What You Need to Know About Polycarbonate Recycling

Polycarbonate is a widely applicable plastic with great characteristics like high impact resistance, good geometrical stability, and high light transmission. As a result, this plastic is often used in car headlight covers, bullet-proof glass, and a wide range of applications. The wide range of applications for which polycarbonate is a suitable plastic results in it being one of the most largely produced thermoplastics in the world, with approximately 3 million tons of it being produced annually.

Is Polycarbonate Recyclable?

Polycarbonate plastics are fully recyclable, when polycarbonate products are manufactured, they should be marked with a recycling number in a recycling triangle.  There is not a specific number for polycarbonate, but there should be a number “7”. 

Symbol 7 including the word “OTHER” stands for “other plastics,” which include, but are not limited to, acrylic plastic, polycarbonate plastic. Not every plastic can be recycled. However, polycarbonate can be recycled and can be repurposed for future projects. For symbol 7 plastics, be sure to confirm with your local recycling program.

How Is Polycarbonate Recycled?

In order to be recycled, thermoplastics must be heated to the point where they melt – for polycarbonate, that point is 311 degrees Fahrenheit. This characteristic makes it ideal for recycling and means it can be used in a new way once its initial use is over.

Heat recycling

Sort the materials to separate out other polymers and other materials from polycarbonate. then remove any contaminants from the material that might compromise the quality of the end product. Once the Polycarbonate has been sorted and washed, it will be shredded and melted down to form granulate/pellets.

Chemical recycling

One method of recycling polycarbonate is chemical recycling. Polycarbonate is made to react with phenol in the presence of a catalyst to form BPA and DPC monomers. After purification, both these monomers are used to produce the polymer.

Applications of Recycled Polycarbonate

Recycled polycarbonate may show lesser resilience and has reduced impact resistance when compared to newly manufactured ones. Chemicals can be used to improve impact resistance in recycled polycarbonate and they could be used for most of the applications that virgin polycarbonate is used. Such as:

  • headlamp lenses,
  • components,
  • traffic lights,
  • greenhouses,
  • clear plastic sheets,
  • conservatory roofing


The “chasing arrows” symbol can help you better understand what type of plastic you are using and if it is recyclable at the receptacle. Separating plastics accordingly helps waste management professionals ensure that the right materials end up in the right place.

As a leading polycarbonate manufacturer in China, KUSLA offers entirely recyclable polycarbonate sheets, polycarbonate rods, Polycarbonate films and polycarbonate tubes and We are dedicated to building an environment-friendly world.