Recycled Plastic Blend Technology 2009

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Recycled Plastic Blend Technology

How can “garbage” be transformed into a sustainable product line? This is a million dollar question.

Many people, organizations, countries, and companies have their own opinion about “greener” or “sustainability” or “bioproducts” etc. There are a profound amount of complaints about trash due to frustration of what to do with it. But one thing that can’t be ignored is the fact that “garbage” pushes landfills to overcapacity. Garbage can be burned and create electricity. Waste can be buried with hopes that the next generation doesn’t find it or build a school there. Responsibility can be used and clean up the plastic(s) and make products in the United States and also create jobs.

Several articles are published every week describing the situation(s) as grim, vulgar, banning, or we have no choice. We hear about recycling centers closing, because the effort to recycle, to change, is either too difficult or too costly.

Perhaps foam should be spelled “phomb” to express the phobia that the public has about this material. Towns and counties are mandating recycling or sometimes banning altogether the use of bags, foam cups and foam carryout containers (clamshells) products.

The top three products (bags, foam cups, and containers) are treated as if they are “garbage” by the general public. Only 6% to 9% of this post consumer material is actually recycled. These exist in abundance and can be like “gold” used to make many different products and plastic alloys. These products are legitimate as a recyclable resource (it’s actually a resource). Separating the top three products from regular waste would significantly help reduce landfills. Separation of plastic and organic can make landfills mostly biodegradable, which helps the planet overall. Some progress with this separation is being practiced; this process should be considered a product opportunity.

The technology exists to transform the unwanted and abundant material into many products that are needed. Products like profiles, molding, exterior decking, synthetic lumber, foam insulation for pipes, foundations, houses, and injection molded parts.

Associated Polymer Labs has been working with recycled plastics for years. Our tri-blend patent (7,226,956 ) uses the following three unlimited resources.

1.Recycled Bags (blends of low density and linear low density polyethylenes)

2.Recycled Foam (expanded polystyrene (EPS) cups and containers)

3.Recycled Polyethylene Containers (high density polyethylene)

APL’s presentation at the Foams 2008 Conference in Charlotte North Carolina, spoke about the rheology used to qualify blending polyolefins. APL has a decade of experience in rheology studies of plastics blends and modeling the key criteria.

References:

7,226,956: Low density polymeric foam using a three-polymer blend

6,946,495: Foamable composition using recycled or offgrade polypropylene

http://www.testplastic.com/pdfs/foams-2008-jim-zwynenburg.pdf

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