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Son Güncelleme: 15.05.2021 20:30
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Waste plastics

Aimplas develops new methodology to analyse microplastics

Aimplas is now implementing the MICROPLASTICS_2020 Project, funded by the Valencian Institute of Business Competitiveness (IVACE). The aim of the project is to develop a standardized methodology to detect, identify and quantify microplastics (plastic fragments of 5 mm or less in size) to monitor their presence in the different stages of industrial processes.

Because no standardized methodologies are currently available to analyse the presence of these materials, Aimplas is developing an innovative method to provide support to companies in the Spanish Autonomous Community of Valencia so they can improve their environmental safety and anticipate future regulations on the use and production of microplastics in products and the generation of industrial effluents. The level of analytical technology and knowledge required to perform such analysis is so high that companies must seek the help of experts at highly specialized centres. Thanks to this project, companies will have a greater capacity to take action on their materials and processes to reduce the possible presence and production of microplastics, and they will be better prepared to anticipate future legislation.

Restrictions on the presence, use and production of microplastics in industrial processes should involve defining protocols for analysing microplastics and standardizing these protocols. Companies should be very careful about selecting suitable starting materials (by taking into account impurities, by-products and contaminants), and about all processing stages, from the starting material to the final article. In each stage, they must make decisions based on producing, introducing or eliminating microplastics. A standardized study on the presence and potential production of microplastics in the different stages of each industrial process will help prevent microplastics from forming and eliminate them when possible.

The MICROPLASTICS_2020 Project is developing an innovative methodology that requires a high level of R&D, given that no standardized methods are currently available to detect, identify and quantify microplastics in different media. For Aimplas, this project is the starting point of a new line of research in which companies in the Autonomous Community of Valencia will be able to participate by contributing case studies and information on their production processes. The following companies are collaborating on the project: Agua Mineral San Benedetto, Global Omnium and Acteco Products y servicios.

This cooperation with companies will enable the technology centre to give continuity to this line of research and consolidate it through the free transfer of results to the companies collaborating on technical aspects and also to the rest of the industry in the form of public reports and deliverables. This will ultimately benefit Autonomous Community of Valencia consumers, as well as the environment.

This project is funded by the Valencia Regional Government’s Ministry for Sustainable Economy, Production Sectors, Trade and Employment through grants from IVACE, and is co-funded by the European Union (ERDF) through the Spanish Autonomous Community of Valencia ERDF Operational Programme (2014-2020). This funding is targeted at technology centres in the Valencia Region to develop non-economic R&D projects in collaboration with companies in 2020.

New PET recycling plant in Spain announced

The new recycling facility will convert PET flake into food-grade recycled PET (rPET) pellets suitable for direct use in new preforms, bottles and containers.

The new facility will be co-located with the current preform and container manufacturing plant facilitating additional carbon savings through the elimination of resin transport. The new recycling plant will produce 20,000 tonnes of food-grade pellet per year and will commence production in the summer of 2022. The project will create approximately 14 new jobs and include additional manufacturing and warehouse space.

This will be Plastipak’s fifth global location producing recycled PET (rPET). With three long-established rPET facilities in Europe (France, Luxembourg and the United Kingdom), Plastipak already produces well over 130,000 tonnes of recycled PET in Europe. Plastipak also operates a HDPE and PET recycling plant in the US.

Making textiles circular: What is needed?

fter the opening speech of Mariska Zandvliet, President of EuRIC Textiles, Maria Rincon Live, Policy Officer at the European Commission, DG Environment, Circular Economy and Green Growth, Sustainable Production, Products and Consumption highlighted some major takeaways to make textiles more circular. She mentioned that strong focus needs to be placed on eco-design, investments as well as a collaboration throughout the textile value chain and also the need to provide alternatives to tackle the current linear textile model. Delara BURKHARDT, Member of the European Parliament joined the keynote session to stress the necessity for a holistic circular economy approach and the fact that textiles are “our second skin” and need particular attention.

