Winners of the Plastics Recycling Awards Europe 2021 were announced at the Plastics Recycling Show Europe in Amsterdam. This year’s award winners have together made very conspicuous progress in effective design for recycling, which in turn is defining the path towards more recyclable plastic products and the truly circular use of plastics.
Plastix’s Circular Green Rope, the Building & Construction Product winner, shows that it is possible to successfully recycle fishing gear, an application that has proved challenging up until now. This genuinely innovative and holistic cross-industry solution is both a key enabler of the transition to the Circular New Plastics Economy and a real business opportunity.
The auburn-coloured HÅG Capisco Puls from Flokk made from recycled snow plough markers is this year’s Household and Leisure Product award winner. The jury praised Flokk for its relentless commitment towards sustainable and durable furniture. The new chair features a seat and back shell made of 100% recycled post-consumer polypropylene, showing how plastic waste can be recycled into a desirable design without compromising its quality or functionality. The desk chair also scored very highly for aesthetics, ergonomics and design. It allows different sitting positions, for example to engage the legs, which are not possible with conventionally designed chairs.
Recyclability of packaging is the first step to ensure it will be recycled back into a high quality, closed-loop application. The Evian labeless bottle designed to be circular by SAEME for Danone Eaux France is truly innovative packaging and winner of the Plastic Packaging Product category. Removing the label from the bottle minimises packaging use and helps the recycling process. The packaging scores A+++ in the RecyClass analysis.
The Product Technology Innovation award goes to Reckitt for its mono-material PP Trigger Sprayer, a significant advance in design to improve the recyclability of this popular product. Trigger sprays often contain multiple materials that can include metal or glass, making them difficult to recycle. The judges commended Reckitt for reducing the weight of this component and by committing to moving from 22 variants of trigger sprayers to 3 and reducing the number of colour variations from 42 to 6. This excellent example of design for recycling sends an important signal for other companies to follow.
The Plastics Recycling Ambassador 2021 is Flor Peña Herron, Sustainability & Circular Economy Manager EMENA at Avery Dennison Label and Packaging Materials. The judges praised Flor for setting the course for converters, label producers, the packaging industry and the whole value chain in her commitment to work on improving plastic packaging recyclability and recycling in Europe. She leverages multiple platforms including Petcore and RecyClass, and her passion and motivation are delivering real change in making plastics circular.
Two entries in the Recycling Machinery Innovation category scored equal highest points from the jury, clearly ahead of all other finalists, and the judges therefore decided to make the award to both jointly.
Launched to the market in October of this year, Britas’s ABMF-PET-C (Automatic Belt Melt Filter) provides fully automated filtration of contaminants from plastic waste. For the first time it allows the continuous processing of post-consumer waste without stopping production, making it ideal for continuous processing and consistent pellet quality.
INTAREMA TVEplus RegrindPro + ReFresher by EREMA Erema applies the company’s existing and very successful ReFresher technology for recycling food contact HDPE containers. The judges recongised this innovation as a step change in eliminating unwanted odour from waste plastics, allowing recyclate to replace virgin palstics in high end applications. This type of innovation is essential for meeting EU targets for recycled content of food contact plastics.
The winners each receive a trophy, with a 3D printed base made from 100% recycled ABS plastic car dashboards and the multi-colour top which is laser cut from compressed HDPE beach clean-up bottle caps.
“This year’s winners are a true testament that a high percentage of recycled content can be used successfully for high-end, branded consumer goods in everyday use,” said Ton Emans, President of Plastics Recyclers Europe. “Now in their fourth year, the awards as a whole show how well all plastic value chain actors are collaborating to improve recycling: everyone from major brands and material producers through to converters, label producers and manufacturers of shredding and extrusion machinery.”
“Congratulations to all eight of our outstanding winners. These incredible projects and products prove our sector’s commitment to the recycling and reuse of plastics by design,” said Brennan Lafferty Vice President, Crain Communications. “They show us all that by working together we can make great things from recycled plastics and substantially increase the uptake of recyclates.”
The expert judging panel for the Plastics Recycling Awards 2021 includes three previous winners of the Ambassador Award: Professor Kim Ragaert of Maastricht University (2020), Gian de Belder, Technical Director, R&D Packaging Sustainability at Procter & Gamble (2019) and Willemijn Peeters CEO of Searious Business (2018). They were joined by Ton Emans, President of Plastics Recyclers Europe (PRE); Karen Laird, Editor of Sustainable Plastics and Rune Thoralfsson, Owner and Director of plastic film recycler Norfolier GreenTec AS.
The Plastics Recycling Awards Europe are organised jointly by Plastics Recyclers Europe and Crain Communications, organisers of PRSE. EREMA Engineering Recycling Maschinen GmbH, Fimic SRL and Tomra Sorting Recycling are platinum sponsors of the 2021 Awards.
The Plastics Recycling Show Europe is a free-to-attend exhibition and a conference designed specifically for plastics recycling professionals. It brings together key players from the plastics and recycling sectors to showcase innovative technology, share best practice, network and do business. A broad cross-section of the industry is represented at the event including plastics recycling machinery and equipment suppliers, plastic material suppliers and compounders, pre-processors, plastics recyclers, waste management specialists and industry associations.