Plastic Wastes

Management, Control, Recycling and Disposal


  • T. Randall Curlee, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, TN, USA
  • Sujit Das, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, TN, USA

Plastic wastes in the municipal solid waste (MSW) stream and in the industrial sector are discussed in this book. Quantities of plastic wastes generated, characterization of the wastes, their environmental impact, and management of the waste stream are described. Also covered are costs of recycling processes, technology, and energy considerations.
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Environmental engineers and technicians concerned with plastic waste in municipal and industrial sectors.


Book information

  • Published: December 1991
  • ISBN: 978-0-8155-1265-3

Table of Contents

Part I. Wastes in the Municipal Solid Waste Stream Executive Summary - Findings and Conclusions Scope of the Report Summary of Major Findings and Action Items1. Introduction2. Production, Use, and Disposal of Plastics and Plastic Products 2.1 Summary of Key Findings 2.2 Technological Overview 2.3 Production and Consumption Statistics 2.4 Major End Use Markets for Plastics 2.5 Disposition of Plastics into the Solid Waste Stream References3. Impacts of Plastic Debris on the Marine Environment 3.1 Summary of Key Findings 3.2 Types and Sources of Plastic Debris 3.3 Fate of Persistent Marine Debris 3.4 Effects of Plastic Debris 3.5 Summary References4. Impacts of Post-Consumer Plastics Waste on the Management of Municipal Solid Waste 4.1 Summary of Key Findings 4.2 Landfilling 4.3 Incineration 4.4 Litter References5. Options to Reduce the Impacts of Post-Consumer Plastics Wastes 5.1 Summary of Key Findings 5.2 Introduction to the Examination of Plastic Waste Management Strategies 5.3 Source Reduction 5.4 Recycling 5.5 Degradable Plastics 5.6 Additional Programs to Mitigate the Effects of Plastic Waste References6. Objectives and Action Items 6.1 Objectives for Improving Municipal Solid Waste Management 6.2 Objectives for Handling Problems Outside the MSW Management SystemAppendix A: - Statutory and Regulatory Authorities Available to EPA and Other Federal Agencies A.1 Summary of Findings A.2 Legislation Controlling the Disposal of Plastic Wastes from Vessels into Navigable Waters A.3 Legislation Controlling the Disposal of Plastic Wastes from Land Sources to Navigable Waters A.4 Disposal of Plastic Waste from Any Source onto Land A.5 Other Legislation that Influences the Manufacture or Discard of Plastic Materials ReferencesAppendix B: - State and Local Recycling Efforts ReferencesAppendix C: - Substitutes for Lead and Cadmium Additives for Plastics C.1 Introduction C.2 Substitute Colorants and Their Properties C.3 Substitute Stabilizers and Their Properties ReferencesPart II. Recycling in the Industrial SectorExecutive Summary1. Introduction2. Plastic Waste Projections 2.1 Projected U.S. Resin Production and Use 2.2 Projections of Manufacturing Nuisance Plastics 2.3 Projections of Post-Consumer Plastic Wastes3. The Energy Content of Plastic Wastes 3.1 The Energy Content of Plastics 3.2 The Aggregate Energy Content of Manufacturing and Post-Consumer Plastics4. The Cost of Recycling Versus Disposal 4.1 Summary of Previous Assessment 4.2 Recent Estimates of the Cost of Disposal 4.3 Recent Estimates of the Cost of Recycling5. An Update of Recent Institutional Changes that May Promote Recycling 5.1 Industry Sponsored Groups 5.2 Public Sector Actions6. Recent Legislative and Regulatory Actions 6.1 Local and State Actions 6.2 Federal Actions 6.3 Implications for Plastics Recycling7. The Potential for Divertable Plastic Waste 7.1 Scenario Development 7.2 Estimated Quantities of DPW 7.3 Summary8. Plastics Recycling from the Current Industry's Perspective9. ConclusionsAppendix: - Plastic Waste Projections: Methodology and Assumptions A.1 Introduction A.2 Historical and Projected U.S. Resin Production and Use A.3 Post-Consumer Plastic Waste Projections