Image: Close-up of someone pouring themselves a glass of wine; Copyright: LightFieldStudios

Sustainable Pleasure: Wine Bottle Made From rPET


PET water bottles, PET beer bottles – so why not PET wine bottles? The combination may seem unconventional at first, but it offers significant advantages over glass bottles: PET bottles have a lower CO2 footprint, are more cost-effective, lighter, and safer due to their unbreakable nature. ALPLA's solution also stands out by using rPET.
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Image: Stadium seats made from recycled material; Copyright: Le Pavé

Stadium seats for the Olympic Games made from plastic waste


For Marius Hamelot, the 2024 Summer Olympics in France will provide a glimpse into his vision of turning trash into treasure. An architect and entrepreneur, the 29-year-old Hamelot has been working for several years to transform waste plastic collected in local Parisian neighborhoods into high-quality, durable products.
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Image: Three men in suits smiling at the camera and holding a transparent car part; Copyright: Covestro

Closing the loop: turning old tires into new car parts


In an ambitious move towards sustainability, Covestro, Neste, and Borealis have joined forces to revolutionize the recycling of discarded tires into high-quality automotive parts. This collaboration marks a significant step in driving circularity within the plastics and automotive industries.
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Picture: Children in Africa collecting plastic waste; Copyright: envato

Recycling solutions for a sustainable future


WILDPLASTIC® has set itself the goal of ridding the world of “wild” plastic waste and offering innovative recycling solutions. The Germany-based company differentiates its products through the unique use of plastic that is recovered from the environment to be recycled and reused as granulate.
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Image: several bioplastic products made of olive pits; Copyright: Biolive

Bioplastics Made of Olive Pits


Biolive, a pioneering biotechnology company, has launched a new biopolymer production facility in Istanbul, Türkiye, capable of producing 9,600 tons annually. Using olive pits as raw material, this innovative process aims to replace fossil-based plastics, offering a sustainable solution for the plastics industry.
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Image: Close-up of the DM Maxliner 3D machine printing at drupa 2024

Sustainable PET Film Recycling Solutions


Leonhard Kurz will be presenting new sustainable recycling solutions for PET film at drupa 2024. In a video interview, Markus Hoffmann, Member of the Board at Leonhard Kurz, explains how the company takes back and reuses used PET film to promote the Circular Economy. The DM Maxliner 3D machine, which impresses with its efficiency and versatility, is also presented.
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Image: small, colorful plastic parts enlarged with a magnifying glass; Copyright: SKZ

Digital Recycling Tool: CYCLOPS


An innovative tool called CYCLOPS – Circularity Optimisation for Plastics has set itself the task of closing the gap between the need for information and the supply of recycled materials. By providing comprehensive data and assessments, it helps companies to make more sustainable decisions and organise their production processes in a more environmentally friendly way.
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Image: Sorting belt with plastic bottles. Two employees can be seen out of focus in the background; Copyright: envato

Sustainability thanks to the circular economy


How does the circular economy work? Focus on sustainable practices and environmental benefits.
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Image: Pouch made from 18 micrometer thin MDO-PE film from Reifenhäuser and BOBST at drupa 2024

The world's first 18 micrometer thin MDO PE film


At drupa 2024, Reifenhäuser and BOBST will be presenting the world's first 18 micrometer thin MDO-PE film. In the video interview, you can find out more about the development of the film, which reduces the amount of material used by 25% while ensuring the highest mechanical properties, appearance and further processing.
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Image: Vytal Pepsi Cup being held aloft at an event; Copyright: Vytal

Digital reusable cup from Vytal and PepsiCo


Vytal and PepsiCo are taking reusable tableware to a new level in their cooperation. With individual IDs for each cup, which can be read using a QR code or RFID tag, efficiency at large events is increased enormously. The technology not only optimises the return of the cups, but also the entire recycling process, thus making an important contribution to the Circular Economy.
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Image: Technical drawing of a machine component; Copyright: Maris

Innovative extrusion process reduces odor in post-consumer plastic recycling


Post-consumer plastic recycling faces a persistent challenge: unpleasant odors. Addressing this issue, Maris has unveiled a pioneering extrusion process tailored to tackle odorous contamination effectively.
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Image: example of the patch-based laminate design using Cevotec's Artist Studio Software; Copyright: National Composites Centre

NCC Enhances Circularity in Aerospace Manufacturing


The National Composites Centre (NCC), in collaboration with Munich-based Cevotec, showcases a sustainable solution for aerospace manufacturing waste, aiming to reclaim up to 80% of dry fibre material. This proof-of-concept could revolutionize waste management practices by utilizing innovative Fibre Patch Placement technology.
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Image: PET bottle production plant; Copyright: gumpanat

Partnership in PET recycling drive sustainability forward


The world of plastic recycling has witnessed an outstanding alliance between two important players in the recycling industry: GANESHA ECOPET Co., a division of the largest Indian PET recyclers – GANESHA Group –, and SOREMA, the division of Previero Srl specialized in the construction of plastic recycling plants.
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Photo: Thomas Philipon, CEO of TotalEnergies Corbion and Suvi Haimi, CEO and Co-founder of Sulapac; Copyright: private

Pioneering sustainable solutions in the cosmetic industry


TotalEnergies Corbion and Sulapac have joined forces to advance sustainable practices in the cosmetics sector, emphasizing the integration of recycled and biodegradable materials into product packaging, fostering a more eco-responsible industry.
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Image: Colourful plastic toys in the children's room; Copyright: shangarey -

Plastics in the playroom: sustainable playtime


Sustainability is becoming increasingly important – even in the playroom. From classic toys such as Playmobil and Lego to innovative projects that focus on recycling and the Circular Economy, there is a wide range of applications and initiatives that take into account both the needs of young users and the requirements for environmental compatibility.
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Image: Close-up of a black photovoltaic module; Copyright: envato

Recycling photovoltaic modules


"Don't lose it, reuse it!" is not just the exclamation of a puppy from a well-known animated children's series when he creates new objects from supposed garbage. Rather, it shows how important the topic of ‘recycling’ has become in general.
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Image: Close-up of an old plastic tool housing part; Copyright: HolyPoly

Closed-Loop Factory: from waste acceptance to product manufacture


Recycling begins even before disposal. The entire life cycle of a product should be considered as early as the development stage. The start-up HolyPoly supports brand manufacturers throughout the entire recycling process. Their mission: to make plastics recycling a matter of course. To meet the growing demands, they recently opened the Closed-Loop Factory.
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Image: a boat on the open sea; Copyright:  AKVA group™

Renewable plastic for workboat hulls


Aquaculture takes a sustainable leap forward with the unveiling of a groundbreaking workboat hull constructed from renewable plastic. Borealis and AKVA group will introduce this innovation in Mo i Rana, Norway, in Spring 2024, marking a significant milestone for circularity in marine technology.
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AI in the Plastics Industry: Sustainability & Innovation


AI is revolutionising modern industry. Thanks to it, complex processes can be automated or efficiency increased. In the plastics industry, AI not only plays a decisive role in the optimisation of production processes and the development of new materials. It also enables more precise waste sorting and therefore better recycling – a benefit for the environment!
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Recycling: AI improves sorting efficiency and material purity


Waste management is undergoing a transformation like never before, thanks to cutting-edge technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning. Companies like PolyPerception are at the forefront of this revolution, redefining how waste is sorted and managed to meet the growing challenges of the industry.
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Image: Threads on bobbins in the textile industry; Copyright: Mint_Images

The rediscovery of plastics in the textile industry


The textile industry is in the midst of a green transformation, with sustainability and recycling taking centre stage. This change is being driven by a growing awareness of the environmental impact of textile production and consumption. Plastics, particularly synthetic fibres such as polyester and nylon, are ubiquitous in the industry due to their versatility and cost-effectiveness.
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Image: three men at a gasification plant; Copyright: Waste-to-En

Plastic waste gasification: a future without landfill sites?


