The economic and ecological aspects of reprocessing of plastics wastes
Polimery 1997, No 11-12, 645
The fundamental assumptions underlying the German legislation concerning the reuse of waste plastics are reviewed. The regulation demanding as much as 64% of packagings to be materially recycled, has made exports of waste packaging plastics necessary. Again, alternative waste reprocessing methods based on feedstock recycling had to be developed and commercialized, involving pyrolysis, hydrogenation, gasification and thermal depolymerization. Waste plastics have been applied as reducing agents in the blast furnace process. However, each process is unprofitable and has to be subsidized via environmental charges. The German pathway to fast commercialization of the material recycling of plastics wastes is affordable to a rich society only. Other methods do exist: they are cheaper and offer no environmental hazards.