Recycling Plastic Parts

A recent report from the Plastics Industry Association has results from the first phase of the association’s End-of-Life (ELV) Recycling Demonstration Project. The project examines the viability of collecting and reprocessing plastic auto parts so that they can be recycled into other automotive applications. The project, which will continue into two more phases, looked at 19 companies and organizations that have created methodologies for creating new sources of recycled plastics out of scrap materials from cars. It placed an emphasis on plastic bumpers, chosen for the consistency of their original material makeup and their ready availability.

The report says that recyclers and processors who took part in the project were able to convert bumpers made of thermoplastic polyolefins (TPO)—a durable plastic—into raw plastic materials that feature many of the same qualities as newly manufactured TPO materials. The report suggests such recycled materials could be used for less-intensive applications on vehicles and that the results indicate a large-scale recovery model for automotive plastics is highly feasible.