Characterization of plastic beach debris finalized to its removal: a proposal for a recycling scheme

TitleCharacterization of plastic beach debris finalized to its removal: a proposal for a recycling scheme
Publication TypeArticolo su Rivista peer-reviewed
Year of Publication2017
AuthorsPietrelli, L., Poeta G., Battisti C., and Sighicelli M
JournalEnvironmental Science and Pollution Research
KeywordsBathing Beaches, concentration (composition), environmental management, Environmental monitoring, Fourier Transform Infrared, infrared spectroscopy, Italy, Marine pollution, plastic, Plastics, pollutant removal, polymer, Recycling, Spectroscopy, swimming, thermogravimetry

Characterization of beach debris is crucial to assess the strategy to answer questions such as recycling. With the aim to assess its use in a recycling scheme, in this note, we carried out a physical and chemical characterization of plastic litter from a pilot beach in Central Italy, using the FT-IR spectroscopy and thermoanalysis. Fourteen polymers, having mainly thermoplastic origin, were identified; among them, the most represented are polyethylene (41.7%) and polypropylene (36.9%). Chemical and mechanical degradation were clearly observed by an IR spectrum. The thermogravimetric analysis curve of the plastic blend shows the melting point at 120–140 °C, and degradation occurs almost totally in a one-step process within 300–500 °C. The high heating value of the plastic debris is 43.9 MJ kg−1. Polymer blends obtained by beach debris show mechanical properties similar to the virgin high-density polyethylene polymer. Following the beach plastic debris characterization, a recycling scheme was suggested. © 2017, Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany.


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