Scrap recyclers receive all kinds of plastics in their incoming material shipments. As we learned in a previous article, the upward trend to recycle plastics has caused an increased interest and involvement with plastics waste among recycling professionals. That means there’s an increased demand to identify the plastic type.
In order to accurately identify the plastic grades so they can sort them appropriately, recyclers rely on different resin identification methods.The most feasible and technologically advanced method is using a handheld Near Infrared (NIR) analyzer which is a powerful tool to enable rapid on-site screening and identification of plastics types.However, the oldest and most traditional method used – which is still common today, is the Burn n’ Sniff test. Just like it sounds, a flame is set to the sample and as the plastic drips and burns, it produces different flame colors, fumes, and odors. Depending upon those variables, a worker identifies the plastic type.
In this age of environmental awareness and health concerns, it seems like a bad idea, considering many plastics contain toxic materials. However, if you need more reasons to use modern technologies for plastic identification, take a look at this infographic.
View the Burn n’ Sniff Infographic