RE-USE AND RE-CYCLING OF AUTOMOBILE PLASTICS – A STEP TO MANAGE PLASTIC WASTE IN GHANA

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ABSTRACT
The main aims of this thesis were to identify the disposal and management of cars plastics part after use, find out the effect plastic waste brings to the Ghanaian environment and to identify measures of improving plastics waste management in the automotive sector, (end-of-life vehicle in accordance with European union deritives). Analysis the benefits of re-using or recycling of plastic waste in Ghana. This thesis done with a qualitative analysis by interviews and observations and was found that, most old plastics parts are usually re-used and that there were very little to do with recycling as Ghana did not have manufacturing car company plants. The plastics which are out of use and are beyond repairs are dumped at landfills. The thesis talks also of end of life vehicles legislation in the European Union and tried to find better ways of improving the waste in accordance with the EU directives. The internet has been main source for this thesis as most of the issues are global. The conclusion shows that, Ghana could solve plastic waste from automobiles if government bodies, companies and individuals adapt to change. As the main problem was found to be the attitude of the people and lack of education.


TABLE OF CONTENTS

1 Introduction
            1.1 Aims and Objectives
            1.2 Scope of Studies
            1.3 Literature Sources
            1.4 Limitation of the Study
            1.5 Description and situation plastic waste of area

2 Literature Review
            2.1 The history and growth trend of automobile plastics
            2.1.1 Materials composition
            2.1.2 Automobile polymers / plastics
            2.1.3 Importance of plastics in cars
            2.1.4 Interior and Exterior applications of plastics in cars
            2.2 Engineering plastics applicable in automobiles
            2.2.1 Polycarbonate PC
            2.2.2 Polyurethanes, PUR
            2.2.3 High density Polyethylene,(HD-PE)
            2.2.4 Polypropylene, PP
            2.2.5 Polyamide, PA
            2.2.6 Acrylonitrile butadiene styrene, ABS
            2.2.7 Polymethyl methacrylate, PMMA
            2.2.8 Polyphenylene oxides, PPO
            2.2.9 Polybutylene terephthalate
            2.2.10 PVC Polyvinyl chloride,PVC
            2.2.11 Composites
            2.3 Methods of plastic waste management
            2.3.1 Sources of plastics waste
            i. Industrial waste
            ii. Commercial waste
            iii. Municipal waste
2.3.2 Identifying and sorting plastics
a. Manual sorting:
b. Density based:
c. Selective dissolution:
2.3.3 Plastic Waste Recycling Processes
a. Mechanical Recycling
b. Feedstock or Chemical Recycling
c. Energy Recovery
2.4 End of life vehicles (ELVs)
2.4.1 History of End of Life Vehicle
2.4.2 Principles and philosophy ELVs
2.4.3 End-of-Life Issues
2.4.4 End-of-Life Vehicle Recycling in European Union(EU)
2.4.5 Present ELV Reprocessing in the EU
2.4.6 Expectations for ELV Recycling
2.4.7 End of life vehicles in Finland

3 Methodology
            3.1 Observation
            3.2 Interview
            3.2.1 The selection criteria
            3.2.2 The process

4 Results and Interpretation of interview and observation

5 Discussion

6 Conclusion
            6.1 Recommendations
            6.1.1 On the national level:
            6.1.2 The assembly level:
            6.1.3 The car dealers:
            6.1.4 Individual level:


7    References


1   Introduction
The use of plastics has seen a tremendous increment from domestic household through agricultural to industrial application; one industrial application is in the automobile industry. The advancement seen in technology in the world today can be attributed to the evolution of plastics which has made most of these possible. Examples of such are credits cards, computers, modern range of television, compact disc not forgetting the countless contributions in the health sector like implants, capsules, dissolvable bags to wash infected and dirty clothes, respiratory machines and accessories.. There have been many concerns raised about the danger plastics imposed on our community from domestic, commercial and industry sectors.


1.1  Aims and Objectives

The main objectives of this thesis are to:

a)      Identify the disposal and management of car plastics part after use.

b)      Find out the effect plastic waste brings to the Ghanaian environment.

c)      Identify mesures of improving plastics waste management in the automotive sector, (end-of-life vehicle in accordance with European union deritives).

d)     Analysis the benefits of re-using or recycling of plastic waste in Ghana.


1.2  Scope of Studies

This thesis is to help identify better ways of controlling the waste generated in Ghana. As stated in the objectives, it is to concentrate only on plastic waste in automobiles. The studies is to be limited to main plastic parts of an average car.These parts includes batteries casing, dashbord, seat cushion,bumper, head lamps and wash-liquid tank and a mention is made of other parts chapter 2.

1.3  Literature Sources


The main source of information has being the internet. Information were either collected from journals, technical reports on international research thesis on plastic waste recycling, pilot projects, press releases on recycling and findings of research centers.

1.4  Limitation of the Study

The major drawback to this thesis was non-availability of funds for the writer to spend ample time in Ghana. However, the writer was able to dedicate some hours during her practical training period to gather useful information though little on this thesis. In spite of visiting car shops and the Driver and Vehicle Licenses Authority (DVLA), there was not much information given as the DVLA needed much time to attend to the writer’s request. The recycling of plastics is at the very beginning stage on the Ghanaian market thus not much information could be obtained and the few gathered could not be compared to any historical ideas, so it was basically the European standard used as the writer lived in Europe. Few points are also drawn from the Finnish car recycling system. The magazine association of Ghana has being the only informal group for car fitters and spare parts dealers and have operated not with any well documented information, thus most of the gathered information could not be well ascertained since they were given verbally by shop attendants. Plastic bags have been the major contributor of plastics waste and they are on high re-use and re-cycling scale.

1.5  Description and situation plastic waste of area


Ghana with a population of 24,223,431, is in the west of Africa. The main sources of plastic waste in Ghana include the following; food and beverages, furniture, automobile, agriculture, health; This thesis will be concentrated on Suame Magazine in Kumasi, Ashanti Region of Ghana, as the subject of automobile waste cannot be studied without taking Suame Magazine into account. Magazine is one of Africa’s largest light-industrial areas and it forms the largest automobile land for Ghana. The area is filled with polluted industrial waste and noisy, auto-mechanical workshops; it also serves as resident for people.

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This is a General Thesis for both Undergraduate & Postgraduate Studies. The complete research material plus questionnaire and references can be obtained at an affordable price of N3,000 within Nigerian or its equivalent in other currencies.


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