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Handbook of Recycling by Markus Reuter, Ernst Worrell

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Chapter 13

Plastic Recycling

Li Shen and Ernst Worrell     Copernicus Institute of Sustainable Development, Utrecht University, Utrecht, The Netherlands

Abstract

Plastics are synthetic organic polymers, mainly made from petrochemical feedstocks. Since the invention of the first plastic in the early 1900s, the number of plastics has increased dramatically, and so has their use. As society has steadily increased its use of plastics, plastic waste management has become a growing concern around the world. Today, about 280 Mt of plastics are produced annually. Yet, plastic recycling is still limited compared to most other bulk materials. The plastic recycling rate in the EU is today about 25%. Recovery and recycling rates for plastics are increasing ...

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