Influential parameters on natural weathering under harsh climatic conditions of mechanically recycled plastic film specimens.


Environment & Life Sciences Research Centre, Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research, P.O. Box: 24885, Safat 13109, Kuwait. Electronic address: [Email]


In this work, real life reclaimed plastic solid waste (PSW) secured from the municipal sector was mechanically recycled and compounded with virgin linear low density polyethylene (LLDPE). The compounding of the plastic film samples utilised the means of extrusion and blown filming to produce various formulations of the blends containing up to 100% (by weight) of the PSW in the examined specimens. The film samples were compared to market products used in the State of Kuwait where PSW accumulation presents a major obstacle. Natural weathering under arid and harsh climatic conditions was also performed to determine the degradation extent of the film samples. Haze (%), light transmission (%) and the total change in colour (ΔE) were measured as indicators to the degradation profile of the polymeric materials, in addition to tensile pull mechanical properties. Properties were noted to deteriorate as a function of weathering time and waste content. Statistical analysis was also performed on the properties measured and climatic conditions including airborne pollutants levels. The abundance of the secondary airborne pollutant (ozone) was determined to be a significant variable on the studied properties. This can be attributed to induced photo-oxidation the polymeric matrix is subjected to under such climatic conditions which increases oxygen diffusion throughout the polymeric matrix. Future development of the recycled blends studied in this work can be a route for the decrease of associated environmental stressors with virgin plastic resin conversion.


ANOVA,Plastic waste,Recycling,Waste management,Weathering,