Recycling has become one of the most important issues as a result of increasing waste mass in present day. This is especially important for polymer wastes as they are hard to degenerate in nature. Today, most of the practical methods used for the recycling of waste mass, such as hand sorting, gravity separation, etc., cannot be performed successfully owing to close densities of polymers. Froth flotation can be used successfully and economically for this purpose. The main objective of this study was to investigate the effect of plasticizer reagents and the success of froth flotation at plastic recycling. In this study, lignin alkali and gelatin were used as plasticizer reagents. The effect of these reagents was searched with the parameters of pH, concentration, conditioning and flotation time. In the case of post-consumed polyethylene terephthalate and polyvinyl chloride (PVC), 98.9% purity of PVC was obtained at optimum conditions. © 2013 The Author(s).