The other day at Antec, someone asked a question during my panel discussion about how plastics recycling could be more like aluminum. The question kicked off a good discussion on the differences between the materials. Today the "Save the Plastics" blog posted an item on high density polyethylene recycling that, if I'd seen it last week, I could have cited it as a source. So for the benefit of everyone, I'll share it here. According to the blog, recycling HDPE makes great sense these days, in part because of the high costs of energy and virgin resin. Here's the part that reminded me of aluminum: according to the post, "converting previously used HDPE plastic into resin uses 90 percent less energy than virgin resin to produce." On the aluminum side, we've often seen the claim that recycling scrap aluminium requires only 5 percent of the energy used to make new aluminium. Of course aluminum is more expensive than plastic, so the comparison isn't perfect. But that's a great fact that Plastics Blog readers can cite in support of the commercial viability of plastics recycling.
The Plastics Blog
How HDPE recycling is like aluminum
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