Plastic production | Plastic Recycling

Plastic production

The term which is called plastic is produced when different organic polymer is heated on changing temperature and pressure and assuming different shapes and forms upon moulding.

ways of plastic production

There are several ways that plastic can be produced, including:

  1. Polymerization:
  2. Blow molding
  3. Injection molding:
  4. Extrusion:
  5. Thermoforming:


Polymerization is a process which is mostly used in polymer production. It includes the chemical reaction of monomers (small molecules) to form a polymer (a large molecule). Polymerization can be achieved through different methods such as

  • addition polymerization,
  • condensation polymerization
  • and ring-opening polymerization.

Blow molding:

This is a process used to form hollow plastic products such as

  • Bottles
  • and containers.

It involves melting plastic pellets and blowing them into a frame to form the desired shape.

Injection molding:

This is a process used to form solid plastic products such as

  • Toys
  • and automotive parts.

It involves melting plastic pellets and injecting the molten plastic into a mold under high pressure to create the desired shape.


This is a process used to form plastic

  • Films
  • Sheets
  • and pipes.

It involves melting plastic pellets and imposing them through a die to form the desired shape.


This is a process used to produce plastic products with complex shapes, such as

  • packaging trays
  • and blister packs.

It includes heating a plastic sheet and then forming it into the desired shape by using frame or vacuum.


How much plastic is produced each year?

Plastic is used everywhere in the world and in 2020, it is estimated that nearly 368 million metric tons (or 811 billion pounds) of plastic are formed thorough out the world each year. This number has been progressively increasing over time, with plastic formation doubling every 20 years since the 1960s.

World wide Plastic production in last 4 years

Large production of plastic cause greater production of waste material, details of last 4 years are given below

Year Plastic waste production(in million metric tons)
2019  353
2020  367
2021 400
2022 Above 400


Plastic Recycling

The formation of new materials and products by using old waste product is called recycling

Plastic recycling is the process of

  • Collecting
  • Sorting
  • and processing plastic waste materials

to convert them into new products or raw materials.

This process includes breaking down larger fragments of plastic waste into smaller parts  and heating them down to form  new plastic products, which can be used again.

how much plastic is recycled every year

Every region and country has different capacity to recycled plastic. However, as per United Nations, 2020 data, the globally the rate of  plastic recycling is only around 9%. This means that the majority of plastic produced is not recycled and ends up in

  • Landfills
  • Oceans
  • or other natural environments.

The amount of plastic recycled can also differ by the type of plastic. For example,the recycling rate of  PET bottles (polyethylene terephthalate) are high than any  other types of plastic. According to the data given by International Association for PET Recycling, in 2020, nearly 1.5 million tons of PET bottles were  gathered  and recycled universely.

Types Of Plastic Recycling

There are several types of plastic recycling, including:

  1. Mechanical recycling
  2. Chemical recycling:
  3. Feedstock recycling:
  4. Pyrolysis:
  5. Biodegradable plastic recycling:

Mechanical recycling:

Most general method of plastic recycling is plastic recycling, where plastic materials are

  • Shredded
  • Washed
  • and heated upto melting down to form new plastic products.

This process is appropriate for most types of plastic and can be used again and again.

Chemical recycling:

In  this recycling, plastic are broken down into its components which after heating process can be used to form new and diferent product. This process is specially useful for hybrid or impure plastics that cannot be recycled using mechanical methods.

Feedstock recycling:

In this process plastics as a feedstock for chemical processes that form different materials, such as

  • fuel or
  • chemical feedstocks.


The process of giving heat to plastic in the absence of oxygen to torn it down into its initial chemical components. These components can then act as a raw material to form new plastic products or other chemicals.

Biodegradable plastic recycling:

Biodegradable plastics can be recycled using specialized composting facilities that break them down into organic matter.