Moving to the panel discussion, Jonas Der-Hansen, Public Affairs Director at Global Fashion Agenda, called for a systematic change and a new and proper legal framework for textiles while Valeria Botta, Program Manager at ECOS, focused on the fact that it is essential to empower consumers to move to a circular economy for textiles and to prolonging the useful life of textile products.

Emmanuel Katrakis, Secretary General, wrapped up the debate by highlighting EuRIC’s vision of an ambitious EU Textiles Strategy which should include proper EPR schemes, recycled content targets as well as a close collaboration across the textiles value chain.
You couldn’t join? Don’t worry, the recording of the webinar will be published in the framework of eREC on 7th May from 09:15 to 11:00 AM CEST. The video will be also uploaded to eREC’s YouTube channel in the coming days.

Paper cup recycling in Russia: blockchain principle

Paper cups are made from virgin bleached pulp. It is a valuable material for recyclers. The plastic insert – polyethylene – can also be removed and recycled, for example, into tiles.

Why, then, are paper cups hardly recycled all over the world? The difficulty lies in separate collection and accumulation of the required volume of cups for processing. Since organic residues are in the cups, they cannot be stored for a long time while waiting for the necessary volume because of the fungus spread. So used paper cups are no longer suitable for processing and can harm expensive equipment.

Despite all these difficulties, there is a plant in Russia that has tackled recycling paper cups. It is the Solnechnogorsk Experimental Mechanical Plant – SOEMZ. The founder of the plant is Denis Kondratyev, professor of the Sustainable Development Faculty at Moscow Witte University. Denis is also a member of the Supervisory Board of Waste Paper Processors League Association, which unites 73 recycling plants and waste paper handling operators in Russia. Denis is currently implementing a decentralized collection of waste paper for his plant.

SOEMZ manufactures products from molded fibers: fruit trays, paper cup holders, transport packaging for vegetables, shampoos, deodorants, etc. – more than 140 types of products. The plant products regularly receive international awards: Red Dot Award, WorldStar Packaging Awards, PART Award. SOEMZ supplies a wide range of goods to European countries. For example, lodgements for mugs, salad bowls, and bra holders are supplied to Germany. All of these products include paper cups as recycled material.

Molded fiber has always been made from newspapers. Still, recently the cost of newspapers has increased dramatically, and its quantity has lowered due to a decrease in demand for printed products. The system of separate waste collection is poorly developed in Russia. Because of that, there is no collection of newspapers from the household sector. For some time, the plant used an OCC grade of waste paper. OCC collection rate is high in Russia (around 90 %), but the price is relatively high – about 25,000 rubles (275 Euro) per ton. The use of such materials for the production of molded fiber is not economically feasible.

SOEMZ has been cooperating with IKEA for several years. ÄGGKOPP “Paper Wave” packaging for the transport of fragile goods won an international award at the 2019 Red Dot Award. SOEMZ recycles unpopular types of waste paper from IKEA, for example, a transport corner and coreboard. IKEA also collects paper cups in its stores and delivers them to SOEMZ with other types of waste paper. SOEMZ installed a high concentration pulper (16%). It easily separates fiber.

For two years, SOEMZ processed about 500,000 cups mixing used paper cups with other grades of waste paper, like most of the recycling facilities in the world. But SOEMZ wants more: the company plans to organize a decentralized procurement of used paper cups according to the blockchain principle. At the same time, the plant intends to switch entirely to the processing of cups and abandon the purchase of another type of waste paper. It is easier for a plant to work with a single kind of material since constant equipment adjustment is not required.

