Plastic Waste and Recycling

Plastic Waste and Recycling

Environmental Impact, Societal Issues, Prevention, and Solutions

1st Edition - March 10, 2020

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  • Editor: Trevor Letcher
  • Paperback ISBN: 9780128178805
  • eBook ISBN: 9780128178812

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Plastic Waste and Recycling: Environmental Impact, Societal Issues, Prevention, and Solutions begins with an introduction to the different types of plastic materials, their uses, and the concepts of reduce, reuse and recycle before examining plastic types, chemistry and degradation patterns that are organized by non-degradable plastic, degradable and biodegradable plastics, biopolymers and bioplastics. Other sections cover current challenges relating to plastic waste, explain the sources of waste and their routes into the environment, and provide systematic coverage of plastic waste treatment methods, including mechanical processing, monomerization, blast furnace feedstocks, gasification, thermal recycling, and conversion to fuel. This is an essential guide for anyone involved in plastic waste or recycling, including researchers and advanced students across plastics engineering, polymer science, polymer chemistry, environmental science, and sustainable materials.

Key Features

  • Presents actionable solutions for reducing plastic waste, with a focus on the concepts of collection, re-use, recycling and replacement
  • Considers major societal and environmental issues, providing the reader with a broader understanding and supporting effective implementation
  • Includes detailed case studies from across the globe, offering unique insights into different solutions and approaches


Academia: Researchers and advanced students across plastics engineering, polymer science, polymer chemistry, environmental science, and sustainable materials. Industry: Scientists, R&D professionals and engineers, in the areas of plastics processing and products, plastics recycling

Table of Contents

  • 1. Introduction to plastic waste and recycling
    Trevor M. Letcher

    2. Production, use, and fate of synthetic polymers
    Roland Geyer

    3. The geography and geology of plastics: their environmental
    distribution and fate
    Sarah Gabbott, Sarah Key, Catherine Russell, Yasmin Yohan and
    Jan Zalasiewicz

    4. Biobased plastics
    Stephan Kabasci

    5. Biodegradable plastics
    Maja Rujnic Havstad

    6. Current industry position on plastic production and recycling
    Edward Kosior and Jonathan Mitchell

    7. Plastic waste in the terrestrial environment
    Rachel Hurley, Alice Horton, Amy Lusher and Luca Nizzetto

    8. The environmental impacts of plastic pollution
    Natalie A. Welden

    9. Microplastics: from origin to impacts
    Natalie A. Welden and Amy Lusher

    10. Textiles production and end-of-life management options
    Andreas Bartl

    11. Mechanical recycling of packaging waste
    Alexander Feil and Thomas Pretz

    12. Blast furnace feedstock and coke oven chemical feedstock
    Seiji Nomura

    13. Chemical routes for recyclingddissolving, catalytic, and
    thermochemical technologies
    Maija Pohjakallio and Tommi Vuorinen

    14. Conversion of plastic waste to fuel
    Mohanraj Chandran, Senthilkumar Tamilkolundu and
    Chandrasekar Murugesan

    15. The treatment of plastic in automobile shredder residue
    Alfons Buekens and Trevor M. Letcher

    16. Solutions to the plastic waste problem on land and in the
    Edward Kosior and Irene Crescenzi

    17. Plastics we cannot live without
    Sharon George

    18. Secondary plastic productsdexamples and market trends
    Maija Pohjakallio

    19. Plastic waste in a circular economy
    John N. Hahladakis, Eleni Iacovidou and Spyridoula Gerassimidou

    20. Ecological and health issues of plastic waste
    Cayla R. Cook and Rolf U. Halden

    21. Policy responses to plastic pollution in Asia: summary of a
    regional gap analysis
    Lewis Akenji, Magnus Bengtsson, Yasuhiko Hotta, Mizuki Kato and
    Matthew Hengesbaugh

    22. The challenge of plastic pollution in Nigeria
    Emeka Dumbili and Lesley Henderson

    23. Plastic waste in the United Kingdom
    Libby Peake

    24. European Union’s plastic strategy and an impact assessment
    of the proposed directive on tackling single-use plastics items
    Tim Elliott, Hannah Gillie and Alice Thomson

Product details

  • No. of pages: 686
  • Language: English
  • Copyright: © Academic Press 2020
  • Published: March 10, 2020
  • Imprint: Academic Press
  • Paperback ISBN: 9780128178805
  • eBook ISBN: 9780128178812

About the Editor

Trevor Letcher

Trevor Letcher
Professor Letcher was Professor of Chemistry, and Head of Department in South Africa (University of the Witwatersrand, Rhodes University and Natal) (1969 -2004). He has published over 300 papers on chemical thermodynamic topics in peer reviewed journals; and 100 papers in popular science and education journals. He has edited and written 28 books ranging from Future Energy Climate Change, Storing Energy, Wind Energy, Solar Energy, Managing Global Warming and Unraveling Environmental Disasters. He has been awarded gold medals by the South African Institute of Chemistry and the South African Association for the Advancement of Science. He is currently Emeritus Professor at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa and living in the United Kingdom.

Affiliations and Expertise

Emeritus Professor, School of Chemistry, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa

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