Recycling of polymeric materials used for food packaging: Current status and perspectives
Packaging materials are currently considered an important source of environmental waste because of their great volume. Although for materials like glass, aluminum, and paperboard recycling has been rather extensively practiced, it proved to be a much more arduous task for polymeric materials because of their great variety and the coexistence/mixing of various polymers either as blends or as copolymers. Therefore, constructive approach to recycling would consist of reviewing its current status worldwide to make a comprehensive presentation of the current trends and the state of art techniques for plastic disposal, sorting, and recycling. Although mechanical, feedstock, and chemical recycling of polymers are thoroughly analyzed within the frame of this review, other alternatives such as landfill, incineration, pyrolysis, reuse and recovery, and composting are also presented and commented.