Blog

What is waste management?

When we talk about waste management, we refer to all the actions and processes involved in the collection, transport, treatment and final disposal of plastic waste, that is, in taking care of a waste or object, whether it is going to be disposed of or is going to be recycled and reused. This includes sorting different types of waste, separating it from other materials, disposing of it safely and minimizing its environmental impact. As for the management of plastic waste, this process shares the same initial journey as the rest of the waste until it is labelled and separated according to its type and specific characteristics.

In relation to waste management processes, the following main stages can be highlighted:

First of all, the collection stage is carried out, where the waste is collected separately or in specific containers, depending on its type and characteristics. This collection is carried out through selective collection systems or through conventional containers, with the aim of guaranteeing a correct classification of waste.

Secondly, the waste identification and classification stage is carried out, where both the collected material and the origin of the waste are analyzed. These can be of domestic, commercial, industrial, sanitary or agricultural origin. To identify the collected material, we have the help of a laboratory, where its classification is carried out. The material is discharged into a sorting line or triage plant, which makes it possible to determine which materials are contaminated or cannot be recycled, and which are suitable for the recycling process.

In third place we find the production stage, a crucial stage in which there are various opportunities for companies to be more sustainable. To this end, within this approach, the main objectives are to reduce energy consumption, optimize the use of materials and reduce waste generation, among others.

The distribution stage is the next step in the circular economy process, and a fundamental step to continue with this sustainability chain, as it not only involves optimising transport from the point of production to the point of distribution or the end consumer, but also working on aspects such as packaging, which should be recyclable, reusable, made from recycled materials, or designed to reduce their weight/volume.

 


Thirdly, the waste treatment stage is carried out, where it is subjected to various processes with the aim of reducing its volume, eliminating hazardous substances and transforming it into reusable or recoverable materials. These treatments can include composting, recycling, controlled incineration, among other methods.

Finally, in the disposal stage, when the waste cannot be treated or recovered, it is finally disposed of. This involves their disposal in landfills or specialized facilities, strictly following environmental and health and safety regulations.

However, by focusing on the management of plastic waste, once the plastic has been separated from the rest of the waste and has been labelled and differentiated according to its type and material, a different process is carried out. At this stage, plastic waste undergoes different treatment processes, such as shredding, washing, separation, and granulation. However, not all plastics are created equal, and some require different recycling processes. This is why there are two types of recycling: mechanical and chemical recycling.

In mechanical recycling, the plastic material is chopped and fed into an extruder to make recycled pellets, which are then transformed by extrusion. This method is used to recycle plastics such as bottles, containers, bags, among others.

 

On the other hand, when it comes to chemical recycling, it is carried out when plastics cannot be recycled using traditional mechanical methods, such as multi-laminated plastics or mixtures of different types of plastic. Through this process, plastic waste is degraded and transformed into new chemicals or fuels. Unlike mechanical recycling, which is based on the physical transformation of plastic, chemical recycling uses decomposition and chemical reaction processes to convert plastic waste into useful substances. This is why chemical recycling offers an alternative to make the most of plastic waste and reduce its environmental impact.

In this context, at Fych Technologies, we have a clear and ambitious vision for the future of waste management. We believe we can play a critical role in transforming how waste is managed by working closely with plastic packaging manufacturers and conducting extensive research on post-consumer and post-industrial waste.

We work daily in collaboration with plastic packaging manufacturing companies to establish strategic alliances that allow us to access a greater amount of post-consumer plastic waste, in addition to carrying out pioneering research in the field of chemical recycling, carrying out tests and experiments to find innovative solutions for the recycling of plastics that cannot be reused through traditional mechanical methods. 

In conclusion, plastic waste management is a complex process that requires coordinated and conscious actions to reduce its generation, encourage recycling and minimize its environmental impact. Mechanical and chemical recycling processes are a fundamental part of this management, as they make the most of plastic waste and contribute to environmental sustainability. It is important to promote awareness and active participation of society in the management of plastic waste, as well as to encourage research and development of innovative technologies for the treatment and recycling of these materials.

en_GB