In Russia, the company “Parmatech” produces equipment engaged in dry fiber separation – an aerodynamic dispergator. The paper cups go into the dispergator, and the output is dry paper fiber and plastic film, which is also recyclable. In the process of dispersion, a sharp pressure drop occurs. Acidophilic and other bacteria do not survive in such conditions, thus eliminating the possibility of the appearance and spreading of molds. As a result, after dispersion, the fiber can be stored significantly longer without the risk of molds development, which is impossible with long-term storage of used paper cups. Such materials can be stored and transported. It has the same idea as powdered milk, powdered eggs or freeze-dried products. Also, the dispegator copes with the task of fiber separation better than the pulper because no water is used or contaminated in the process.

SOEMZ will also implement the zero waste principle in practice. The plastic that remains after fiberizing will become a homogeneous material – polyethylene – without inclusions of another type of plastic, guaranteeing its demand. SOEMZ will process fiber into paper products, and plastic recyclers will tackle plastic. In addition, the material from the cup provides an apparent economic plus. This material is not subject to price risks; there is no overstated demand for it.

It is not profitable to centrally accumulate and store paper cups; decentralizing the collection of raw materials will solve the problem. SOEMZ plans the installation of dispergators at waste paper collectors facilities that serve shopping centers. It is the meaning of a decentralized collection system: different suppliers will install dispergators on their facilities. The equipment is mobile, dispergator has an equal size to the sea container. Each dispergator can produce approximately 3 tons of fiber per day. As a result, SOEMZ will purchase the amount of fiber required for production from paper cups – 20 tons per day.

The plant is currently negotiating the installation of dispegators with two waste paper collectors located in Moscow and Nizhny Novgorod.

New member for R-Cycle initiative

Multivac joins the cross-company initiative R-Cycle. The aim is to jointly drive forward the circular economy for plastic packaging on the basis of an open and globally applicable tracing standard. R-Cycle records all recycling-relevant information from the production process in the form of a digital product passport and makes it available for recycling. To retrieve the stored information, a machine-readable mark – for example a QR or digital watermark code – is applied to the packaging. In this way, waste sorting systems can use market proven detection technologies to identify fully recyclable packaging and form pure fractions within the recycling process. Precise sorting and transparency regarding the exact composition (types of plastic, printing inks, adhesives, additives, etc.) are key to obtaining high-quality recyclate for high-value recycling.

Stefan Scheibel, Vice President Corporate Training & Innovation Center of the Multivac Group, explains: “In our Innovation Center we are always analyzing the latest trends and advising our customers on the market requirements of tomorrow. Digitization along the value chain has enormous potential in this respect for bringing sustainable packaging into a high-quality recycling process. We think of sustainability holistically. Packaging must effectively protect goods – especially food – in order to conserve resources; at the same time, the packaging itself must be designed sustainably and effective recycling processes must be ensured. In this context, exchange with partners from all involved industrial sectors is essential.”

Dr. Benedikt Brenken, Director of the R-Cycle Initiative, adds: “With Multivac, we are gaining another important partner and global player in the value cycle. Not only the material of a package, but also its contents represent important recycling-relevant information, which we capture with R-Cycle. We look forward to working together and generating new momentum in the development and implementation of the R-Cycle standard.”

“Sustainability is an integral part of our corporate strategy,” explains Guido Spix, Group President of Multivac. “We are pleased that by joining the R-Cycle initiative we can support shaping an industry standard and thus make a positive contribution to promoting the circular economy for plastic packaging. The exchange with upstream and downstream processes in the value chain helps us to understand the individual steps even better and to co-develop sustainable solutions.”

New member for R-Cycle initiative

Multivac joins the cross-company initiative R-Cycle. The aim is to jointly drive forward the circular economy for plastic packaging on the basis of an open and globally applicable tracing standard. R-Cycle records all recycling-relevant information from the production process in the form of a digital product passport and makes it available for recycling. To retrieve the stored information, a machine-readable mark – for example a QR or digital watermark code – is applied to the packaging. In this way, waste sorting systems can use market proven detection technologies to identify fully recyclable packaging and form pure fractions within the recycling process. Precise sorting and transparency regarding the exact composition (types of plastic, printing inks, adhesives, additives, etc.) are key to obtaining high-quality recyclate for high-value recycling.

