufacturing?

Recycled polymer requires lower energy and release low carbon. Besides providing a significant environmental benefit, plastic recycling can also support blow molding manufacturing in multiple ways. Using recycled plastic in product content reduces dependency on virgin polymers, which is often relatively more expensive than recycled pellets. Producers can also improve their business reputation since more and more customers become environmentally conscious and support products made from recycled materials.

Circular economy in blow molding
( Recycled plastic circulation in blow molding manufacturing )

How to source recycled plastic from blow molded products?

Recycling blow-molded products and production scraps is as important as using recycled content in production. Because the production scraps are one of the best material sources due providing recycled plastic for the production with the same blend and formulation.

In this way, producers can close the loop of the circular economy, achieve sustainability goals, and reduce costs. We can separate the recycling process into three main steps as below:

1. Sorting based on plastic-type and shape

Plastic wastes are sorted based on their material type and shape for easy processing. For the blow molding production scraps, this step is way easier than the recyclers who collect various types of rigid PCR content.

2. Crushing, washing, and drying plastic

Blow molded plastics are in the hard plastic category and must be crushed into small pieces, called plastic regrind, for easy melting in recycling extruders. If the plastic scraps are dirty (mostly post-consumer plastics), they must be washed and dried before the pelletizing process.

3. Plastic Pelletizing

In this process, hard plastic regrinds from blow-molded products turn into plastic pellets. POLYSTAR suggests Repro-Direct hard plastic recycling machine for this process, which is found superior and direct recycling solutions by regrind recyclers, blow molding, and injection molding manufacturers.

Repro-Direct regrind pelletizer process the materials as follows:

  • 1. Plastic regrind feeding to the hopper via screw conveyor or belt conveyor.
  • 2. Hopper feeds regrinds to the extruder. A force feeder can be attached to prevent bridging.
  • 3. In the extruder plastic is melted, degassed, and filtered.
  • 4. Water ring pelletizer cuts plastic melt into uniform size and shape plastic pellets.

Where to use recycled blow molding plastics?

As long as meeting the quality and formulation requirements, recycled pellets from blow-molded products can be used in many different plastic manufacturing methods. Most importantly, blow molding manufacturing scraps can be used back in the production lines after being recycled.

In addition to using back in blow molding, the recycled pellets from blow-molded materials can be also used in injection molding, extrusion molding, and blown film lines as recycled content to produce many different plastic products.

Recycled Pellets from Blow Molded Products
( Recycled Pellets from Blow Molded Products )

The multiple fields of applications and the wide circulation among different industries, allows recycled blow molding plastics to provide a big sustainability advantage to the plastic manufacturers. By recycling production scraps, and using recycled contents in their production, blow molding manufacturers can save costs, stay competitive, and improve their business reputation.

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About the Author
Resul Gökpınar

POLYSTAR’s International Sales Representative

Resul creates up to date content based on his experience, gained by solving customers problems from Turkey and EMEA market.

Find Resul on LinkedIn.