Boosting the use of processed plastic waste in the manufacturing of new plastic products is one of the priority tasks in the development of a circular economy for the plastics industry. As injection moulding machine manufacturer and system solution provider, Engel supports its customers in designing increasing numbers of products for the use of recycled materials on the one hand, and in continuously growing the content of recycled materials in new products on the other. In collaboration with SSI Schaefer, Engel is showing visitors what this can look like in practice at K 2019 from 16 to 23 October in Düsseldorf, Germany.
In the outdoor exhibition area between halls 10 and 16 – right next to the VDMA Pavilion – Engel is converting post-consumer waste into miniature waste containers on a victory 330/80 injection moulding machine. For this exhibit, Engel is collaborating with its long-standing customer SSI Schaefer, who is also using greater volumes of recycled material in the production of large waste containers. “Our customers are increasingly demanding sustainable products that consist to a large extent of recycled plastic waste,” emphasises Fabiano D'Aloia of SSI Schaefer, headquartered in Neunkirchen, Germany.
Waste containers for a european city
This is made clear by a project that SSI Schaefer took on for a major european city. When procuring new waste containers for household waste, the city's central requirement was that recycling material from returned old containers had to be used to manufacture the containers. 13,000 end-of-life polyethylene household waste containers were collected, cleaned, processed into regrind and recycled by SSI Schaefer. 25,000 new containers were produced on Engel duo injection moulding machines, processing 232 tonnes of recycled material.
More than 80 percent recycled material
The project caught on. SSI Schaefer is now delivering more and more waste containers using high recycled content. “More than 80 percent is already possible today,” says D‘Aloia. “Engel is supporting us with its process engineering experience and plasticising expertise to further increase this value.” Each of the duo machines for SSI Schaefer is designed specifically for processing recycled material.
SSI Schaefer and Engel are both strongly committed to establishing a circular economy for the plastics industry. The fact that this is all the more successful the closer the companies collaborate along the value chain is once again being demonstrated at K.