Can abs be recycled? (3 ways to recycle ABS) 

This article covers some important aspects of ABS plastic and answers the following questions:

  • Is it recyclable?
  • What is the best method to recycle ABS plastic and what specific instructions should a normal user follow?
  • How to recycle?
  • Where to recycle?
  • Is ABS plastic biodegradable?
  • Are there any better alternatives in the market?

Can abs be recycled?

Yes, ABS plastic is recyclable. Recycling ABS plastic can help reduce the large amount of waste that ends up in the environment and conserve the natural environment by using recycled alternatives to produce new products. 

It can be recycled either by mechanical or chemical methods. Mechanical recycling of ABS plastic involves collecting, drawing, and shredding the plastic into small pieces that can be melted and moulded into new products. 

Chemical recycling involves breaking down the plastic into its monomers by using certain chemicals to produce new plastic but chemical recycling is often too expensive due to which the preferred method is mechanical recycling.

It’s important to note that ABS plastic can also be recycled in combination with other plastics, similar to polycarbonate and polystyrene, to produce new alternatives with better properties.   

How to recycle ABS and where?

When it comes to the recycling of ABS, there are some steps that can be taken at a personal level. These steps include

  • You may dispose of ABS in recycling bins. These are the green-coloured bins that are intended for recycling purposes. 
  • You may also contact local recycling centres and can arrange pickups and drop-offs. 
  • You may also search for nearby recycling centres. There are various store locators present online that can assist you in this task. 
  • Other than recycling, you can also consider reusing domestically for various purposes and DIY projects. 

What’s the best way to recycle abs plastic and what is the instruction for a normal consumer? (3 ways) 

The best way to recycle ABS plastic depends on the original recycling structure and the specific guidelines provided by the recycling facility. Still, there are some general instructions for recycling ABS plastic as a normal consumer.

  • Check if ABS plastic is accepted for recycling in your area Not all recycling programs accept ABS plastic, so it’s important to check with your local recycling facility to see if they accept ABS plastic.  
  • Before recovering ABS plastic, it should be cleaned of any pollutants similar as food remainders, dirt etc. This helps to ensure that the plastic can be duly reused and recycled.  
  • Separate ABS plastic from other types of plastic and place it in the applicable recycling bin. However, consider contacting a private recycling facility that does, If your recycling program doesn’t accept ABS plastic.  

Is ABS plastic biodegradable?  

No, ABS plastic isn’t biodegradable. It’s a synthetic polymer that’s deduced from petrochemicals, and it isn’t biodegradable in the traditional sense. 

The chemicals in ABS are very strong, too strong for microorganisms to break them down. This means that ABS plastic doesn’t break down into natural compounds when exposed to the soil and can persist for a long time in the ecosystem.

Still, there are efforts to make ABS plastic more environmentally friendly through recycling and the development of biodegradable alternatives. Recycling programs for ABS plastic are getting more current, and recycled ABS plastic can be used to make new products, reducing the quantum of waste generated.   

Is ABS plastic sustainable?

ABS plastic isn’t considered a sustainable material, as it’s derived from non-renewable petrochemicals and isn’t biodegradable in the traditional sense. Still, efforts are being made to make ABS plastic more sustainable through recycling and the development of biodegradable alternatives.

It is, however, important to note that biodegradable plastics can still have negative environmental impacts if they aren’t disposed of properly, and recycling alone may not be enough to make ABS plastic sustainable. To truly achieve sustainability, it may be necessary to reduce overall plastic consumption and shift towards further environmentally friendly alternatives.  

Are there currently any biodegradable alternatives available or in development?

Yes, there are several alternatives to ABS plastic that are considered more sustainable and environmentally friendly. Some  examples include:

  • Bioplastics: Bioplastics are derived from renewable sources such as sugarcane, or potatoes and are biodegradable or compostable. Examples include PLA (polylactic acid), PHA ( polyhydroxyalkanoate), and PBS (polybutylene succinate).
  • Polycarbonate(PC): Polycarbonate is a durable and impact-resistant plastic that’s generally used in operations as an alternative to ABS plastic.
  • Polypropylene(PP): Polypropylene is a  protean plastic that’s generally used in packaging, automotive parts, and consumer goods. It’s light, durable, and can be recycled.  
  • Polyethene (PE): Polyethylene is an extensively used plastic that’s generally used in packaging, consumer goods, and agrarian operations. It is easier to recycle than ABS.

Among all of the above, only bioplastics are biodegradable but still, the use of recycled plastic is a sustainable way, as it helps to reduce waste and conserve nature.  While each of these alternatives has its own set of advantages and disadvantages, they’re generally considered more sustainable than ABS plastic.


It is concluded that ABS can be recycled because it is a synthetic polymer. You may contact curbside recycling or dispose of it in recyclable bins to achieve this purpose. 

ABS plastic is non-biodegradable, which means it can persist in the environment for a long time and have harmful effects. It is important to properly recycle and manage ABS plastic waste to minimize its impact on the environment. 

However, there are alternatives available which are better and more sustainable than ABS and more effort should be put into developing eco-friendly alternatives to plastics such as ABS. 


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