Unknown Plastic Waste Workflow

From Open Source Ecology
Jump to: navigation, search


  • In recycling it is best done with pre-sorting and/or labels/indicators on the plastic itself
  • In most collection systems this is do-able
  • The main area where this becomes an issue are small debris and/or degraded plastic
  • This is common in picking up waste such as Beach Plastic
  • Thus in order to aid in recycling efforts a sorting and processing workflow is needed
  • This page also assumes the user does not have a Plastic Type Sensor available
  • So far this page's process is mainly done via sink/float tanks, but we should also look into:

Process Proposal 1


  • Uses float/sink seperation using these media:
    • Water
    • Brine / Concentrated Salt Water
    • Oil (most likely canola/rapeseed or mixed plant oil, but any oil should work)
    • Potentially any alchohol, or sugar solution?

Pre-Sorting Processing

  • Plastic is collected
  • It is then held in "dirty side bulk storage" (most likely spread on tarps)
  • It is then photographed to easily document composition/type of products for data gathering purposes
  • It is then rinsed in water, cleaned with soap water, then rinsed to remove general dirt and salts
  • Then it is shredded
  • Then it is moved on "pre-sorted clean bluk storage"


  • The liquid sink/float process is used to sort the plastic in phases
  • **Need to determine how to seperate #7, or if that is even in a significant concentration**


  • All plastic flakes, after being sorted are air-dried by being spread out on tarps etc
  • They are then put into the "sorted clean bulk storage" and/or used in the various plastic forming machines
  • The remaining unknowns, and all thermosets, are then sent to be pyrolysed and/or gassified

Flow Charts


  • Was done in a discord discussion, good concept, incorrect liquid workflow


  • Proper liquid workflow, but used numbers instead of names, and **Does not account for type 7**
  • Also does not include post brine/alchohol rinse (to return the flakes to water only), optional drying (to keep less water from entering the oil), and post oil/sugar washing

Internal Links

External Links