The plastics sector is not simple nor is it homogeneous. There are many types of plastics with each having slightly different characteristics. Plastic material may be discarded at one of two stages – either at a pre-consumer or post-consumer stage. In either case, the discarded plastic is either repurposed or not repurposed. Repurposing discarded plastic means to process the plastic in some way to get a second life from the original material. If the plastic is not repurposed, it is generally sent to landfill.
Generally, the plastic recovery industry has operated under the premise – contamination and the mixing of plastic polymer types generate secondary plastics of limited or low technical and economic value. With the preceding premise, the sector has focused almost entirely on repurposing waste plastic back into pure resin, and it has largely avoided finding other secondary end-uses for waste plastic. Current plastic recycling technology has focused primarily on repurposing High-Density Polyethylene (HDPE), Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET), and Polypropylene (PP).
Recycling plants tend to require low contamination and purity and consistency of plastic type. Processing is very expensive, and it is challenging to get consistently high-quality feedstock. The original capital expenditure to establish a facility is high so plants tend to be large and centralized. Often plants are great distances from where the plastic is discarded.
The Plastonix technology addresses all the existing challenges that limit plastic waste repurposing, and it provides a significant competitive edge to all other recycling technologies.
The Plastonix technology can process all types of “petroleum-derived material”. Petroleum-derived material refers to a material derived from petroleum as it is processed in oil refineries. The Plastonix system can be designed to process more than one type of petroleum-derived material at one time. For example, at least two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, or ten types of petroleum-derived materials. Petroleum-derived materials include materials naturally occurring in petroleum such as paraffine wax, and materials synthetically derived from petrochemicals.
The Plastonix system can process all manner of petroleum-derived materials including:
- Plastic, wax, resin, or a combination thereof.
- Plastic may be extruded, molded, cast, foamed, or some combination thereof.
- Plastic may be plastic packaging
- Plastic packaging may be plastic film, or a container, or both.
- Plastic may be extruded into a sheet or film. Sheets refer to plastic boards with thicknesses higher than 1 mm. Plastic structures with thicknesses less than 1 mm are referred to as plastic film. Plastic films include, but are not limited to bags, liners, wraps, tapes, and labels.
- Plastic may be woven or nonwoven fabric such as protective apparel (e.g., medical or surgical gown, mask, cover, or cap), bed linen, drape, wound dressing, hygiene product (e.g., wipe), liner, or upholstery.
- Plastic may be molded e.g. by compression molding, injection molding, reaction injection molding, or blow molding, into various products such as trays, lids, bottles, bottle caps or other containers, or utensils, straws, or stirrers.
- Plastic may be provided in the form of a foam (e.g., for insulation or soundproofing), seal, wire or cable jacket (e.g., a plenum cable jacket; wire/cable jackets are also known as wire/cable sheathing or sleeving), floor covering, or filter
- Plastic may be provided in the form of a vehicle part, e.g., a lamp, grille, dashboard, bumper, fluid tank, handle, button, casing, container, clamp, or socket, which may comprise more than one type of plastic
- Plastics may be high-density polyethylene (HDPE), low-density polyethylene (LDPE), cross-linked polyethylene (PEX), polypropylene (PP), polystyrene (PS), polyvinyl chloride (PVC), polyamide (such as a nylon or a cross-linked polyamide), polyester (such as polybutylene terephthalate (PBT), polyethylene terephthalate (PET), acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS), polycarbonate (PC), polyoxymethylene (POM), or any combination or blend thereof.
- Plastic may be reinforced with a filler, e.g., glass fiber, carbon fiber, or glass beads.
- Plastic may be combined with an additive, such as a flame retardant
- Plastic may be an elastomer, such as a natural rubber, thermoplastic rubber, neoprene, styrene-butadiene rubber, polybutadiene, nitrile rubber, butyl rubber, or ethylene propylene diene monomer (EPDM) rubber.
- Plastic may be sorted or unsorted
- Plastic may be cleaned or not cleaned
- Plastic may be waste plastic
- Plastic may be a mix of virgin plastic and waste plastic
- Plastic may be recyclable plastic, non-recyclable plastic, or a combination thereof
- Plastic may be classified according to the ASTM International Resin Identification Coding (RIC) System (ASTM D7611) as type 1, type 2, type 3, type 4, type 5, type 6, type 7, or a combination thereof.
- Plastic may be post-consumer waste plastic, e.g., household waste, commercial waste, or healthcare textile waste
- Plastic may be pre-consumer waste plastic, e.g., post-commercial plastic packaging
- Plastic may be post-industrial waste plastic, e.g., vehicle plastic scrap.
- Plastic may be end-of-life waste plastic, such as end-of-life vehicle, electronic (ie., e-waste), or appliance waste.
- Petroleum-derived materials are provided in combination with paper, such as wax paper or photographic paper.