Illegal and Sub-Standard Plastic Waste Treatment: When Recycled Plastics May Be Harmful for Consumers — and Why Black Plastics Are Unjustly Blamed

  1. Not just black, but also brightly colored WEEE plastics cannot be successfully sorted with only near infrared radiation (NIR) because the resulting plastics are poor quality and cannot be significantly improved by adding virgin plastics. Brightly colored WEEE plastics, sorted only by NIR, can only be used when the end user/manufacturer deliberately opts for recycled plastics with lower grades. Thus, also with bright NIR-recycled plastics, WEEE additives like Brominated Flame Retardants (BFRs) would enter consumer products. Any NIR-sorted WEEE plastic needs a density treatment at the very least.
  2. Black non-sorted plastic as well as any other non-sorted WEEE plastic stream is, in fact, useless given the poor quality due to the presence of a large variety of different non-miscible polymers. We can show here a typical composition of a non-sorted mixed stream from small domestic appliances (SDA)[3] and plastics from TV and monitor set back-cover housings from Cathode Ray Tube (CRT) and Flat Panel Displays (FPD):
Figure 1: Results of the LIBS analysis of back covers of 56 CRT TVs, 103 CRT monitors, 62 FPD monitors and 269 FPD TVs
Figure 2: Process where BFR and non-BFR plastics are separated later in the process

--

--

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
PolyCE

PolyCE

@EU_H2020 Project enabling #recycling of #plastics from #electronicwaste for a more #sustainable future. #InvestEUresearch #ChooseRecycled