Every year, millions of tonnes of plastic waste are produced that are not recycled. The gasification technology from the start-up Waste-to-en offers a promising solution to this problem. The method efficiently converts waste into valuable resources while reducing both landfill fees and electricity consumption, providing a sustainable alternative in waste management.
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Enzyme-Powered Recycling of Bioplastics


Scientists at King's College London have unveiled a novel chemical recycling method, leveraging enzymes found in laundry detergents, to break down single-use bioplastics in record time. Published in Cell Reports Physical Sciences, this innovative approach promises a more sustainable cycle for plastics, traditionally seen as a challenge due to their long degradation period.
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Image: Plant for the gasification of plastic waste from laboratories; Copyright: Re:Lab

Gasification of plastic waste at low temperatures


The specific requirements and high purity of plastic waste from life science research laboratories make recycling it a particular challenge. Re:Lab AB is tackling this problem with a chemical recycling process based on low-temperature conversion, which is a special form of gasification.
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Image: Rendering of the world's first biorecycling plant in France; Copyright: CARBIOS

World's First PET Biorecycling Plant


In a significant advancement for sustainable materials management, CARBIOS has teamed up with De Smet Engineers & Contractors (DSEC), renowned for its Engineering, Procurement, and Construction services in the biotech and agro-processing sectors. This collaboration aims to launch the world's first PET biorecycling plant in Longlaville, France, set to be operational by 2025.
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Image: Map of Europe with a plastic bag and a few coins on it; Copyright: tanaonte -

FAQ on the Plastic Tax


In response to the growing environmental impact, the EU has introduced the so-called plastic tax – a step that has far-reaching consequences for the plastics industry and raises many questions. Our FAQ offers you a detailed overview of the new tax regulation. Learn everything important about the objectives, effects, and critical voices from the industry regarding the plastic tax.
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Image: Model wearing a sporty jacket made from BASF's recycled material loopamid; Copyright: Inditex

BASF and Inditex promote sustainable fashion with loopamid®


The textile industry is facing major changes in sustainability, led by BASF and Inditex through the launch of loopamid®, a new technology for textile-to-textile recycling. This initiative represents a significant step towards a Circular Economy by offering a sustainable solution for the reuse of polyamide 6 (PA6), also known as nylon 6, from textile waste.
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Photo: Aerial view of the white building of Integra Plastics AD; Copyright: Integra Plastics AD

Borealis to acquire Integra Plastics AD, an advanced mechanical recycling player based in Bulgaria


Borealis announces the signing of an agreement to acquire a 100 % stake in Integra Plastics AD, an advanced mechanical recycling player based in Bulgaria. The investment will strengthen Borealis’ advanced mechanical recycling portfolio.
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Image: EU flag; Copyright: Greola

New EU packaging regulation: Voices from the industry


The current Packaging Directive has not been able to reduce the negative environmental impact of packaging. The European Parliament has therefore voted on new rules for packaging in the EU. At the end of November, the Parliament clearly adopted the proposal.
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Image: Cardboard box is wrapped in stretch film; Copyright: LightFieldStudios

Start-up develops sustainable stretch film


The start-up CAMM Solutions has developed a biodegradable alternative to conventional stretch films that can be used in a variety of ways. It also helps to reduce the environmental impact caused by plastic packaging.
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Image: Symbolic representation of the decomposition of a PET bottle (left), which is broken down into its basic building blocks by suitable enzymes; Copyright: HZB/Frank Lennartz, Gert Weber

Boosting PET recycling with higher standards for laboratory experiments


In a study, Gert Weber, Uwe Bornscheuer and Alain Marty have identified standards for laboratory experiments with enzymes for PET recycling. It emphasizes difficulties in upscaling and highlights the promising enzyme LCC-ICCG, which converts 98% of PET in 24 hours, is economically more efficient and proposes new standards for laboratory research on PET recycling.
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Image: Recyclates; Copyright: Cirplus

Digital marketplace as a driver for the Circular Economy


The forthcoming EU packaging regulation is casting its shadow: minimum quotas for recyclates are putting the plastics industry under pressure. Cirplus presents a digital platform that not only makes the recyclate market transparent, but also enables real-time coordination between the players.
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Image: Black and white detail of two open hands. The left hand holds snippets, while the right hand holds small beads; Copyright: Coperion GmbH

Coperion Recycling Innovation Center is Up and Running


Coperion has opened its Recycling Innovation Center, providing a high-tech test facility for comprehensive testing of plastics recycling processes. The center complements Herbold Meckesheim's technical center and enables customers to simulate the entire recycling process and test technologies before making an investment.
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Image: Apprentices are shown a machine; Copyright: envato

Formative, fascinating, sustainable: Working in the plastics industry


The plastics industry offers a wide range of career paths in various disciplines. Each has its own focus and gives the opportunity to promote sustainability in the industry.
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Image: Several carpets rolled up and stacked on top of each other; Copyright: Ascend Performance Materials

Circular Polymers by Ascend and ReDefyne experts highlight expanded options for post-consumer recycled nylons, PET and PP


Experts from Ascend, a leader in recycling post-consumer carpet, and ReDefyne highlight new opportunities for recycled nylon, PET and PP. Their proprietary process allows them to convert end-of-life carpet into feedstocks for materials used in various finished goods, including automobiles and household appliances.
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Photo: Aerial view of the Rialti SPA complex, which is surrounded by greenery; Copyright: Rialti

Borealis expands its mechanically recycled plastic compounding capacity with closing the acquisition of Rialti S.p.A.


Borealis has finalized the agreement to acquire Rialti S.p.A., an Italian polypropylene (PP) compounder for recyclates. With the acquisition, Borealis expands its portfolio of PP compounds based on mechanical recyclates by 50,000 tons per year and is committed to accelerating the transition to a circular economy in the spirit of EverMinds™.
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Image: Plastic pole; Copyright: Talon Technology

From chaos to creation: How composites transform unsorted plastic waste into useful products


Geoff Germon has not only recognized the problem of plastic waste in Fiji, but also wants to help the locals tackle this problem and build a sustainable business at the same time. His approach starts with a simple plastic pole.
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Image: Yellow and brown traceless® materials in the form of granules, paper coating and film application; Copyright: traceless

traceless materials secures €36.6 Million Series A to build first industry plant for bio-circular alternative to plastic


The bioeconomy start-up traceless materials has closed a financing round of 36.6 million euros, led by UB Forest Industry Green Growth Fund and SWEN Blue Ocean. The company produces a sustainable biomaterial that serves as an alternative to plastic and combats plastic pollution.
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Image: Children are shown a plastic object; Copyright: Pöppelmann

Educate, empower, inspire: Zukunftsmobil imparts plastics knowledge to young people


Plastics are a valuable resource that can contribute to climate protection. Pöppelmann's Zukunftsmobil ("Future Mobile") educates schools, for example, about precisely this. With interactive workshops, it combines knowledge transfer about plastics with practical learning and shows children and young people the diverse possibilities and potential of plastics recycling and the Circular Economy.
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Image: Piles of plastic waste sorted by colour; Copyright: STEINERT

AI-based sorting: the smart way to recycle plastics


Artificial intelligence and plastics recycling – two concepts that have little in common at first glance, but which form an impressive symbiosis in practice. STEINERT and RE Plano are impressive proof of this. Thanks to AI, they have succeeded in overcoming the challenges of sorting polyethylene and polypropylene, paving the way for innovative recycling solutions.
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Image: Five colorful square Play-Tec® HDPE panels. In front the Blue Angel symbol and a link; Copyright: Röchling SE & Co. KG

Play-Tec® PCR awarded with "Blue Angel"


The company Röchling SE & Co. KG offers its Play-Tec® PCR recycled plastic, a construction material for the sustainable design of long-lasting playgrounds. This has now been awarded the Blue Angel eco-label in the category "Environmentally friendly recycled plastics" (DE-ZU 30a).
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Image: Reusable container from MealGood with mashed potatoes and meatballs inside; Copyright: Stephan Floss

Circular Economy in the canteen: Start-up develops reusable containers for the catering industry


We all know the image: urban rubbish bins overflowing with disposable packaging. The Corona pandemic has made this problem more visible. The start-up MealGood has made it its mission to counter the throwaway mentality by developing bio-based reusable containers for the catering industry.
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Image: Detail of the upper body of a person carrying takeaway food and coffee in paper packaging; Copyright: maxbelchenko

BASF celebrates 25th birthday of ecoflex®, the world's first PBAT biopolymer


BASF SE celebrates the 25th anniversary of ecoflex®, the world's first PBAT biopolymer. Innovative biopolymers based on ecoflex® have been helping to solve numerous challenges in the plastics market since it came on the market. ecoflex® has also created new recycling opportunities for plastics and enables organic recycling.
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Image: Three open snack bags; Copyright: Dominik Benke

From snack bag to cooling technology: The rebirth of aluminum-plastic laminates


Thanks to aluminum-plastic laminates, our favorite snacks stay as crisp as we love them. But what if the shiny insides of snack bags hold much greater potential – one that goes far beyond accompanying a movie night? Passive cooling technology could benefit from upcycling these chip bags, says a research team from the University of Bayreuth.
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Image: blurred detail of a person in a black suit holding a pen. In front of her is a laptop and papers with diagrams; Copyright: donut3771

Reifenhäuser relies on new "Circular Plastics Traceability" Guideline by using digital product passports from R-Cycle


The Reifenhäuser Group uses R-Cycle, a digital product passport for plastics based on GS1 standards, to enable its customers to trace products. This facilitates data management in the manufacturing process and promotes the recycling of plastic packaging.
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Photo: The Brückner Campus in Siegsdorf with the Technology Center in the foreground photographed from above; Copyright: Brückner Maschinenbau GmbH

