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Title: Limits to plastics recycling in the developing and developed economy
Author: Haque, Anisul
ISNI:       0000 0004 2743 2954
Awarding Body: Imperial College London
Current Institution: Imperial College London
Date of Award: 1998
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Plastic waste recycling is not just an activity developed under environmental pressure, rather it has been inspired by a number of economic and social reasons especially in some of the developing countries, e.g. Bangladesh and India. Contrary to UK cities, mechanical recycling for post-user plastics in Dhaka, Calcutta and Delhi is widespread, and carried out under an informal sector, with highly significant economic and social implications for the citizens. The existing barriers and future potential difficulties at different levels of economic progress are described. Nevertheless, the uncertainty related to polymeric properties' degradation over the course of successive recyclings has important concerns in both parts of the world. It was hypothesised that, depending on the rate and nature of the degradation, recycled plastic materials will become useless at an earlier stage in the case of closed-loop recycling system of the developing world than the open-loop system of the developed world. Some of the mechanical and rheological properties of a total of 15 different batches of High Density Polyethylene general scraps were determined against their successive numbers of times processed previously in Dhaka, Calcutta and Delhi. A catastrophic fall occurred in the 'stress at yield' and 'strain at break' properties of the batches processed previously more than 6 times, along with a steady decrease and a small increase in their `stress at break' and 'melt flow rate', respectively. The results for virgin HDPE reprocessed in-house up to 15 times under known processing conditions also indicates that a substantial drop in mechanical properties occurred after around 4-5 number of processings. Future scenarios of closed-loop plastics recycling in Bangladesh are determined through developing some mathematical models, in order to test the hypothesis proposed in this study. Consequences related to these scenarios are discussed. A comparative study has also been carried out from a UK perspective, representing the developed economy, through literature research and a questionnaire survey. Finally, recommendations for future study are made.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available