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Rigid plastic recycling

Rigid plastic recycling is the process by which items made of rigid, or “hard” plastic are broken down into small particles, in order that they can be used back into plastic manufacturing.

At Aylesbury Granulation we take a huge range of post-industrial plastics – ranging from wheelie bins to contact lens cases. We granulate them down to a 10mm particle size which is then either used directly back into manufacture or further refined and then is used in manufacture.

Rigid plastic recycling
Rigid Plastic Recycling

What plastics are suitable for recycling?

Technically all plastics are recyclable, the reality is though, of course, that there needs to be demand for a recycled plastic.

In the UK the most regularly recycled rigid plastics are PET (used in food trays and bottles, for example), PP (used to make buckets and crates, for example) and HDPE (used to make wheelie bins and utility pipe, for example).

There are, however a huge range of other plastics which can and are recycled by us, the following list is not exhaustive, but these hard materials are easily suitable for rigid plastic recycling:

  • Polycarbonate
  • Nylon
  • ABS
  • Polystyrene

What is the greatest challenge in plastic recycling?

Whether we are talking about rigid plastic recycling or the recycling of other plastics, such as films – or indeed other materials, such as metal or cardboard – is contamination.

If materials are contaminated, they cannot be recycled. In the example of the materials that we process, metal can be a big problem, as can cross contamination of polymers.

All of the feedstocks that come to Aylesbury Granulation are post-industrial (rather than post-consumer). Some of these have been used, for example, end-of-life wheelie bins, and some have come directly from the factory, such as sprues (see picture). It is imperative that these come to us as a single stream, so that we can rest assured that 100% of the material that we accept in is recycled.

Sprue for rigid plastic recycling

Do you have rigid plastic waste?

If so, please get in touch and we can talk through the options you have for ensuring that your waste is valued – doing the right thing for the planet and optimising your revenue from your assets.