25 years technology centre at Brückner – expansion in sight


Brückner Maschinenbau established a technology center 25 years ago, specializing in film stretching technologies. It has since become a crucial hub for research and development in the film industry, and they plan to expand the center to meet new challenges, including the use of recycled materials and bio plastics, energy production films, and membrane technologies.
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Image: Three recycled chairs in a row; Copyright: Johannes Kastner

From trash to stool: industrial designer gives plastic waste in Africa a second life


Millions of tonnes of waste end up in our environment every year. This problem is particularly tangible in the global south. But innovative approaches and creative solutions can make a difference. Johannes Kastner focuses on one such solution: combining plastic recycling and design to not only combat the waste problem but also create social added value.
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Image: Rose gloved hands hold petri dishes in a chemistry lab; Copyright: kalinovskiyphoto

Start-up recycles plastic lab waste into new test tubes and petri dishes


LabCycle, co-founded by a University of Bath graduate, opens the UK's first pilot plant for recycling plastic lab waste into new lab consumables and aims to scale the technology for healthcare and research labs. Their process turns plastic waste into high-grade pellets, reducing energy and water use and promoting recycling in a circular economy approach.
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Image: Person holding a toy bear figure by Schleich in one hand and a bottle with brown plastic granulate in the other; Copyright: Schleich

From the children's room to a Circular Economy: Sustainable materials for the toys of the future


Children can best bring their fantasy world to life with toy figures. Although the miniatures have already been passed down from generation to generation, Schleich is now saying "There's more!" and opting for a green transformation. A key challenge: to balance durability and environmental friendliness without compromising on quality.
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Image: Glass containers with oil; Copyright: ARTFULLY79

Chemical recycling: the supreme discipline for the Circular Economy in the plastics industry?


Almost 90 % of all plastic packaging today still consists of virgin material. If we want to change this, we have to focus on chemical recycling in addition to mechanical recycling. According to the WWF study "Verpackungswende jetzt", a system change could save more than 20 million tonnes of new plastic by 2040. SÜDPACK is therefore investing in innovative chemical recycling technology.
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Picture: Numerous pressed PET bottles ready for recycling; Copyright: duallogic

Extrupet again chooses PET recycling technology from EREMA


Extrupet will expand its PET recycling capacity in South Africa with a VACUNITE® from EREMA in June 2024 to meet growing demand for its PhoenixPET® recyclate. This decision comes as part of a long-standing partnership that began back in 2009, and will enable the planned expansion into East Africa and Nigeria with further plants for food-grade rPET.
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Image: Man on a bicycle; Copyright: Envato

They see me rollin' - Plastics in bicycles and current best practices


Anyone who chooses the bicycle as a means of transport instead of the car every day saves the environment 3.2 kilograms of climate-damaging CO2. In addition, plastics can help to reduce CO2 emissions from the production and transport of bicycles. They can be used in all components and therefore make cycling even more environmentally friendly. This is shown by the following examples:
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Photo: Project STOP employees take a tour of the new materials recovery facility; Copyright: Project STOP

New material recovery facility opened in Banyuwangi under Project STOP's expansion program


On September 16, a large materials recovery facility was inaugurated in Songgon Municipality, Indonesia, built in collaboration with the Banyuwangi Regional Government. Project STOP Banyuwangi, supported by various stakeholders, aims to establish a circular waste management system in Indonesia and achieve positive environmental impacts.
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Image: Chemical recycling plant of Arcus-Greencycling Technologies GmbH; Copyright: Arcus-Greencycling Technologies GmbH

"Considerably more fossil oil would be consumed without mass balance"


"By utilising our technology, we can produce a pyrolysis oil from strongly mixed plastic waste that also contains polymers such as PVC, PET, ABS and many others. We process the plastic waste the way it arrives from a waste sorting plant or from partners in industry."
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Image: Energy chains; Copyright: igus GmbH

Recycling programme for engineering plastics


Wherever there is movement in manufacturing, the plastic plain bearings and energy guiding chains from igus can be used. Even in packaging machines, e-chains and plain bearings made of high-performance polymers ensure movement. The products are durable but at some point they also have to be disposed of. igus has set up its own recycling programme for this purpose.
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Image: Landfill with metal scrap and electrical appliances; Copyright: scherbinaanna7

AIMPLAS participates in a European project to develop environmentally sustainable printed electronics


The REFORM project aims to develop sustainable electronic components using bio-derived materials to reduce the reliance on scarce metals. It addresses the environmental impact of e-waste by creating recyclable and eco-friendly printed electronics, involving various European partners, including AIMPLAS, to develop innovative recycling methods.
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Image: Chemical recycling plant of OMV Downstream GmbH; Copyright: OMV Downstream GmbH

"Chemical recycling has the potential to close the existing gap in circular economy"


"Chemical recycling is complementary to mechanical recycling and therefore of high priority for OMV – it is an important cornerstone of our Strategy 2030. It helps us to meet the growing demand for recycled polyolefins. Back in 2009 we developed a laboratory scale process that has since been patented."
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Image: Large accumulation of PET bottles to be recycled in a warehouse; Copyright: Krones AG

Making the impossible possible: Recycling multilayer packaging


Was multilayer packaging the Achilles' heel of the recycling industry? Not anymore, according to Krones and their project partners BASF, Südpack, and Tomra. Together, they're unveiling a solution that accomplishes what was once deemed impossible. At the heart of this innovation is a new adhesive that enables effective material separation during the recycling process.
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Image: PET bottles in the rail on the conveyor belt for filling are processed in a drinking water factory; Copyright: StudioPeace

Recycled PET for India's first 100 % rPET beverage bottle produced by Srichakra Polyplast on Starlinger equipment


Coca-Cola India has launched the first 100% recycled PET water bottle in India, manufactured by Srichakra Polyplast on a Starlinger PET bottle-to-bottle recycling line. The launch followed approval from the Food Safety Authority of India, and Coca-Cola plans to further expand this sustainable packaging solution.
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Image: Recycling of light packaging material from post-consumer streams; Copyright: Interzero

HDPE plastics from post-consumer flows


Recycling service provider Interzero developed a patented process to enhance the reuse of HDPE plastics, allowing the creation of blow-molded products from 100% post-consumer lightweight packaging material. The process uses a chemical modifier to control the recycled material's viscosity, making it suitable for blow-molding and eliminating the need for re-sorting and additional primary plastic.
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Image: EREMA company premises; Copyright: EREMA

Smart Waste: how AI can increase the recycling rate of plastics


Nine percent – that is the proportion of all plastic waste that was recycled from 1950 to 2015. This must change urgently. Artificial intelligence can help. EREMA and the Software Competence Center Hagenberg (SCCH) are researching exactly how in a joint project.
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Image: Recycled thermoplastic carbon fiber reinforced UD tape reflected on the tray against a gray background; Copyright: Fraunhofer IPT

Unwinding in high quality: Continuously detached and recycled thermoplastic carbon fiber tapes with a new recycling approach


Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute have developed a recycling process to recover used fiber composite material from pressure tanks and use it for new lightweight products. The process preserves over 90 percent of the materials' mechanical properties. This contributes to the sustainable production of thermoplastic fiber composite products.
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Image: Coperion plant; Copyright: Coperion

"Chemical recycling is still in its infancy, but has huge potential"


"At the moment an increasing number of large corporations are jumping on the chemical recycling bandwagon, all of them operating internationally. There is hope that they will contribute considerably towards the implementation of the necessary infrastructure in all parts of the world."
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Image: Sutco plant in Stockholm; Copyright: Sutco

"There must not be a cannibalisation of material flows"


"Unlike mechanical recycling, chemical recycling breaks down these compounds instead of utilising existing polymers as material."
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Image: Recycling plant; Copyright: SOREMA

Challenge accepted: PET recycling in Myanmar


Before new processes are established, an analysis of the current situation is usually carried out. For the recycling of PET bottles in Yangon, Myanmar, the Italian manufacturer SOREMA and the local recycler Commercial Plastics Co. did just that. After conducting washing and recycling tests on bottles collected there, SOREMA designed a flake production line.
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Image: Women talking to each other surrounded by plastic waste; Copyright: Ecopost

Turning plastic waste into sustainable growth: Driving Circular Economy in Kenya


Waste management can be a major challenge in countries of the Global South. Ecopost, a social enterprise from Kenya, has set itself the task of overcoming this challenge. In partnership with Borealis, Ecopost uses an innovative business model to collect and recycle plastic waste, create jobs and promote a circular economy.
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Image: Close-up of a tyre on a car; Copyright: Continental

Sustainability meets quality: new car tyre sets standards


Sustainability or quality? This is the question manufacturers of plastic or rubber goods ask themselves when it comes to the use of recycled or bio-based materials, for example. Continental proves that the two can go hand in hand with its new UltraContact NXT series tyre. It consists largely of sustainable materials and impresses with high performance values.
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Image: Prof. Dr. Manfred Renner; Copyright: Fraunhofer UMSICHT

"There is no one and only solution for recycling"


