2002 Volume 81 Issue 11 Pages 988-998
Recycling of plastics has been attracting much attention in Japan and also in foreign countries. Recycling system is not easily introduced mainly due to its expensive cost. Economic evaluation of recycling, however, has not been fully investigated in Japan. In this study, fractionation, collection and processing of plastic waste in the residential and commercial sectors are taken into account. Especially the plasticswaste collection has been modeled quantitatively by using the regional mesh statistics and the reports on office survey provided by the Japanese government. Various kinds of plastics-recycling processes are evaluated from the viewpoint of both of life-cycle energy and economics. The evaluation results can be summarized as follows:
The PET reclamation has good performance of energy saving. However, it takes a lot of cost for collection, and this technology is not economically acceptable even if the recycled resin has the same value as the virgin one. Some simulations show that cost reduction is possible by decreasing the labor hour for plastics collection. Furthermore, some measures for voluntary collection of PET containers are most effective if the government thinks the plastics recycling is preferable from the viewpoint of the local and global environment.