Qatar is one of the largest producers of polymers in the Middle East, with a total annual turnover of $3.5 billion. The annual consumption of industrial and domestic polymers in the region generates significant amount of plastic waste in Qatar and in Gulf Corporation Countries (GCC). Recently, recycling of plastics has become an optimum waste management solution due to the efficiency of incorporating the plastic waste management stream into commodity and structural applications. One of the main obstacles in the region is collection and sorting of plastics, due to the variety and high volume of waste streams. To solve this problem, and to upgrade the recycled polymer applications, optimisation of additives and processing techniques were used in this work, such as the addition of glass fibre reinforcement, wood, mica and date palm fibre in selected volume fractions, in order to minimise the effect of the residual “secondary” polymers in the main composite.

A tremendous improvement has been achieved in the mechanical properties and the thermal stability of the selected systems, due to the synergistic effect of the complementing additives. In addition to their much-improved thermomechanical performance, the life cycle assessment (LCA) of the new recycled composites showed to have improved effect on the environment compared to the unadulterated systems. A complex analysis showing the interdependencies between the improved materials properties and the positive environmental impact is presented for the first time.


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