Recycling is key in achieving a circular economy. But in order to be fit for reuse in production, recycled material needs to match the quality of virgin resin. The removal of well-known contaminants such as ink is only the beginning; any migrated substances or residues of monomers or decomposition products have to be eliminated as well. For materials that are prone to suffer from unpleasant smell (e.g., polyolefin containers that were filled with detergents, cleaners, or cosmetics, but also polyolefin film with organic contamination), Starlinger developed a technology that neutralizes odors on a permanent basis. This technology has just been nominated for a Plastics Recycling Award Europe in the category "Best Technology Innovation in Plastics Recycling". The three-step procedure (material preparation, degassing, and post-treatment) works without the use of additives and removes even deeply embedded odors. At NPE, visitors are invited to take a sniff of the input material and the smell-improved regrind at a laboratory table with sample stations. Time to freshen up!
Production in a closed loop is also a hot topic in the area of FIBCs and consumer goods packaging. Thanks to Starlinger's PET technology, customers are now starting to use rPET flakes as input material for their tape extrusion lines. The excellent recyclability of PET comes in handy: (big) bags can theoretically be recycled indefinitely. Two types of packaging that are made from 100 % rPET bottle flakes will be on display at NPE: an rPET FIBC for large product volumes as well as rPET PP*STAR pinch bottom bags for dry bulk goods. The rPET PP*STAR has recently won a WorldStar Award in the category "Packaging Materials and Components" and is on the short list for the sustainability award. Another application for rPET is sheet production: the Starlinger viscotec solution deCON / viscoSHEET can process 100 % rPET, in-house waste, and virgin material at guaranteed IV levels for direct food contact. Customers benefit from outstanding flexibility and low energy consumption; the final product has a high-quality appearance as well as exceptional mechanical properties.