Plastics recycling finally needs technological innovations

The Digital Product Passport is required by the EU as a technical measure to establish the circular economy, recyclate quotas are prescribed and consumers attach importance to sustainable products. The recycling system (processing and use of recyclates) must undergo a significant change in its orientation and philosophy. This challenge is faced not only by plastic waste disposers, but by all waste sectors. Waste recycling must be geared to the requirements of industry, virtually in the opposite direction to the disposal direction of the waste mass flow.

Ultimately, the aim is to produce high-quality secondary raw materials that should match as closely as possible the properties of the classic primary raw materials used in production, so that no changes need to be made to either production or product properties. The manufacturer decides to source a proportion of its raw materials from the circular economy, as these meet its specifications. This is to be achieved in a direct exchange between the reprocessor, who manufactures regranulates, and the producer, and thus for the individual case.

For the reprocessor, this means in the second step that he must align his processes to this production target. This thus means optimizing the technology, but also defining the composition and properties of the materials he takes on for reprocessing. We discussed this in a Sohn@Sohn roundtable with experts from the mechanical engineering sector: Michael Baumeister, COO of Brückner Maschinenbau; Guido Frohnhaus, Technical Managing Director of Arburg; Thomas Hartkaemper, CEO of Kautex Maschinenbau; Bernd Reifenhäuser, CEO of the Reifenhäuser Group; Guido Spix, Group President of the Multivac Group. Moderation: Gunnar Sohn.

Über den Autor

Diplom-Volkswirt, Wirtschaftsblogger, Livestreamer, Moderator, Kolumnist und Wanderer zwischen den Welten.

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