The future of circular economy in the plastics industry is a complex mixture of mechanical and chemical recycling. Prof. Dr. Manfred Renner, Director of the Fraunhofer Institute for Environmental, Safety and Energy Technology (UMSICHT), describes these technologies as indispensable components of the life cycle of plastics.
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Image: Manfred Hackl und Klaus Lederer; Copyright: EREMA Group

"Recyclates from chemical recycling will be more expensive than virgin material"


Mechanical recycling processes have already matured. Chemical recycling is comparatively young. But will it be able to establish itself?
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Image: Detail of hands holding a tablet and a plastic cup. Next to it: Food packaging; Copyright: seventyfourimages

Next-level recycling with digital innovations: Cologne-based plastics processor igus invests in start-up cirplus


The Cologne-based plastics specialist igus invests in the Hamburg-based start-up cirplus to close the plastics cycle and revolutionize the recycling trade of technical and standard thermoplastics. With their recycling platforms, igus and cirplus want to jointly drive the regenerative plastics industry in the future.
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Image: two flat plastic wine bottles laid on top of each other on rocks, behind them two filled wine glasses; Copyright: Viinilinna, Aino Maaranta

Design4Recycling: flat plastic bottle for sustainable wine enjoyment


If wine bottles were designed for the first time today, they would look different – the British start-up Packamama is sure of that. Especially in view of the climate crisis, packaging needs to be rethought. This is how Packamama's flat plastic bottle came into being, which is not only highly sustainable but also makes quite a visual impact.
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Image: Boris Engelhardt; Copyright: wdk

Together for Sustainability (TfS): "The name is the message"


The German Rubber Manufacturers’ Association (wdk) has been committed to responsible procurement practices for raw materials and services in the rubber industry for many years. To advance the implementation of this goal, the wdk is now cooperating with Together for Sustainability (TfS), an international non-profit initiative.
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Image: greenhouse gas emissions are coming out of the two chimneys of thermal power plants. In the foreground are some trees. In the background: blue sky; Copyright: Daria_Nipot

New guide to the future of plastics


Researchers from Fraunhofer UMSICHT and the TNO Institute have developed four strategic approaches to enable the transition to a circular plastics economy. In addition, they are launching the European Circular Plastics Platform (CPP), a platform for cross-sector collaboration to remove barriers and share solutions.
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Photo: Lots of plastic waste floating in a pond; Copyright: RLTheis

Supporting this once-in-a-generation opportunity to tackle plastic pollution


Borealis has ambitious goals to improve the circular economy, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and use renewable energy to create a more sustainable future. Borealis is a member of the Business Coalition for a Global Plastics Treaty and supports the development of a UN agreement to combat plastic pollution.
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Image: Several small copper-colored granule squares fall out of a horizontal beaker; Copyright: traceless materials

Bioeconomy startup traceless receives millions in funding from the German Federal Ministry for the Environment


The startup traceless materials GmbH has developed the compostable biomaterial traceless®, which is considered a nature-based, environmentally friendly alternative to plastic. The project is funded with around 5 million euros from the Environmental Innovation Program of the German Federal Ministry for the Environment (BMUV).
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Image: Hand with white polymer granules; Copyright: Pressmaster

Fraunhofer LBF develops new approach for rapid process stabilization of plastics


Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Structural Durability and System Reliability LBF see online rheological investigations as a promising method to accelerate the development process by determining the optimal amount of antioxidants more efficiently.
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Image: Representation of four different material states from the raw material (grass) to the finished product (ballpoint pen); Copyright: Biowert Industrie GmbH

Sustainable all round: natural fibre-reinforced plastic from the grass factory


Grass grows quickly, is uncomplicated and robust - and a strong partner for plastics. Biowert Industrie GmbH proves this by using the renewable raw material to produce a natural fibre-reinforced plastic that is sustainable all round.
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Image: Lettering

Global chemical companies sign agreement on R&D Hub for plastic waste processing incubated by World Economic Forum


Seven member companies of the World Economic Forum’s Low-Carbon Emitting Technologies (LCET) initiative have signed a collaboration agreement with the independent research organization TNO to establish an R&D Hub for Plastic Waste Processing. The seven companies include BASF, Covestro, Dow, Mitsubishi Chemical, SABIC, Solvay and Lyondell Basell.
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Image: Various nuts and seeds in transparent plastic packaging in a carton; Copyright: Olena_Mykhaylova

Collaboration project shows: multi-layer packaging can be separated and recycled on an industrial scale


A Collaboration project involving BASF, Krones, SÜDPACK, and TOMRA gives proof of concept for closed recycling loop for PET-based multi-layer packaging.
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Bioplastics become more attractive for industry


As part of project RUBIO, the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Polymer Research IAP is developing novel types of the bioplastic polybutylene succinate (PBS). The bioplastic films made from PBS are recyclable, biodegradable and can be processed on standard extrusion lines.
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Enzyme that breaks down PET plastic: Leipzig scientists increase efficiency


A research team at the University of Leipzig has further improved the functioning of an enzyme that can degrade PET plastic. Through computer simulations and experiments, they were able to rationally improve the enzyme and are now working on developing the third generation of the enzyme.
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LAPP uses new bio-based plastic from BASF – Organic ETHERLINE® now available too


The company LAPP is using a new bio-based plastic from BASF for the sustainable version of its ETHERLINE® FD P Cat.5e for Industrial Ethernet. The bio-based plastic is Elastollan® N, the thermoplastic polyurethane from BASF, which is part of its circular economy strategy.
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Image: Winners of the PackTheFuture Award at the awards ceremony at interpack 2023; Copyright: Messe Düsseldorf

PackTheFuture Award 2023: These are the winners!


56 entries, 10 winners, 1 special prize and 1 honourable mention - that's the positive balance of the PackTheFuture Award 2023. The results were announced at the award ceremony at interpack in Düsseldorf. The award honours innovative and sustainable packaging solutions made of plastic.
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Covestro expands its range of more sustainable polycarbonates


Covestro AG offers a polycarbonate with a 90 percent recycled content of plastic from post-consumer waste (PCR) that can be used in consumer electronics, among other applications. The company is collaborating with Jabra on the Evolve2 headset and making progress on climate-neutral solutions through mass balancing.
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Photo: Lab technician wearing protective goggles, a smock and gloves working with the process of Interface Polymers' technology; Copyright: Evonik Industries AG

High-performance additives for sustainable plastics: Evonik invests in Interface Polymers


Evonik Industries AG has invested in the British company Interface Polymers Ltd. This investment from the Sustainability Tech Fund strengthens Evonik's position in sustainable products and recycling processes. Interface Polymers' technology enables easier processing and recycling of plastics.
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Better recycling of plastic packaging: New process extracts fragrances


Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute have developed an environmentally friendly process to remove fragrances from plastic packaging. The process is based on pressurized water extraction and removes the fragrance limonene from HDPE packaging. By evaluating the data using machine learning methods, it was possible to optimize the extraction parameters.
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A status check on the UN's plastic waste agreement


Plastic pollution is a serious threat to human health and the environment. After years of awareness-raising, there is strong and widespread alignment on the need to act. This was the unmistakable and welcome message from the U.N.'s first negotiating session on a global agreement to end plastic waste in December.
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Circular Collaboration Platform: for more recyclates in food packaging


The share of recycled material in plastic products is growing. The exception: food packaging. The requirements for the quality of the material for food contact are high, but in the case of recyclates there is still often a lack of corresponding information today. The project COPPA wants to create transparency in this area – with an open digital platform.
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Project STOP marks major milestones and expands waste collection services to over 300,000 people


Project STOP, co-funded by Borealis and Systemiq, has created positive social and environmental impact in three cities in Indonesia, including the launch of the scale-up programme Project STOP Banyuwangi Hijau from Muncar into the Banyuwangi Region.
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A wholly sustainable plastics economy is feasible


In a study under the leadership of the ETH Zurich, the scientists point out that plastic products must be better aligned with the circular economy in future. The study finds that circular plastics are feasible within planetary boundaries. This would require at least 74 percent of the plastic to be recycled.
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Solar-powered system converts plastic and greenhouse gases into sustainable fuels


Researchers at the University of Cambridge have developed a system that can convert plastic waste and greenhouse gases into sustainable fuels and other valuable products – using energy from the sun alone. In the system, two waste streams are simultaneously converted into two chemical products.
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Image: Numerous pressed PET bottles ready for recycling; Copyright: duallogic

First PET Bottle-to-Bottle Recycling Line in Kenya


Megh Group company T3 (EPZ) Limited is going to install the first PET recycling system for bottle-grade rPET and resin in Kenya and Eastern Africa, a Starlinger recoSTAR PET 165 HC iV+ recycling line, in Athi River just outside Nairobi.
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"Wonder Matter(s)" – Plastics at Milan Design Week 2023


Plastic is a wonderful material. It can take on almost any shape, colour and texture. This versatility opens up countless possibilities for designers. This is also proven by the exhibition "Wonder Matter(s)", which will take place during the Milan Design Week 2023 and in which innovative plastics will be presented in partly extraordinary installations.
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Researchers use light to convert abundant lignin into plastic that can be continually recycled


Boston College chemists have developed an approach that uses light to transform lignin into sustainable plastics. The findings advance a potential strategy for the waste-free system of polymer manufacture and re-use known as the circular plastic economy.
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Parcel logistics: the future belongs to reusable plastic boxes


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.
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LyondellBasell and KIRKBI invest in APK to develop recycling technology


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.
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Sustainable plastic packaging: AI supports design and production


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.
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Borealis Borcycle™ C chemical recycling provides circular solutions for crosslinked polyethylene for the Wire & Cable and Infrastructure sectors


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.
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Degradation of Plastic Waste using newly Developed Biocatalysts


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.
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Stable yet degradable: researchers develop chemical pre-determined breaking points in polymer chains


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.
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Image: PEX pipe production at Uponor. Copyright: Uponor

Neste, Uponor, Wastewise Group and Borealis enable chemical recycling of hard-to-recycle plastic waste into new high-quality plastic pipes


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.
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From the sea into the tunnel: KraussMaffei customer Oldroyd uses 100% sea plastics for its products


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.
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Image: To-go packaging made of Styropor; Copyright: BASF

Ice Ice Baby! Sustainably packaged with Styropor® Ccycled™ by BASF


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.
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SABIC enables Scientex in developing worlds first PP flexible food packaging using PCR ocean bound plastic


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.
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Bioplastics for medicine: sustainability and quality in harmony


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.
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Back to the cycle: #tide turns ocean plastic into high-quality recyclates


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.
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Suraj Logistix adopts innovative solutions for a more sustainable cement packaging


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.
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Turning plastic waste into a valuable soil additive


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.
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Performance meets circularity: fibre-reinforced plastics become recyclable


Recycled plastics are often less efficient than new plastics. But they can be upgraded - namely by using fibre composites. In turn, they make the plastics difficult to recycle. The All-Polymer project shows how both are possible: high-performance materials and a closed cycle.
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Image: Rendering of a transparent plastic packaging with 3 fruits inside; Copyright: BASF

BASF and StePac partner to develop sustainable packaging for shelf-life extension of fresh produce


BASF SE and StePac Ltd. have joined forces to create the next generation of sustainable packaging specifically for the fresh produce sector. Supplying StePac with its Ultramid® CcycledTM, a chemically recycled polyamide 6, BASF will provide its partner greater flexibility to advance contact-sensitive packaging formats to a higher sustainable standard within the circular economy.
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Turning plastic trash into pharmaceuticals


A novel method developed by USC pharmacy and chemistry researchers has exciting implications for plastic waste collecting on Catalina Island and L.A.-area beaches.
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Innovation venture of Covestro awarded: Niaga® wins Circular Economy Prize


Niaga®, an innovation venture of Covestro, is the winner of the 2022 European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT) Community Circular Economy Prize in the Digital Products Passports (DPP) category. The EIT Circular Economy Community awards relevant start-ups and SMEs (small and medium sized enterprises) with significant new solutions accelerating the circular economy.
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From old to new: Evonik produces PEBA from used tires


Many raw materials deserve a second life, and especially in view of resource conservation and the circular economy, the reuse of raw materials is particularly important. Evonik shows how it's done: The company produces PA-12 elastomers from old tires.
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All tidied up: Customizable cleaning solution for light-based 3D printing


As the saying goes, one cannot make an omelette without breaking eggs – in a metaphorical sense, this is also the case when it comes to the 3D printing process. In most cases, material residue must be removed manually and then discarded. Cubicure delivers a different way that's automated, customizable, and sustainable.
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Orthopaedic insoles made of Elastollan® – more comfortable, sustainable and individual


Shoe insoles made of Elastollan®, BASF's thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU), offer a high degree of individualization freedom. The production of shoe insoles in 3D printing enables smooth transitions between soft and hard structures.
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Circular clothing – recycling of polyester-containing textiles


The overall eco-balance of polyester is better than that of natural fibres like cotton. Nevertheless, textiles containing polyester do not have a good reputation. Today, one property of the material in particular is criticised: it does not decompose naturally. This makes a collection and recycling of such textiles all the more important. But a circular economy for polyester does not yet exist.
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Photo: Detail of the Röchling stand in jungle design with some visitors in suits and a gorilla figure in the background ; Copyright: Röchling SE & Co. KG

Acting Responsibly: Jungle feeling at the Röchling stand at K 2022


This year, the company Röchling SE & Co. KG chose the design of a jungle at K 2022 in Düsseldorf to present its sustainable product families as well as innovative new products. Under the motto 'Acting responsibly' the concept was well received by visitors and customers.
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K 2022: Heat-resistant C-PET light cup promotes circular economy – a transparent alternative for hot-fill applications


Together with Sukano AG and Kiefel Packaging B.V., the company SML Maschinengesellschaft mbH has developed a cup made of C-PET light that is heat-resistant and combines transparency and recyclability.
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Plastics of the future will live many past lives, thanks to chemical recycling


A research team at the University of Colorado Boulder has discovered how durable plastics used in the aerospace and microelectronics industries broken down into their most basic building blocks and then formed again into the same material. In the process, they do not lose their physical properties.
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Bend it like PU – Plastics in sport


Today, no one can imagine leather balls, wooden rackets, bamboo poles or cinder tracks in sporting competition. Natural materials have now been almost completely replaced by other materials: plastics. They are light, robust and highly functional. Thanks to intensive research, they are also becoming more and more efficient – and ultimately lead to new world records.
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Picture: Detail of a textile industry where PET fibers are rolled up on a spindle ; Copyright: ssp48

EREMA Group focuses research and development on circular economy for PET fibres


With its new business unit "Fibres and Textiles", the EREMA Group is intensifying the development of recycling solutions focusing on PET fibre materials that are produced in fibre production and in further processing steps. In a dedicated fiber pilot plant, a cross-company team is working on recycling solutions for fiber-to-fiber applications.
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Borealis and REHAU accelerate circularity for furniture products with Bornewables™ premium circular polyolefins


REHAU chooses Borealis' Bornewables™ over conventional polypropylene (PP) for production of their RAUKANTEX evo sustainable edgebands. The robust and durable Bornewables™ feature color-stable chemistry and flexibility and are suitable for processing straight and contoured edges.
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Covestro collaboration with SABIC unlocks improved recyclability for mono-material flexible plastic pouches


The company Covestro AG has developed a new heat-resistant coating for use on mono-material stand-up pouches made with SABIC's PE/BOPE technology. The coating facilitates high-speed industrial production of stand-up pouches made with SABIC® BOPE biaxially oriented polyethylene. The new solution enables simpler, single-stream recycling.
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Image: Numerous white KN95 FFP2 masks lying on top of each other ; Copyright: jirkaejc

Sustainable face masks: recyclable and climate-friendly


With the development of the first 100 percent recyclable FFP2 mask, the Austrian Grabher Group is taking an important step towards sustainability. The sustainable FFP2 masks made of polypropylene are not only fully recyclable, but also cause significantly fewer CO2 emissions during their manufacture than conventional protective masks.
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Wonderfully versatile: Plastics shape the car of the future


The versatility of plastic is one of its strongest characteristics, and it makes it particularly popular amongst designers. Plastic is also a favored material for BASF's design team: in collaboration with Citroën, the chemical company rethought the classic car - with plastic as the central building block that made the implementation of the innovative concept possible in the first place.
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Rebirth for shampoo bottles & co: launch of the first deposit system for plastic packaging from the bathroom


The demand for high-quality recyclates has exceeded the supply on the market for years. So far, too much high-quality plastic is still being burned as waste instead of being recycled. The Berlin-based start-up Circleback wants to change that by setting up a deposit system for plastic packaging from the bathroom.
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No longer gone with the wind: Fraunhofer Institute develops concepts for rotor blade recycling


After about 25 years, the rotor blades of a wind turbine have usually had their day. But what happens to them then? Together with the Institute for Energy and Circular Economy (IEkrW), the Fraunhofer Institute for Wind Energy Systems (IWES) is developing concepts in a project that should enable rotor blades to be better recycled and reused.
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Recycled PET bottles are turned into adhesive tapes


The company tesa® supports the field of sustainability. The new tesa® 60412 packaging tape has a backing made of 70% recycled PET and a water-based acrylate adhesive system. The production process is completely solvent-free. Used PET products are recycled and used as raw material for the backing material.
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Researchers find a new method for recycling polystyrene


A research team led by Guoliang "Greg" Liu implemented the goal of making the current main method for recycling polystyrene profitable. By exposing the material to ultraviolet light and adding a chemical catalyst this method creates diphenylmethane (DPM), which has a high economic value. This new recycling method would create an incentive for polystyrene to be collected and recycled.
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BASF and ARCUS sign agreement on the production and procurement of pyrolysis oil from mixed plastic waste


ARCUS plans to start up first commercial pyrolysis plant for mixed plastic waste in Germany and will supply the company BASF SE with pyrolysis oil. This will enable further expansion of BASF's ChemCyclingTM business. The Agreement foresees take-up of up to 100,000 tons of pyrolysis oil per year.
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Safely packaged: recyclable reusable transport box protects the environment and sensitive goods


Packaging materials are often not very sustainable. This is partly because they are only designed for single-use transport. Researchers in the Fraunhofer LBF's Plastics department have taken this fact as an opportunity to develop an alternative. With their recyclable reusable transport solution for sensitive goods, the climate, the environment and resources can be protected.
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Photo: Person with blue gloves applying coating on scratches of car surface; Copyright: Iakobchuk

A new self-healing coating material


A transparent protective coating material that can heal itself within 30 minutes when exposed to sunlight has been developed by a research team from the Korea Research Institute of Chemical Technology (KRICT).
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Engineering enzymes to help solve the planet's plastic problem


Researchers at the Manchester Institute of Biotechnology (MIB) have developed a new enzyme engineering platform. The focus is on plastic-degrading enzymes that can be improved through directed evolution. To test their platform, they engineered a new enzyme, HotPETase, through the directed evolution of IsPETase.
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Image: Two workers in protective clothing hold plastic garbage bags in a waste processing plant; Copyright: seventyfourimages

Pioneering recycling turns mixed waste into premium plastics with no climate impact


Carbon atoms in mixed waste can replace all fossil raw materials in the production of new plastic. Researchers at Chalmers University of Technology in Sweden are demonstrating this with a new thermochemical recycling method. It is modeled on the natural carbon cycle and could eliminate the impact of plastics on the climate or even clean the air of carbon dioxide.
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Redefining sustainability with antimicrobial solutions for plastics


Plastic is one of the most versatile materials on earth, it has influenced all areas of our lives. However, in the last few decades, the reputation of plastics has been tarnished by the environmental threat predominantly associated with single-use, disposable products that cover landfills and pollute our oceans.
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Climate-neutral with a plan – sustainability in the plastics industry


Successful business means sustainable business. Because according to KraussMaffei, sustainability has both ecological and economic advantages. Recently, the company reaffirmed its goal of being climate-neutral by 2030. Its strategy includes recycling solutions, energy-efficient construction and heating, and sustainable product development.
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Augmented Reality in the plastics industry: individualized instructions for the entire product life cycle


Individualization is the trend. In the plastics industry, too, more and more individualized machines are coming onto the market. Of course, these machines also require individualized manuals with instructions tailored specifically to them. However, this is not yet a reality today. The AdaptAR project wants to change that – with the help of Augmented Reality and an app.
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"They are recyclables, not waste" – Recycling of rigid polyurethane foams


Circular Economy is teamwork. Everyone can contribute, and every single step counts. Covestro is making its contribution – together with other partners such as Circularise – with the CIRCULAR FOAM research project. This is about recycling rigid polyurethane foams that are used in the insulation of buildings or refrigeration appliances.
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BASF's IrgaCycle™ stabilizes recycled plastics used to protect pineapples from sunburn in Malaysia


The two companies BASF and 3T Industries Sdn Bhd are helping pineapple plantations in Malaysia to increase yields and conserve resources. 3T Industries has used BASF's IrgaCycle™ UV033 DD to improve the production of 100% recycled high-density polyethylene (HDPE) sheets to protect pineapples from solar radiation.
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Saves energy and costs: two-stage process makes plastics recycling more efficient


In recycling, plastics are usually sorted, cleaned, ground, compounded and regranulated to be reprocessed as regranulate. The material must therefore be melted twice – first for granulation, then for injection moulding. ENGEL has now developed a process in which plastic waste can be processed as flakes in injection moulding directly after grinding. This makes it highly energy-efficient.
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Public obligations for recycling: Germany – a good role model?


With the Packaging Act, Germany is taking a further step towards an all-encompassing raw material cycle for packaging. One of the requirements aims to significantly increase the amount of recyclable packaging. Packaging used in mail order or "dispensed" for to-go products has recently been required to be registered in the LUCID Packaging Register.
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Borealis introduces a portfolio of circular base chemicals


The Borvida™ portfolio introduces sustainable base chemicals to Borealis' range of product offering. The range will initially be based on non-food waste biomass, and chemically-recycled waste. In the future it will also draw from atmospheric carbon capture. The traceability of the content will be based on Mass Balance, which is ISCC PLUS certified.
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LyondellBasell helps to close the loop on Polypropylene by joining NEXTLOOPP initiative


LyondellBasell (NYSE: LYB) is participating in the NEXTLOOPP initiative, which aims to produce circular recycled food-grade polypropylene (FGrPP) from used packaging. NEXTLOOPP is able to close the loop of polypropylene (PP) by means of a combination of cutting-edge technologies. Polypropylene is separated from the rest and the polymer is decontaminated.
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A unique catalyst paves the way for plastic upcycling


After developing the first process inorganic catalyst to break down polyolefin plastics into molecules, a team led by Ames Laboratory scientists has now developed a strategy to accelerate the conversion without losing the desired products.The result is that larger platinum particles reacted more slowly with the long polymer chain, while the smaller ones reacted faster.
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Superworms capable of munching through plastic waste


University of Queensland scientists further research the common "superworm" Zophobas morio, which can eat through Styrofoam thanks to a bacterial enzyme in its gut.
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Audi: Recycling plastic waste in-house


For a year now, automobile manufacturer Audi has been running a pilot project for a closed plastic cycle. Assembly aids are produced from packaging material in a 3D printer. We took a closer look at the Neckarsulm plant to find out exactly how this works and what challenges have to be overcome.
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New PET-like plastic made directly from waste biomass


Scientists from EPFL's School of Basic Sciences have successfully developed a biomass-derived plastic. Similar to PET, it meets the criteria for replacing several current plastics while being more environmentally friendly.
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Rubber recycling: AZuR network advocates a second life for scrap tires


The German AZuR Network was launched in June 2020. The "Alliance Future Tire" lives up to its name and has been pursuing the goal of finding and implementing new and innovative solutions for an ecologically and economically sensible tire cycle for two years now.
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Reusing odor-contaminated plastics


In the Fraunhofer Cluster of Excellence Circular Plastics Economy (CCPE), the four Fraunhofer institutes are researching odor barrier skins for polymer compounds made from recycled materials. With special additives, odor barrier skins with a skin thickness of 0.25 mm can be effectively realized. The odor-contaminated plastic can be "packaged".
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A digital product passport for more sustainability


The EU's Circular Economy Action Plan stipulates that by 2050 all plastic packaging must be completely recyclable and consist of at least 70 percent recycled material. The majority of plastic waste still ends up in landfills or incinerators – in the worst case, in the environment.
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Sabic launches new upcycled resin made with ocean bound plastic waste


The company SABIC introduced LNP™ ELCRIN™ WF0061BiQ resin, a novel material that uses ocean-bound polyethylene terephthalate (PET) bottles as a feed stream for chemical upcycling into polybutylene terephthalate (PBT) resin. The company has added many different and innovative grades to the LNP ELCRIN iQ portfolio, including glass- and mineral-reinforced products and flame-retardant formulations.
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Clear plastics recycling using high-purity sorting and separation technologies


The COVID-19 pandemic put acrylic (transparent) shields, better known as "sneeze guards," in high demand in their role as protective barriers. However, they pose a major challenge for recycling companies at the end of the product life cycle since the different plastics must be separated and sorted to maintain purity and facilitate reuse.
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Image: Man sorts plastic bottles for recycling; Copyright: Wavebreakmedia

Dow, LOVERE, YCJ, and P&G join hands in organizing "Design for Circularity" Art & Design Competition


The companies Dow (NYSE: DOW), LOVERE, YCJ and Procter & Gamble (P&G) will organize the first "Design for Circularity" art and design competition in China.
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New method to convert plastic trash into clean hydrogen fuel


To convert plastic waste into hydrogen, researchers at the Technological University, Singapore (NTU Singapore) have developed a new method. The new method is based on pyrolysis, a high-temperature chemical process. The project is also investigating the potential of other new technologies for decentralized waste management.
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Image: Workers sorting plastic at waste recycling plant; Copyright: seventyfourimages

Treated plastic waste good at grabbing carbon dioxide


Researchers at Rice University have developed a technique to turn plastic waste into an effective carbon dioxide (CO2) sorbent for industry.
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Image: White KN95 face masks FFP2 mask as covid 19 protection lie on top of each other. ; Copyright: jirkaejc

Borealis and Grabher partnership gives used FFP2 face masks another life


High-quality face masks made in Austria by Grabher contain fully recyclable meltblown polypropylene supplied by Borealis and can be recycled in Austria. The new Partnership between the companies Borealis and Grabher is embodiment of the Borealis EverMinds™ spirit of taking action to accelerate the move towards plastics circularity.
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Image: Garbage in front of the industry. Smoke comes out of the chimneys; Copyright: thananit_s


Joint Mission: Circular Economy


The mission of the new "We are plastics" alliance between the three major German Plastics Associations is to promote the circular economy. They focus on the dialog with consumers and NGOs, on the network between individual initiatives and on presenting facts and changes of the industry.
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Image: Equipment and medical devices in the modern operating room; Copyright: nd3000

Solvay partners with Mitsubishi Chemical Advanced Materials to recycle end-of-life medical components


Medical devices made from Solvay's high-performance thermoplastic Udel® are recycled thanks to a collaboration between Solvay and Mitsubishi Chemical Advanced Materials. Solvay knows how to evaluate the chemistry of the end-of-life polymer, while MCAM has expertise in washing and mechanically cleaning the material.
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Mobile plastics recycling project wins WDO's World Design Impact Prize


The Montreal-based World Design Organization has named a mobile, solar-powered, plastic-waste upcycling platform as the winner of its World Design Impact Prize™ for 2021.
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BASF and NEVEON cooperate on mattress recycling


The first trials on chemical recycling of mattresses by BASF and NEVEON were successful. BASF is developing a wet chemical recycling process for used mattresses made of flexible polyurethane. Mattress take-back pilot is an important step towards circular economy.
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WorldStar Award 2022 for school milk packaging made from 100% rPET


A project for circular economy by Austria's school milk producers and the three Upper Austrian companies PET-MAN, Greiner Packaging, and Starlinger viscotec has received the WorldStar Award from the World Packaging Organization. Schools are supplied with dairy products in rPET cups that are recycled after use.
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ERDE Recycling: recovery and recycling systems for agricultural plastics


ERDE is a recovery and recycling system focused on the return of silage sheets and covers and agricultural stretch films in Europe. The company has big goals, such as a recycling rate of 65 percent in 2022, but also faces challenges, such as the cross-border transport of agricultural plastics.
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Lightweight truck-mounted toolbox with novel plastic composite hybrid solution


SABIC is cooperating with Dongfeng on the development of a novel plastic composite hybrid solution to produce a robust yet weight-saving toolbox for assembly on vehicles.
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Massel innovates with liquid stock range in SIG-Carton Packs with SIGNATUR FULL BARRIER packaging material


SIG's SIGNATURE FULL BARRIER packaging material is made from renewable, forest-based materials and responsible sources. The small amount of polymers used is certified. The Australian company Massel is now launching products in these SIG-Carton Packs.
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PERC Solar Cells from 100 Percent Recycled Silicon


In order to be able to reuse silicon, a working group from the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE and the largest German recycling company for PV modules, Reiling GmbH & Co. KG, have developed a solution, in which the silicon in the discarded modules was recycled on an industrial scale and reused to produce new PERC solar cells.
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Fish in packaging made from chemically recycled plastic


Salmon fillets from Bömlo are supplied in the world's first EPS fish box. Ccycled is made from chemically recycled plastic and BASF, Vartdal Plast and Bremnes Seashore, the partners for this joint project, are contributing to making the circular economy a success.
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Chemists develop radical way to make it easier, more profitable to recycle plastic


By modifying carbon-hydrogen bonds, chemists from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill transform plastic trash into tougher, stronger material. They started with plastic foam packaging used to protect electronics during shipping that otherwise ends up in landfills.
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Breakthrough in separating plastic waste


With a new technology it is possible to analyse and categorise the type of plastic by using a hyperspectral camera in the infrared area and machine learning. The technology makes it possible to separate plastics based on a purer chemical composition than is possible today, and this opens up for completely new opportunities to recycle plastics.
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Digital watermarks: sort post-consumer waste more intelligently


How can plastic packaging become intelligent? By providing them with digital watermarks that can be read by sorting systems and thus simplify the sorting process. The fact that this technology works was proven in the pioneering HolyGrail 1.0 project with a proof of concept.
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Neste and Ravago plan to set up a joint venture to focus on chemical recycling of waste plastic


Neste and Ravago intend to establish a joint venture to build an industrial chemical recycling facility in the North Sea port of Vlissingen, the Netherlands. From there, global chemical recycling activities will be managed, building on the further development of thermochemical liquefaction technology by U.S.-based Alterra Energy, an innovative chemical recycling technology company.
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Researchers seek to re-use waste plastics to make valuable petrochemicals


With a new method West Virginia University engineers upcycle single-use plastic packaging into petrochemicals. The produced ethylene and BTX aromatics from plastic upcycling can be used as feedstocks to re-make plastics.
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Recycled packaging foils with the "Blue Angel" label


Profine GmbH is the first profile system provider to use polyethylene (PE) packaging foils that consist of 80 percent PCR standard and are interested in making supply chains more environmentally friendly.
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Dishwasher components made from recycled plastic


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Recyclable furniture from the creative workshop


Plastic is a versatile material that can be used for a wide variety of projects. What's more, it is reusable and can be given new forms – so it can be given a second life in the sense of the circular economy. In the plastikfabrik in Saarbrücken (Germany), Daniela and Pascal Becher breathe such a second life into plastic.
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Bence Körmendi


Petchem Business Unit Director, MOL Hungarian Oil and Gas Company Plc.
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Borealis acquires minority stake in UK-based sustainable packaging innovator Bockatech


Borealis, one of the world’s leading providers of advanced and circular polyolefin solutions and a European market leader in base chemicals and fertilizers, announces that it has acquired a minority stake in Limited, a UK-based growth-stage green tech business and inventor of the innovative EcoCore ® manufacturing technology platform for sustainable packaging.
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Young plastics researchers are on the trail of proper recycling


The Pöppelmann Research Week on the topic of "Plastics and Recycling" brought young people closer to the topics of plastics and recycling.
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Plant from plastics?


Plastics have taken the world by storm over the last century, finding applications in virtually every aspect of our lives. However, the rise of these synthetic polymers, which form the basis of plastics, has contributed to many serious environmental issues. The worst of these is the excessive use of petrochemical compounds and the disposal of non-biodegradable materials without recycling.
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Using circular economy principles to recycle toys


Many of us are familiar with this scene in our children’s bedrooms: when the kids have outgrown their toys, the latter typically get boxed up until we finally take heart and purge them. But it doesn’t have to be that way: the initiative of the HolyPoly company takes recycling steps to create new toys – that look slightly different.
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Turning a problem into a solution: Wasser 3.0 studies ways to remove microplastics from water without a filter


Plastic is an important material and a virtually irreplaceable component in many products. However, the breakdown and disposal of plastics after use also goes along with microplastics. At the end of its life cycle, plastic material first ends up in the environment and then comes back to us: a study has found that we ingest about five grams of plastic every week without realizing it.
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Program aims to help students tackle the challenges of plastics waste


Plastics waste presents a major challenge for humanity. There are many innovative people taking impactful action to address this issue, but their efforts are often on a small scale or overlooked, with no good means to scale them to make a significant difference.
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How a bacterium may help solve the plastic pollution crisis


Plastic pollution is one of the most pressing environmental issues of our time. The accumulation of petroleum-based plastics is having devastating effects on our environment, wildlife and human health. Researchers revealed a bacterium that is not only able to degrade difficult-to-recycle petroleum-based plastics but can also sustainably produce more environmentally friendly biodegradable plastics.
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Track and trace system as an answer to encourage reusable packaging


The digital economy can help us prevent packaging waste, say researchers at Lancaster University and University of St Andrews, who are working with the founders of Reath, a start-up business based in Edinburgh, with a mission to build the digital infrastructure for reuse.
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Plastics recycling deadlines loom – will companies meet their goals?


