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U.S. Navy Shipboard-Generated Plastic Waste Pilot Recycling Program
Research and development rept. Apr 1990-Jan 1991
DAVID TAYLOR RESEARCH CENTER BETHESDA MD SHIP MATERIALS ENGINEERING DEPT
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From April 1990 through January 1991, the feasibility of recycling Navy shipboard-generated plastic wastes was explored. Normally, plastic wastes are source separated aboard Navy ships and retained for shoreside disposal in accordance with new fleet requirements implementing MARPOL Annex V that prohibits the discharge of plastics at sea. Over 23,000 pounds of shipboard plastic wastes from USS Lexington AVT 16 and ships from the Norfolk Naval Base were recycled into park benches, picnic tables and carstops that have been distributed back to the Navy bases for use. Navy shipboard plastics must undergo sorting prior to recycling because Navy plastic waste contains large quantities of composite plastic items e.g., plasticpaper that are not easily recyclable. Recycling food-contaminated plastics is not practical due to sanitation problems encountered during handling. However, certain items have good resale value if separated by resin type and color e.g., sonobuoy casings, hard plastic containers, packaging films. Education, feedback, and command support for shipboard recycling programs are required to ensure maximum participation and to minimize contamination with non-plastic items. Specially marked plastics only containers increase convenience and effectiveness of the recycling program.
APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE