Polyvinyl chloride (PVC) is one of the most commonly used types of plastics in the world. From medical equipment to children’s’ toys, PVC can be found in many everyday products. Yet, what happens when you have no more use for those PVC products? Can you recycle it like other types of plastics?
While PVC can be recycled, it must go through a different process than other types of plastic. Read on to learn more:
Because PVC contains chloride, it cannot be recycled at your local recycling center. Instead, it must be recycled through other processes. The most common method for recycling PVC is through the mechanical recycling process. This process grinds plastic into a powder so that it can be repurposed for new products. The chlorine still remains in the PVC, but it dilutes the toxicity by mixing PVC with other materials.
Another way to recycle PVC is through the chemical recycling process. This method breaks down the plastic at the molecular level, removing the chlorine from the PVC material. Chemical recycling is far more complex and expensive than mechanical recycling. As a result, it’s not as commonly used as mechanical recycling, often reserved for contaminated materials (think medical equipment).