Many of the world's largest consumer product companies, including Cocoa-Cola, Unilever and PepsiCo, have set ambitious targets for replacing virgin plastics with recycled ones – typically 25 percent of their total packaging by 2025. So far, however, most companies have made only modest progress and will need to ramp up their efforts to reach these lofty goals.
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Commercially viable production of climate-neutral plastic is possible


Since the early 1950s, plastics have found their way into almost every area of modern life. Between 1964 and 2014, plastic consumption increased twentyfold, from 15 to 311 million tonnes per year. Not only has environmental pollution from plastic waste increased during this time, but the amount of petroleum its manufacture consumes is large, as are the associated greenhouse gas emissions.
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Special concrete additive made in Costa Rica


The Center for Regenerative Design and Collaboration (CRDC) in Costa Rica aims to turn plastic waste into a valuable resource for the construction industry.
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Digital marketplace for recyclates: cirplus networks entire value chain


Sometimes you have to see a problem with your own eyes – or feel it with your own feet – to want to do something about it. At least that's how it was for Christian Schiller, who launched cirplus, a digital marketplace for recyclates.
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COVID-19 and plastics: How the pandemic highlights the need for sustainable waste disposal


The COVID-19 pandemic caused an explosive increase in the demand of disposable plastic products, stalled the implementation of sustainable policies, and evidenced the inherent problems of today's waste management schemes. Now, scientists comment on the necessary courses of action for governments, industries, researchers and consumers to help us transition to a sustainable plastic circular economy.
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What recycled plastic can do: Blocks made from biocomposites for the "Classrooms of Hope" in Indonesia


There is much discussion these days about the circular economy, and the means for incorporating plastics into this model. Recycling a used plastic bottle back into a clean, new bottle has some obvious environmental advantages. But a much more impactful model, in many cases, would involve turning tons of discarded plastics into products with a very long lifespan.
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Effective deconstruction of polyurethane by catalyst based on earth-abundant metal


Polyurethane (PU) is one of the most versatile thermoset synthetic polymers which through careful choice of monomer and formulation, can be seen in a myriad of different forms ranging from rigid-, flexible and molded foams to adhesives and elastomers just to name a few.
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A new approach for recycling plastics


Two EPFL engineers have come up with a revolutionary new method for tackling plastic pollution by harnessing the inner workings of proteins. The result? A whole new way of looking at plastic recycling.
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Recycling: PolyWaste technology wants to make the term "plastic waste" obsolete


It's no secret, and yet the numbers are shocking: less than one-tenth of the total amount of plastic produced to date has been recycled. Currently, the rate is 14 percent worldwide. A full 32 percent ends up in the environment. This urgently needs to change – which is what the Australian company PlasTech Recycling Limited thought as well. And so they developed an innovative technology.
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3D nano-inks push industry boundaries


Mechanical engineering researchers at Michigan Technological University have created a way to make a 3D-printable nanocomposite polymeric ink that uses carbon nanotubes (CNTs) — known for their high tensile strength and lightness. This revolutionary ink could replace epoxies — and understanding why its properties are so fantastic is a first step toward its mass use.
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NYU chemist receives Department of Energy grant for plastic "upcycling" research


The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has awarded Tianning Diao, associate professor of chemistry at New York University, with funding for research on "upcycling" poly(acrylic acid), a plastic component commonly used in household products. Diao and her lab will work to develop chemical methods to repurpose the polymer as new functional materials.
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Water meets cellulose: Environmentally friendly plastic made from hydroplastic polymers


Researchers at the University of Göttingen have developed a new method to create environmentally friendly bioplastics from renewable raw materials.
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Maritime rope could be adding billions of microplastics to the ocean every year


The hauling of rope on maritime vessels could result in billions of microplastic fragments entering the ocean every year, according to new research. The study, by the University of Plymouth's International Marine Litter Research Unit, is the first to explore the potential for rope to become a source of microplastic pollution in the marine environment.
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Simple thermoset plastic recycling using a peptide solution


Epoxy resin is a type of thermoset resin commonly used in glue, paint and composite materials. NIMS and ISMA have developed a new thermoset plastic recycling system capable of easily decomposing epoxy resins in an aqueous solution of a naturally derived peptide.
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Fraunhofer IGB

Greenhouse gases headed for sustainability: How CO2 is turning into plastic


Carbon dioxide is driving climate change. To combat it, emissions must be reduced. Fraunhofer researchers have developed an approach to use the climate gas as a raw material for plastics.
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NSF EPSCoR grant will advance manufacturing of renewable and recyclable plastics


Plastics are an indispensable part of today's society. These nimble polymers help keep foods fresh, cars safe, arteries clog-free and have countless other uses. But the benefits come at a cost. Each year millions of tons of discarded plastic pollute ecosystems, harm animals and exacerbate climate change.
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Research guides future of plastic waste chemical recycling


New research from Cornell University aims to ease the process of chemical recycling – an emerging industry that could turn waste products back into natural resources by physically breaking plastic down into the smaller molecules it was originally produced from.
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$25 million investment in polymer upcycling research to reduce plastics waste


The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced $25 million in funding for 10 research projects to build the scientific foundations for new technology solutions that reuse discarded plastics to make valuable products and reduce plastics waste.
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Bringing back the good name – a museum of plastic about plastic


In May 2021, another museum of a special kind was created in front of the Reina Sofía Museum in Madrid: a Plastic Museum. It was not just a museum ABOUT plastic, but MADE OF plastic. The media response to the campaign of the EsPlásticos association was huge.
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Image: Roads are lifelines. © pexels-markus-spiske-967072

The road to the future? New ways with used plastics


Viewing used plastic not as waste but as a material can reduce the problem of littered oceans. One promising approach is its use in road construction.
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Michael Davies

Michael Davies


Technical and Marketing Manager, Dover Chemical Corporation
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The BPF Launches Online Recycling Resource with PlasticsEurope & RECOUP


The British Plastics Federation (BPF), in conjunction with PlasticsEurope and RECOUP, has launched a new online recycling resource kit aimed at educating students about recycling plastics and the science of polymers.
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Microplastics from recyclable plastics on the rise


Recyclable plastic has been recorded on popular beaches and urban watercourses in Adelaide, South Australia – highlighting the need for more efforts to remove and reuse all plastics from waste streams, particularly in urban areas.
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ERDE Recycling fullfills voluntary commitment and collects over 50% of agricultural films


Once more, the IK initiative ERDE (Crop Plastics Recycling Germany) was able to significantly increase its collection volumes in 2020. At 543 fixed collection points and 1936 mobile collections, a total of 26,910 tons of agricultural films were collected and recycled.
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RECOUP win innovate UK funding for plastics recycling communications research


Charity, and leading plastics recycling organisation, RECOUP, have secured a grant from Innovate UK, the UK's innovation agency, to co-fund an industry-led communications and behaviour change research project in Kent.
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New method developed to solve plastics sustainability problem


Plastics sustainability has come a long way in recent years thanks in large part to scientific advances. But even as plastics become more and more environmentally friendly, the world continues to be polluted as many industries rely on them for their widely used products.
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Stand-up paddle board made from renewable lightweight materials


Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Wood Research, Wilhelm-Klauditz-Institut, WKI, want to replace plastic boards with sustainable sports equipment: They are developing a stand-up paddle board that is made from one hundred percent renewable raw materials. The ecological lightweight material can be used in many ways, such as in the construction of buildings, cars and ships.
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Circular Economy: using digital tools to produce high-quality recyclates


Only a small percentage of materials currently used in plastic processing are recyclates. Yet these secondary plastics are in no way of inferior quality to virgin material. The culprit is often a lack of data and poor communication between recyclers and plastic manufacturers. Digital solutions can help close material cycles in the plastics industry.
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Sensor-based symphony: sorting and recycling in perfect harmony


What can be recycled, and what can't? Sorting waste is a challenge – for both people and machines. TOMRA, pioneer in this field has introduced its new generation AUTOSORT in 2020 under the motto "Symphony of all sorts". This is intended to take the plastics industry a big step further towards sustainability.
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Röchling BioBoom: bioplastics make cars greener


Alongside many other industries, the automotive sector is also moving in the green direction. Electromobility is booming. However, plastics produced from non-renewable raw materials such as petroleum are also installed in e-cars. Röchling Automotive has recognized the need for bioplastics that meet the high requirements for automotive applications – and has developed BioBoom.
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Recycling robot could help solve soft plastic waste crisis


Despite an improvement in plastic recycling in recent years, landfill is a growing issue. Soft plastics like cling wrap and plastic bags are a major contributor to the problem, with 94 percent going to landfill in 2016-17.
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Fraunhofer, SABIC, and Procter & Gamble join forces in closed-loop recycling pilot project


The Fraunhofer Cluster of Excellence Circular Plastics Economy CCPE and its Institute for Environmental, Safety and Energy Technology UMSICHT have developed an advanced recycling process for used plastics. The pilot project with SABIC and Procter & Gamble serves to demonstrate the feasibility of closed-loop recycling for single-use facemasks.
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Image: Plastikophobia; Copyright: Von Wong

Benjamin Von Wong: "I make your impact unforgettable."


We love plastic. It is versatile, lightweight, durable – and sustainable, as long as it gets recycled or reused. Carelessly discarded in nature, (disposable) plastic products not only give the material a bad image, but above all lead to massive environmental problems. This is precisely the issue that Canadian artist Benjamin Von Wong has addressed.
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Cleaning up the polluted edge of the world: Lindner and Comberplast recycle fishing nets


Presented at K 2019 in Düsseldorf and now used to clean up the edge of the world: Lindner Recyclingtech’s Micromat 1500. Circular economy pioneer Comberplast has been using the machine to successfully shred old fishing nets and ropes collected from the coast of Patagonia.
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Upcycling spongy plastic foams from shoes, mattresses and insulation


Researchers have developed a new method for upcycling polyurethane foams, the spongy material found in mattresses, insulation, furniture cushions and shoes.
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