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This paper is a review of plastic industry sponsored studies 1966–1974 concerning the disposal, recycling, and recovery of plastics from solid wastes. Due to inherent problems in separating clean fractions of specific polymers from a heterogeneous mixture of municipal solid wastes, the recovery of energy appears to offer the greatest potential in plastics resource recovery. Nevertheless, the plastics industry continues to investigate new technology aimed at sorting plastics from mixed wastes and to search for markets for these materials.
conservation, reclamation, materials recovery, plastics
Technical director, High Density Polyethylene, ARCO Polymers Inc., Monaca, Pa.