K 2025 - Innovation driver for the global plastics and rubber industry
K is the leading business platform for the plastics and rubber industry. As the world's leading trade fair, K 2025 is your global highlight: for pioneering innovations and developments as well as visionary impulses. Industry and research from all over the world will present future perspectives and solutions in Düsseldorf, Germany. Save the date: 08-15 October 2025.
The K China Symposium in Shanghai recently convened industry experts to discuss the latest trends and pressing issues in the plastics and rubber industry. During the event, Thomas Franken, Director of K and representative of Messe Düsseldorf, delivered a speech emphasizing the importance of Circular Economy, Digitalization, and Climate Protection, and the continued relevance of K in the industry.
Cardboard dominates parcel logistics. Shrinkage and return transport costs have so far been too big hurdles for reusable containers made of plastic, even though there is a lot to be said for them in terms of sustainability. BOOXit overcomes these hurdles – and adds one on top: the reusable system is not only sustainable, but also robot-compatible.
The company Covestro will build its largest Thermoplastic Polyurethanes (TPU) site in Zhuhai, China. The TPU site will be built in three phases. The first phase will be completed in late 2025 and the final phase in 2033.
The two companies LyondellBasell and KIRKBI signed an agreement to make an investment in the company APK. APK has developed the unique solvent-based Newcycling® process, which separates the different polymers of multi-layer packaging materials and produces recycled materials with a high degree of purity suitable for new packaging materials.
Plastic packaging made from recycled material? Yes, but please as high quality as possible – and recyclable! This poses great challenges for manufacturers, because the use of recycled materials still often leads to downcycling. One key to more sustainable plastic packaging lies in digitalisation. This is also where the KIOptiPack project comes in.
The company Borealis is using its Borcycle™ C chemical recycling process to recycle crosslinked polyethylene (PE) types into recycled polyethylene. The EverMinds™ approach provides innovative and viable solutions to recycling challenges in the Wire & Cable and Infrastructure industries.
A research team from the University of Greifswald, together with scientists from Covestro AG, has identified enzymes capable of degrading polyurethanes and polyvinyl alcohol. The research helps to establish a sustainable and environmentally-friendly process to recycle these polymers.
We encounter high-density polyethylene (HDPE) every day, for example as detergent packaging or films. HDPE is particularly stable and resistant. In terms of sustainability, however, it still has a long way to go, because its high stability is often accompanied by poor degradability.
What do a tunnel and hiking boot have in common? Both have a membrane that prevents the ingress of rain. In the case of the tunnel, the Norwegian company Oldroyd is an expert for the membrane and its injection-molded fixing product. It uses CX machines from KraussMaffei and 100% sea plastics.
Neste, Uponor, Wastewise and Borealis have successfully produced pipes made of cross-linked polyethylene (PEX) which was based on feedstock gained from chemically recycled post-industrial waste plastic from PEX pipe production, using an ISCC PLUS certified mass-balancing approach. The partner companies believe this project is among the first implementations of chemical recycling of PEX.
Both healthcare and life sciences applications – ranging from drug delivery devices, wellness and wearable devices, to single-use containers for biopharmaceutical manufacturing – all have one thing in common. They must be tough and durable and able to withstand everyday use while maintaining their structural integrity.
Plastics must be newly thought and designed - that is the credo at the Johannes Kepler University in Linz. From autumn 2023, courses on plastics technology will be offered here. Plastics don't just play a supporting role there, they are the star of the show. Because they are a key factor for both the present and the future.
Specialty chemicals company LANXESS and French energy group TotalEnergies have entered into a cooperation on the supply of biocircular styrene. Unlike conventional styrene, the raw material used by TotalEnergies is based on tall oil, which is derived from a tree resin and is a by-product of pulp production.
Imballaggi Alimentari, an Italian based company specialized in the production of ice cream packaging, has launched the Remaxigel boxes made of Styropor® Ccycled™. The boxes made of EPS (expandable polystyrene) boast excellent performance and were primarily designed for artisanal ice-cream shops.
SABIC, a global leader in the chemical industry, collaborates with Scientex in the packaging value chain to enable the manufacturer to develop material for the world’s first flexible food packaging made based on advanced recycled OBP, using SABIC® certified circular polypropylene (PP). The material is being used in a premium brand noodles packaging sold in Malaysia.
The healthcare field produces lots of medical plastic waste. The idea of designing medical products with sustainability in mind is certainly not new. However, medical-grade plastic materials must meet strict regulatory requirements, often prompting the aspect of sustainability to take a back seat.
Plastic is a resource without which our life today would not be possible - and thanks to recycling, we can even use it several times over. However, we know from reports what can happen if the recycling process does not run properly: the plastic sometimes ends up in the sea. Getting it back into circulation from there and turning it into a usable product is not easy.
"Materials informatics (MI), a new branch of materials research that combines materials data with data science, is gaining traction," said co-corresponding author Yoshihiro Hayashi, assistant professor, Institute of Statistical Mathematics in the Research Organization of Information and Science (ROIS).
Chemical companies Covestro and LANXESS are cooperating in the energy-intensive production of basic chemicals at their Lower Rhine sites in Germany and make them more climate friendly. LANXESS procures chlorine, caustic soda and hydrogen from the ISCC PLUS-certified sites of Covestro in Leverkusen and Krefeld-Uerdingen.
Woven sacks are made of a single polymer family and are therefore already quite easy to recycle. Sustainability requirements for packaging products have increased worldwide and at the same time the need to develop better packaging products to protect the packed commodity has also gained further importance.
Fraunhofer researchers, in collab with industrial partners, have achieved initial success in the development of bio-based flame retardants in bioplastics. In the future, it could therefore be possible to utilize plastics in electronics and electrical engineering that consist of 100% bio-based materials. Processing was tested by means of compounding, injection molding and additive manufacturing.
University of California, Riverside, scientists have moved a step closer to finding a use for the hundreds of millions of tons of plastic waste produced every year that often winds up clogging streams and rivers and polluting our oceans.
Engineered specifically for high volume packaging, medical and automotive applications requiring the highest processing precision in the fastest cycle time, Sumitomo (SHI) Demag is accelerating its global expansion of the IntElect platform.
Studies show that we are up to nine times more likely to remember something we have experienced in virtual reality. This knowledge can also be interesting for the plastics industry. With the iguversum, igus has created a digital space in which the manufacturer's products can be discovered. In the future, engineering projects will also be carried out there.