Opportunities and challenges in the increased use of plastics recyclates in Europe

Shredded recycled plastics materials (Foto: EuPC)

EuPC together with the German VDMA, the Italian Amaplast and Euromap organised the first joint workshop in order to establish new ways to promote the use of recycled polymers.

With this initiative all four associations aim to enhance the dialogue between plastics machinery manufacturers and plastics converters. Their goal is to find new opportunities for the technological developmentin plastics converting and, at the same time, to exchange experiences in the use of recycled polymers.

The image of plastics has suffered substantially, and it is not expected to improve again in the near future. Meanwhile, the European Union has initiated regulations and declarations supported by pledges from brands and OEMs which are stipulating an increased use of recycled polymers in plastics products. This can be seen especially in the field of packaging, but also in construction, automotive or electrical applications. By 2025, ten million tonnes of recycled polymers need to find their way into products and new applications in the EU.

At the workshop, two sessions were offered to the more than 30 representatives of European plastics converter companies: Film Stretching & Thermoforming and Blow Moulding & Injection Moulding. The speakers were: for Film Stretching: Markus Koppers, Brückner Technologies; for Thermoforming: Alfredo Banfi, Amut-Comi; for Blow Moulding: Celestino Spiga, Magic MP and for Injection Moulding: Guenther Klammer, Engel Austria. They presented the latest trends in technology development but also outlined the biggest technological challenges.

After the presentations, each group took the opportunity to discuss the most demanding challenges in using recyclates from both perspectives – the converters’ and the machinery manufacturers’. The workshop attendees appreciated the benefit of this comprehensive exchange of experiences about technical issues, standardisation problems, regulatory changes and requirements, availability and quality of plastics materials and products.

The K Trade Fair in October will also be an excellent occasion to think more circular as an industry. The four associations agreed to continue their efforts in this field. Additional workshops with different technologies will therefore be organised early 2020.

Interested companies should contact: lilla.mezriczky@eupc.org

Source: EuPC