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Page 363
Suggested Citation:"Appendix I: Glossary." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2023. Recycled Plastics in Infrastructure: Current Practices, Understanding, and Opportunities. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/27172.
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Page 363
Page 364
Suggested Citation:"Appendix I: Glossary." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2023. Recycled Plastics in Infrastructure: Current Practices, Understanding, and Opportunities. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/27172.
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Page 364
Page 365
Suggested Citation:"Appendix I: Glossary." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2023. Recycled Plastics in Infrastructure: Current Practices, Understanding, and Opportunities. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/27172.
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Page 365
Page 366
Suggested Citation:"Appendix I: Glossary." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2023. Recycled Plastics in Infrastructure: Current Practices, Understanding, and Opportunities. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/27172.
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Page 366

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Appendix I Glossary Closed-loop recycling: Recycling a product into the same type of product, for example, if plastic water bottles are recycled into new plastic water bottles. Dry method: Method in which recycled plastics are added directly into an asphalt mixture as either aggregate replacement, mixture modifier, binder modifier, or a combination thereof [as defined in NCHRP Project 9-66 Interim Report]. Infrastructure: The basic, large-scale physical facilities and networks (e.g., roads, ports, airports, electric transmission lines supplies, drinking water and wastewater systems, buildings, and electric transmission systems) needed to enable, sustain, and enhance society [derived from ASCE 2018]. Material Recovery Facility: Solid-waste management plant that processes recyclable plastics waste to sell to manufacturers as raw materials for new products [adapted from Encyclopedia Britannica]. Microplastics: Plastics waste less than 5 mm in diameter [adapted from NOAA 2021]. Mixed Plastics: Plastic products that are not of a single resin/polymer type and therefore require further sorting, cleaning, and processing before they can be used in future manufacturing [adapted from presentation from Ross Guppy and Filippo Giustozzi to the Committee]. Open-loop recycling: Recycling a product into a different type of product, for example, if plastic water bottles are recycled into storm water pipes. Plastics: Synthetic polymers made from petroleum products and other natural sources. 363

364 RECYCLED PLASTICS IN INFRASTRUCTURE Plastics upcycling: To recycle plastic in a way that the resulting product is of higher value than the original item [adapted from Merriam-Webster Dictionary]. Polymer: Chemical compound that is made of small molecules that are arranged in a simple repeating structure to form a larger molecule. Polymers can be natural (e.g., silk) or synthetic (e.g., nylon). Post-consumer recycled plastic: Plastic material diverted from waste products that have served a previous consumer purpose (e.g., laundry detergent containers) [adapted from AASHTO Standard M 294-21]. Post-industrial recycled plastic: Plastic materials diverted from the waste stream during a manufacturing process that have never reached the end user [adapted from AASHTO Standard M 294-21]. Reclaiming: Conversion of collected waste polymer back into usable polymer through decontamination including sorting, cleaning, heating, and extrusion [adapted from McKinsey & Company 2019]. Recycling: Process of collecting and processing materials that would otherwise be thrown away as trash and turning them into new products [USEPA 2021]. Repurposing: Giving a new purpose or use to a given product [adapted from Merriam-Webster Dictionary]. Thermoplastics: Synthetic resins that have the ability to retain their molecular structure when exposed to heat. When heated to their melting point, thermoplastics will melt rather than burn, making them ideal for shaping and forming. Thermoplastics are recyclable. Thermoset Plastics: Synthetic resins that form a well-defined and irreversible chemical network. Because of their three-dimensional network, thermosets are typically hard and rigid, have higher temperature resistance than thermoplastics, but are rarely recycled because of low economic feasibility [adapted from Sastri 2022 and AlMaadeed et al., 2020]. Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs): A group of carbon-based chemicals that are easily evaporated anywhere from 50°C to 250°C [adapted from presentation from Ross Guppy and Filippo Giustozzi to the Committee]. Wet method: Method in which recycled plastics are added into the asphalt binder as a polymer modifier or asphalt replacement using mechanical mixing at high temperatures to produce a reasonably homogeneous recycled plastic modified (RPM) binder [as defined in NCHRP Project 9-66 Interim Report].

APPENDIX I 365 REFERENCES AlMaadeed, M. A., Ponnamma, D., and El-Samak, A. 2020. Polymers to improve the world and lifestyle: Physical, mechanical, and chemical needs. In Polymer Science and Innovative Applications (pp. 1-19). Elsevier. https://doi.org/10.1016/B978-0-12-816808-0.00001-9 American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) M 294-21. 2021. Standard Specification for Corrugated Polyethylene Pipe, 300- to 1500-mm (12- to 60-in.) Diameter. AASHTO Materials Specification. Washington, DC. American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE). 2018. What Is Infrastructure? https://www. youtube.com/watch?v=wpvbVyUCi78 Encyclopedia Britannica. n.d. Materials Recovery Facility. https://www.britannica.com/ technology/materials-recovery-facility McKinsey & Company. 2019. Accelerating Plastic Recovery in the United States. https://www. mckinsey.com/industries/chemicals/our-insights/accelerating-plastic-recovery- in-the-united-states Merriam-Webster Dictionary. n.d. https://www.merriam-webster.com National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). 2021. What Are Microplastics? https://oceanservice.noaa.gov/facts/microplastics.html NCHRP Project 9-66 Interim Report. 2021. Performance of Properties of Laboratory Pro- duced Recycled Plastic Modified (RPM) Asphalt Binders and Mixtures. https://online- pubs.trb.org/Onlinepubs/nchrp/docs/NCHRP9-66InterimReportwithAppendixFINAL. pdf Sastri, V. R. 2022. Materials used in medical devices. In Plastics in Medical Devices, 3rd Edition (pp. 41-64). William Andrew Publishing. https://www.sciencedirect.com/ book/9780323851268/plastics-in-medical-devices U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA). 2021. The U.S. Recycling System. https:// www.epa.gov/recyclingstrategy/us-recycling-system

Next: Appendix J: Overview of Plastics by Resin Identification Code (RIC) »
Recycled Plastics in Infrastructure: Current Practices, Understanding, and Opportunities Get This Book
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In the U.S., most plastics waste is disposed in landfills, but a significant amount also ends up as litter on land, rivers, and oceans. Today, less than 10 percent of plastics waste is recycled in the U.S. annually. The use of recycled plastics in infrastructure applications has potential to help expand the market and demand for plastics recycling.

These are among the findings in TRB Special Report 347: Recycled Plastics in Infrastructure: Current Practices, Understanding, and Opportunities from the Transportation Research Board of the National Academy of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine.

The report emphasizes that pursuing the recycling of plastics in infrastructure depends on goals, policy, and economics. To that end, life cycle economic and environmental assessments should be conducted to inform policies on plastics waste reuse.

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