Stefan Scheibel, Vice President Corporate Training & Innovation Center of the Multivac Group, explains: “In our Innovation Center we are always analyzing the latest trends and advising our customers on the market requirements of tomorrow. Digitization along the value chain has enormous potential in this respect for bringing sustainable packaging into a high-quality recycling process. We think of sustainability holistically. Packaging must effectively protect goods – especially food – in order to conserve resources; at the same time, the packaging itself must be designed sustainably and effective recycling processes must be ensured. In this context, exchange with partners from all involved industrial sectors is essential.”

Dr. Benedikt Brenken, Director of the R-Cycle Initiative, adds: “With Multivac, we are gaining another important partner and global player in the value cycle. Not only the material of a package, but also its contents represent important recycling-relevant information, which we capture with R-Cycle. We look forward to working together and generating new momentum in the development and implementation of the R-Cycle standard.”

“Sustainability is an integral part of our corporate strategy,” explains Guido Spix, Group President of Multivac. “We are pleased that by joining the R-Cycle initiative we can support shaping an industry standard and thus make a positive contribution to promoting the circular economy for plastic packaging. The exchange with upstream and downstream processes in the value chain helps us to understand the individual steps even better and to co-develop sustainable solutions.”

Petcore launches roadmap to pave way to full circularity

PET is 100% recyclable and is the most recycled plastic packaging material in Europe. PET is used in everyday products like food and drink and PPE equipment in the fight against covid-19. PET is easily identified on products by the ‘number 1’ recycling symbol. Pecore Europe and its members are encouraging citizens to “Recycle the 1” and urge European legislators to put in place a regulatory framework which ensures EU targets can be met.

Achieving our ambition to build a fully circular economy will be a collaborative effort, requiring industry and legislators to work hand in hand. The review of the Packaging and Packaging Waste Directive provides a concrete opportunity for legislators to take serious steps towards achieving full circularity. This can be done by supporting recyclers to achieve higher recycling rates and banning the landfilling and incineration of PET bottles.

To reach the EU’s 90% collection target for recyclable plastic bottles by 2029, a smart waste management system at the EU-level is needed. Deposit Return Schemes (DRS) and segregated curb side PET collection schemes are examples of the systems we need to recycle all PET, close the loop and eliminate plastic waste. The European PET value chain is equipped for increased collection and currently has spare capacity to recycle over 11 billion more bottles a year. By enabling an EU-wide smart waste management system, more bottles can be collected for recycling.
Demonstrating good separation practices and promoting the importance of correct recycling is a key cornerstone of reaching both collection and recycling targets.

Petcore Europe is committed to developing a pan-European consumer campaign – beginning initially in France and Germany – which aims to empower consumers to recycle PET packaging and help contribute to achieving a fully circular economy and closed-loop system. The campaign will provide key resources to aid the consumer in understanding how to recycle PET packaging better and build greater trust in the recycling system.

Roadmap

Petcore launches roadmap to pave way to full circularity

PET is 100% recyclable and is the most recycled plastic packaging material in Europe. PET is used in everyday products like food and drink and PPE equipment in the fight against covid-19. PET is easily identified on products by the ‘number 1’ recycling symbol. Pecore Europe and its members are encouraging citizens to “Recycle the 1” and urge European legislators to put in place a regulatory framework which ensures EU targets can be met.

Achieving our ambition to build a fully circular economy will be a collaborative effort, requiring industry and legislators to work hand in hand. The review of the Packaging and Packaging Waste Directive provides a concrete opportunity for legislators to take serious steps towards achieving full circularity. This can be done by supporting recyclers to achieve higher recycling rates and banning the landfilling and incineration of PET bottles.

