Life without plastics is impossible to imagine today. Their longevity makes it a challenge when products or packaging made of plastic are disposed of in nature after use or are dumped in large quantities without being sorted. Numerous initiatives call for a higher recycling rate. The new packaging law, which came into force in Germany at the beginning of 2019, also requires this. Across the EU, numerous organisations of plastics producers and recyclers have already made voluntary commitments and committed themselves to expand plastics recycling activities.
The focus is on the transition to a circular economy, which can only be achieved with the participation of the plastics producing and processing industries. In addition to energy and chemical recycling, mechanical, material recycling is particularly suitable. After professional sorting employing extrusion, recycled plastic fractions are transformed into new high-quality products.
Primary product manufacturers set the course for recyclability
For the mechanical recycling of thermoplastics to be successful, it is important to ensure their recyclability during the manufacture of primary products. It is also important to ensure that batches of old plastic can be sorted in the recycling process itself. The aim is the production of recycled material with reproducible quality. LifoCycle, the product family from the Lichtenfels masterbatch specialist Lifocolor, supports all of this.
The basis of the product range is recyclable masterbatches for polyester and polyolefins, which survive numerous recycling cycles without any loss of quality. For this purpose, special colourants are used whose colouristic properties remain largely constant even after several extrusion runs. They are designed for the process temperatures of the respective polymer. The LifoCycle range is available for PET as well as for PE and PP, optionally based on PCR or virgin material. Different pellet sizes allow low dosages even lower than 0.1 per cent, depending on customer requirements. Masterbatches are also available for food applications.