With the increasing trend of recycling and recovering from waste and initiatives towards the preservation of non-renewable resources, the process of deriving chemicals and oil (petroleum) from waste plastic is gaining momentum. Waste plastic, broken down into petroleum, contains more energy than coal and hence is a profitable way of recovering energy. A number of companies entering the business those collect and convert waste plastic into clean fuel, proving both economically and environmentally beneficial. The advent of ‘plastic generation’, created serious issues that revolved around plastic usage and its disposability.
Countries all over the world face issues of waste management and landfills. The US alone has been producing over 31 million tons of plastic, out of which a very small percentage is recycled. Over the years, various solutions proposed (diversion, burning, etc.) have not been cost effective, energy efficient or environmentally sound. Countries with a specialised focus on waste management strategies have provided incentives for organisations to take initiative in recovery of energy through viable means. Extracting energy from waste plastic is done through a process called pyrolysis- a process that melts plastic in the absence of oxygen, turning it into petroleum. Globally, a number of companies have been attempting to commercialise this technology, however only few have managed to get a foothold in the market. Organizations in this industry buy waste plastic from local sanitation companies and process it in the manufacturing plants with almost extracting 80% fuel from the plastic.