Today at K 2016, Erema held the ‘grand opening’ of its Careformance Recycling Centre, a special pavilion on the fairgrounds where the company will be recycling the tons of plastic waste produced at the show into high-grade recyclates – live.
Erema CEO Manfred Hackl, Alfred Stern of Borealis, Ton Emans of Plastics Recyclers Europe, and Alexandre Dangis of EuPC, the European association of plastics converters, together pressed the buzzer that started the machines at the Recycling Centre.
The presence of representatives from these very different areas of the industry is a strong signal, said Hackl. “We have to work together to close the loop,” he emphasized. While we here are all aware of the benefits of plastics, nonetheless, our materials have a bad image, which we need to work on. Careformance is a way to prod the industry into doing so.”
Ton Emans lauded Erema’s continual efforts to improve the available technology. “Erema is a innovative company, who work to improve the quality of both recyclates and the process. An excellent partner!”
Speaking from the perspective of a polyolefins producer, Alfred Stern, hailed the K Show recycling initiative. “Of course, at Borealis we are now also recyclers,” he said. “We bought sister recycling companies mtm plastics GmbH and mtm compact GmbH, earlier this year in June. We see recycling as a big opportunity in the future.”
Stern endorsed Hackl’s view that the plastics chain needs to collaborate. “Plastics need to be made more recyclable,” he said and more attention needs to be paid to designing for recyclability. Laminated flexible packaging is extremely beneficial for food preservation, but consist of different materials that make it impossible to recycle without a strong deterioration of quality. This is the reason we collaborated in a consortium made up of the companies Borealis, Hosokawa Alpine, Bobst, GEA and Erema, on the development of a monomaterial – PE - flexible packaging solution that is 100% recyclable.”The result is a plastic pouch produced using a special technology. The companies are a working demonstration of how the closed plastic loop can work: the pouches produced on site – including any production waste – are recycled then and there, and the high-quality recyclate is processed directly on an OCS extruder to make blown film.
"I like to compare the plastic loop to a relay race. It is not enough if a part of the value chain thinks only in terms of their processing step. Every manufacturer or processor of plastics has to think one step further to reach the finish line successfully together," said Hackl.
Under the motto "We recycle the K", Erema will recycle over 30 metric tons of plastic waste on an INTAREMA TVEplus 1108 recycling system at the show. At the same time, the company is presenting the first Industry 4.0 package in the field of plastics recycling, under the name CAREFORMANCE.
Hackl: "Building on the Smart Start package presented at K 2013 and the Intarema systems' high degree of automation connected with it, Erema has developed a Smart Factory package for producers and recyclers. On the one hand, the process data of the individual machines are analyzed and, on the other, the production and recycling facilities are interconnected with the entire process chain."
Opening of the CAREFORMANCE Recycling Centre (from left to right: Manfred Hackl (CEO, EREMA Group), Alexandre Dangis (Managing Director, European Plastics Converters), Ton Emans (President, Plastics Recyclers Europe) and Alfred Stern (Executive Vice President Polyolefins and Innovation & Technology, Borealis). Photo EREMA