"Know-how and innovative ideas paired with high-quality recycling technology is the combination that distinguishes the successful medium-sized companies in the industry. With this recipe for success and its innovative process for the production of food-grade regranulates of the highest quality, the sustainability-oriented company RCS Plastics impressively convinced the jury in the competition for "DIE GRÜNEN ENGEL 2022", bvse CEO Eric Rehbock and Florian Lankes, managing director of "DIE GRÜNEN ENGEL – treatment center in Nuremberg, at the presentation of the award ceremony at the bvse trade fair evening. "With its groundbreaking technical solution, RCS is also an important part of the implementation of the new provisions of the Packaging Act that came into force in January 2019,"
"The accumulated experience in the extraction of secondary raw materials from commercial waste from 4 decades has already motivated us 10 years ago to invest in the field of plastics recycling and to develop it further," said Managing Director Adelheid Hauschopp-Francke, explaining the development of the RCS Group's youngest division Werne on the lip.
Quality expectations exceeded - high added value for environmental and resource protection
The company has been recycling PET bottles into sorted PET flakes since 2011. In the summer of 2020, the next important step towards sustainability was taken: With the help of the VACUNITE® bottle-to-bottle recycling system developed by the manufacturer EREMA, which was further optimized in cooperation with RCS, RCS-Plastics is now processing the previously produced PET flakes in a highly efficient process to regranulate for the food industry.
The new system solution proves to be the optimal solution for the German recycler: “The results that we achieve with this new technical component have far exceeded our expectations for the quality produced. With this solution, we can not only comply with the existing FDA and efsa specifications for direct food contact, but also with the much stricter quality regulations of the well-known beverage brands," says Managing Director Hauschopp-Francke.
The RCS Group was only recently awarded a sustainability certificate from the Fraunhofer Institute, because the recycling of PET bottles saves more than 100,000 t of CO2 equivalents, 45,000 t of fossil resources and 733,000 MWh of energy every year.
Vacuum-assisted process scores with energy and technology efficiency
The VACUNITE® system is based on the interaction of the VACUREMA® technology from EREMA, which has been tried and tested and further developed for several years, and its heart, the vacuum-supported nitrogen-solid state polycondensation (V-Lean SSP). This was developed by the Polymetrix company specifically for this demanding application. Thanks to this special process, all thermal processes take place under a nitrogen and/or vacuum atmosphere, which is why the regranulate is of above-average quality at the end of the process. Unwanted discolorations can be largely ruled out and additives that could lead to unwanted reactions in the melt can be reliably removed.
In addition to the quality aspects, the technology from EREMA can also score points with a third lower energy consumption and 40% fewer technical components than comparable technologies and thus meets the RCS sustainability standard. In the meantime, the future-oriented company has installed the second machine to cover the growing demand for recycling material.