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Postcollection Separation of Plastic Recycling and Design-For-Recycling as Solutions to Low Cost-Effectiveness and Plastic Debris

School of Business and Economics and Tinbergen Institute, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, 1081 HV Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Sustainability 2020, 12(20), 8415; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12208415
Received: 1 September 2020 / Revised: 9 October 2020 / Accepted: 10 October 2020 / Published: 13 October 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recycling and Sustainability of Plastics)
In the Netherlands, plastic waste recycling is high on the policy agenda. Much effort is made to recycle, mostly by residents, who separate plastic waste at home. However, much of the separated waste is not recycled into new products. Substantial amounts are burned or even shipped to Asia. This leads to substantial plastic debris, as recent evidence has shown. Moreover, the cost-effectiveness of plastic recycling versus incineration is very low. Based on evidence from the north of the Netherlands, postcollection or mechanical separation can be a viable alternative as more useful plastics are separated and there are indications that different plastic streams are of higher polymeric purity. Furthermore, there is some circumstantial evidence that cost-effectiveness increases if postseparation is chosen. To avoid large streams of mixed plastics that are barely recyclable, it is important that further agreements with the packaging industry are made to phase out these mixed plastics and further increase the polymeric purity of different plastic waste streams. View Full-Text
Keywords: plastic waste; polymeric purity; postseparation; cost-effectiveness; plastic debris plastic waste; polymeric purity; postseparation; cost-effectiveness; plastic debris
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MDPI and ACS Style

Gradus, R. Postcollection Separation of Plastic Recycling and Design-For-Recycling as Solutions to Low Cost-Effectiveness and Plastic Debris. Sustainability 2020, 12, 8415. https://doi.org/10.3390/su12208415

AMA Style

Gradus R. Postcollection Separation of Plastic Recycling and Design-For-Recycling as Solutions to Low Cost-Effectiveness and Plastic Debris. Sustainability. 2020; 12(20):8415. https://doi.org/10.3390/su12208415

Chicago/Turabian Style

Gradus, Raymond. 2020. "Postcollection Separation of Plastic Recycling and Design-For-Recycling as Solutions to Low Cost-Effectiveness and Plastic Debris" Sustainability 12, no. 20: 8415. https://doi.org/10.3390/su12208415

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