Alternatives for Processing Plastics with Recycle Codes from 3 to 7
Cuevas Colón, Bianka J.
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Solid waste management represents a challenge for Puerto Rico. According to the Department of Natural and Environmental Resources (2019), more than half of the landfills have a closure order and only type one and two plastics are recy-cled on the island. On the other side, plastics will never biodegrade (Harris, 2019). This is why it is important to look for alternatives to decrease the impact of plastic pollution on the environment. This research developed an equipment to allow the use of plasma to process plastic. Ten samples of type five plastic were subjected to different time exposures to plasma to evaluate the perfor-mance of the equipment. It was obtained that by exposing the plastic to plasma for two minutes, two percent (2%) of its initial weight was reduced, with no sig-nificant reduction in volume. It is recommended to continue testing exposure time, and to continue with a phase 2 of the research, consisting on evaluating the residuals of the process (both solid and gas phases).