Can Polycarbonates Be Recycled?

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Can Polycarbonates Be Recycled?
Everyday items, including DVDs, contain polycarbonate. (discs image by Alex White from Fotolia.com)

Polycarbonate is a lightweight, high-quality plastic. It is used in the construction of many everyday products, including DVDs, dinnerware, computer casings, medical equipment and bicycle helmets. Like all plastics, it can be recycled, but the process can make polycarbonate less resistant to impact.

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Recycling

Plastic is sorted, shredded and washed before recycling. The Recycle Now website reveals that, in the recycling process, "plastic is either melted down directly and moulded into a new shape, or shredded into flakes then melted down before being processed into granulates."

Considerations

According to the Special Chem website, recycled polycarbonate is less resilient, having decreased impact resistance when compared with newly manufactured polycarbonate. The addition of fillers and pigments can also decrease the plastic's resilience. This problem can be addressed by the use of chemicals to modify impact resistance in recycled polycarbonate.

Benefits

Because plastic is made from oil, a natural resource, recycling polycarbonate is an environmentally friendly option.

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