23 January 2020
Plastics-to-fuel technologies complement plastics recycling by converting non-recycled plastics into valuable products. Plastics-to-fuel technologies offer the opportunity to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by up to 60%-70% over new forms of crude oil extraction. Companies are transforming used, non-recycled plastics into fuel and petroleum-based products.
These plastics-to-fuel technologies, which complement ongoing recycling efforts, are being embraced as a way to recover clean energy from plastics that cannot be economically recycled. Growing interest and investments in plastics-to-fuel technologies can reduce the amount of waste sent to landﬁlls and generate fuel and other useful products to help power America’s transportation system and local economies.
Currently, more than 90% of plastic are still not recycled and are dumped, landfilled, or simple drained in the ocean. This means only 9-10% of waste plastics has been collected and recycled. This provides immense opportunity of plastic-to-fuel market as recycling of these waste plastics would generate non-recyclable waste plastics which can be utilized in PFT in the near future.
Producing plastic products from recycled plastics reduces energy requirements by 66%. Countries like Japan, Germany and the United States have already implemented the plastic to fuel conversion process with much success. These three have also been successful in creating business models out of the conversion process, resulting in the conversion model becoming a profitable business one.
Rising usage of plastics is the key driver for oil demand as various chemicals/petrochemicals used in plastics are obtained from crude oil. Adoption of European Strategy for Plastics in a Circular Economy on January 2018 will transform the way plastic products are designed, used, produced and recycled in the EU. Better design of plastic products, higher plastic waste recycling rates, and more and better quality recycles will help boosting the market for recycled plastics. It will deliver greater added value for a more competitive, resilient plastics industry. Thus, for European countries, more waste plastics from new/landfill sources is expected to move to plastic recycling and PTF facilities.
Governments are promoting plastic recycling to protect the environment. Proprietary technology is not required for plastic recycling. Substitute process of plastic disposal, such as incineration and landfills, are hazardous and cause pollution. Several countries have banned the landfill option for the disposal of plastic. Illegal dumping of plastic waste is monitored by government of several nations such as the U.S., Germany, UK, etc.
Globally, the field of plastic waste management is becoming more closely aligned with resource management, and this is occurring in large part because the way we view "waste" is dramatically shifting. New technologies are being developed that allow more materials to be recovered and new value created from those materials.
Much more of our waste stream is considered to be valuable scrap material and new technologies such as automation for materials separation and major improvements in commercial composting are allowing the industry to tap into these resources and create value out of what was previously considered non-valuable material.
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