To reach the EU’s 90% collection target for recyclable plastic bottles by 2029, a smart waste management system at the EU-level is needed. Deposit Return Schemes (DRS) and segregated curb side PET collection schemes are examples of the systems we need to recycle all PET, close the loop and eliminate plastic waste. The European PET value chain is equipped for increased collection and currently has spare capacity to recycle over 11 billion more bottles a year. By enabling an EU-wide smart waste management system, more bottles can be collected for recycling.
Demonstrating good separation practices and promoting the importance of correct recycling is a key cornerstone of reaching both collection and recycling targets.

Petcore Europe is committed to developing a pan-European consumer campaign – beginning initially in France and Germany – which aims to empower consumers to recycle PET packaging and help contribute to achieving a fully circular economy and closed-loop system. The campaign will provide key resources to aid the consumer in understanding how to recycle PET packaging better and build greater trust in the recycling system.

Roadmap

Petcore launches roadmap to pave way to full circularity

PET is 100% recyclable and is the most recycled plastic packaging material in Europe. PET is used in everyday products like food and drink and PPE equipment in the fight against covid-19. PET is easily identified on products by the ‘number 1’ recycling symbol. Pecore Europe and its members are encouraging citizens to “Recycle the 1” and urge European legislators to put in place a regulatory framework which ensures EU targets can be met.

Achieving our ambition to build a fully circular economy will be a collaborative effort, requiring industry and legislators to work hand in hand. The review of the Packaging and Packaging Waste Directive provides a concrete opportunity for legislators to take serious steps towards achieving full circularity. This can be done by supporting recyclers to achieve higher recycling rates and banning the landfilling and incineration of PET bottles.

To reach the EU’s 90% collection target for recyclable plastic bottles by 2029, a smart waste management system at the EU-level is needed. Deposit Return Schemes (DRS) and segregated curb side PET collection schemes are examples of the systems we need to recycle all PET, close the loop and eliminate plastic waste. The European PET value chain is equipped for increased collection and currently has spare capacity to recycle over 11 billion more bottles a year. By enabling an EU-wide smart waste management system, more bottles can be collected for recycling.
Demonstrating good separation practices and promoting the importance of correct recycling is a key cornerstone of reaching both collection and recycling targets.

Petcore Europe is committed to developing a pan-European consumer campaign – beginning initially in France and Germany – which aims to empower consumers to recycle PET packaging and help contribute to achieving a fully circular economy and closed-loop system. The campaign will provide key resources to aid the consumer in understanding how to recycle PET packaging better and build greater trust in the recycling system.

Roadmap

Traceless materials wins Green Alley Award 2021

Traceless materials from Germany has won the Green Alley Award. The startup’s winning idea: A material that claims to be one step ahead of other bioplastics on the market today. Thanks to the special technology developed by the German startup, agricultural industry residues are transformed into a sustainable alternative to film or hard plastic packaging or plastic coating. The result is an all-natural material that is not only completely bio-based but can also be composted in your organic waste bin within two to nine weeks.

Jan Patrick Schulz, CEO of Landbell Group, is very satisfied with this year’s winner: “Circular startups like traceless materials meet consumers’ expectations to promote sustainability more strongly. With the Green Alley Award, we want to foster precisely those business models that combine resource conservation with economic success,” says Schulz. “What convinced us about traceless material’s business idea was their holistic bio-circular approach to producing an environmentally friendly alternative to conventional plastic. Traceless materials claims to need no harmful additives and could save up to 87% of carbon emissions while being competitive in material properties and price. The solution also supports the European Union’s ban on certain single-use plastics that will go into effect in July this year.”

Anne Lamp, CEO and founder of traceless materials, is happy about the award and explains how the startup will use the prize money of 25,000 euros: “The Green Alley Award helps us to raise awareness of our innovative alternative to plastic – designed for nature. Our goal is to establish Traceless as an ingredient brand, creating awareness and demand for our uniquely sustainable material solution among end consumers. One step on the way to gaining their trust and achieving recognition for traceless materials is through certificates and education. And this is what we want to use the prize money for.”