Plastics and Sustainability - Chapter 3: Plastic wastes and opportunities

Elsevier, Plastics and Sustainability: Practical Approaches, 2023, Pages 91-120
Lee Tin Sin, Bee Soo Tueen

In this chapter, the chemical recycling and energy recovery of waste plastics are discussed. In general, chemical recycling involves two main technologies, pyrolysis and gasification processes. Both processes are aimed at converting the waste plastics into basic chemicals so that they can be used to reproduce other materials as well as fuels. Meanwhile, incineration is about the combustion of plastic wastes to generate thermal energy and further transform it into electricity. Whether chemical recycling or incineration, both technologies contribute to the circular economy. On the ground, proper handling of plastic wastes not only mitigates the plastic pollution problem, it also presents opportunities to transform the waste into wealth and generate benefits to the community.