It is being assumed that all the thermoplastic polymer can be recycled. And we can undoubtedly recycle it. But most importantly, why this question arises regarding the recycling property of PVC, i.e., Polyvinyl Chloride, Resin Identification Code #3.
The PVC has a 1.38 g/cm3 density and very dense compared to most plastics.
Why we cannot recycle PVC?
PVC’s property includes its low price, clarity, chemical composition and UV resistance, natural barrier properties, and low melting temperature. It makes PVC is the best material for many types of applications, such as bottles, film, thermoform. However, the low melting temperature and chemical composition of PVC makes it particularly incompatible with conventional polymers. When even small amounts of PVC processed with other polymers, the PVC degrades into hydrochloric acid and chlorine, rendering large quantities of the polymer useless.
Since PVC sinks in water, it is problematic to remove conventional PET recycling systems. Currently, the number of PVC bottles in the post-consumer collected stream of plastic bottles is at such low levels that the bottles are not recycled and considered a contaminant.
So, the following is recommended in hopes that PVC bottle recycling may someday be a commercial opportunity.
Recycled PVC is intended to be used in new products. The new products are engineered to meet particular quality and durability standards. And it is given properties of typical recycled PVC. Additives designed to degrade the polymer diminish the life of the material in the primary use. If not removed in the recycling process, these additives shorten the useful life of the product made from the rPVC as well, possibly compromising quality and durability.