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Plastics Recycling

ETTLINGER ECO melt filters designed for higher throughputs in PET recycling

ETTLINGER has unveiled a new generation of tried-and-tested ECO products for use in PET recycling. Their new features take into account the need for systems with a higher product throughput and are initially available in sizes suitable for medium-sized recycling lines. 

The new ECO 350 replaces the former ECO 250, while the new ECO 500, capable of achieving capacities of up to 4,000 kg/h, replaces the former ECO 250 Twin. The ECO 200 completes this range.

Ettlinger's melt filter technology is based on the principle of self-cleaning with a continuous flow of melt from the outside to the inside of a rotating, perforated drum. A scraper removes the contaminants that are held back on the surface and feeds them to the discharge system. 

Just like the ERF filters, which are designed for higher contamination, the new ECO filters also have a modular structure, thereby providing a wide range of options for adjusting the filter properties to the respective task.

Better access to the scraper system reduces the amount of time needed by the operator for maintenance and replacement tasks. The discharge now exits via the front side of the ECO filters, which is generally easier for the user to access.

The ECO melt filters are designed to process very low viscosity polymer feedstock (mainly PET and PA) and to facilitate the efficient filtration of contaminants such as paper, wood, aluminium, silicone, etc. Moreover, the closed discharge system prevents the occurrence of black specks. 

For this reason, the classic application for ECO melt filters is extrusion systems where PET bottle flake is converted into food packaging films, packaging tape and fibres, as well as PET repelletising and compounding processes. ECO melt filters are suitable for single-screw or twin-screw extrusion lines, irrespective of the pelletising system or other downstream units, and can achieve throughputs from 150 kg/h up to 4,000 kg/h.

BKG FlexDisc innovation to significantly enhance melt filtration for post-consumer PET recyclers

The BKG FlexDisc, an innovation that significantly enhances melt filtration in the recycling of post-consumer PET, has been selected to be a finalist in the Plastics Recycling Awards Europe competition. The category in which it is shortlisted is "Recycling Machinery Innovation of the Year."

Two to four FlexDiscs can be combined in a filter stack, providing filtration area far greater than is available with standard flat screens without increasing machine size or weight. It yields finer filtration, prolongs filter life, and reduces backflush volume.

Recommended for Bottle-2-Bottle recycling and rPET fibre production, the FlexDisc is designed for use with piston-driven backflush screen changers, such as Nordson's HiCon V-Type 3G system.

The Plastics Recycling Awards Europe 2021 winners will be announced on November 5th during the second day of the Plastics Recycling Show Europe taking place at the RAI Amsterdam.

North American plastic recycling rates highlight need for investment in collection and infrastructure

North American recyclers continue to recycle the majority of the post-consumer plastic recovered for recycling. 

Recycling of plastics in North America has risen approximately 8 percent since 2017. However, the recycling industry faces ongoing challenges according to a 2019 survey sponsored by the Association of Plastic Recyclers (APR), the Foundation for Plastic Recycling, and the American Chemistry Council (ACC).

Is it fair to blame plastic for the pollution problems facing our planet?

Plastic waste, recycling, and export are topics which have long taken centre stage in the headlines, but is it really fair to blame this commodity for the pollution problems facing our planet?

Positive news about plastics is rare

When looking at the news, it is rare to see a positive news story about plastic - or one which is talking about the benefits of this material. Instead, more often than not, it is highlighting horrific pollution issue it is causing across our lands and oceans - but what about showing the real culprit of this environmental contamination?

In reality, emphasizing the pollution issue is not the problem - as consumers, people should have visibility over what is happening in the world. But equally, they should also be aware of their role within this, and how their choices, actions, and attitudes contribute to the end result.

Plastic, in the simplest sense, is manufactured for a purpose - whether that be to transport goods, keep food fresh, manufacture a wide range of products, including personal protective equipment - and it is then in the hands of humans as to the destination and indeed how long its lifespan is.

Consumption, recovery, and reuse are crucial pieces in the circular economy puzzle, and we can only truly close the loop if we get these right.

In fact, it is estimated that the world currently produces circa 381 million tonnes of plastic waste annually, and this figure is expected to double by 2034, if nothing changes in the meantime.

Manufacturing and design have a role to play

It is extremely easy to point the finger of blame at plastic itself, but that is neither fair nor accurate.

As well as wider education around the importance of recycling plastic, what types can and cannot be recycled, and how sustainable it can be if managed correctly, human beings need to turn their heads towards the start of the process - the design and manufacturing phases.

Before a product is brought to life, it is discussed and conceptualized in depth by organizations' in-house teams, to ensure it is fit for purpose and ticks all the boxes of the brief. However, one of these checkpoints should undoubtedly be sustainability and reuse. And while there are some blue-chip companies which have started to introduce closed-loop solutions to their offering, there are still many that have not - and this needs to change.

Product designers are the ones who have the chance to ensure that anything they put forward for manufacture is considerate of the environment in the long term - factoring in its recyclability and segregation requirements from the offset. 

It is this measured approach to ‘reverse logistics' that can not only help our planet and prevent further pollution with post-consumer plastic materials, but that showcases true extended producer responsibility, and can assist in promoting a more circular mindset down the rest of the supply chain.

Plastic as a resource not a waste

And while it is as a result of human behaviour that there is so much plastic polluting our landscapes, it is clear that more needs to be done to ensure everyone is on the same page and views this material stream as a resource not a ‘waste'.

As technology develops to clean up the damage we have created, we also need to go further.  

It is only when this commodity is ‘onshored' - treated by local plastic recycler solutions in the country of origin and not exported - that nations can begin to realize the true value of plastic and assume responsibility for how it is handled. Without this, it is easy to view it as someone else's problem.

In order to ensure these polymers enter the market with ease of recyclability in mind - these changes need to happen as soon as possible. The planet and future generations cannot afford to wait.

Paul Kinley is managing director at Indigo Environmental Group.

Should all plastic goods be labelled as toxic?

In October of 2020, the Canadian government first announced its intentions to label all plastic goods as toxic as part of its plan to move to zero plastic waste by 2030. In early May, the government published an order-in-council in the Canada Gazette Part II, to add "plastic manufactured items" to the List of Toxic Substances set out in Schedule 1 of the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999 (CEPA), and use the resulting regulation-making powers to ban multiple single-use plastic waste products by the end of 2021.

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Paper Recycling

Fiber giant Cascades Q1 results show operating income down by 50%, reflects pandemic effects

Kingsey Falls, Quebec-based Cascades Inc., the Canadian giant in fiber packaging and tissue manufacturing, as well as post-consumer fiber recovery, has seen significant decreases in revenue, largely due to effects of the global pandemic. As reported in its unaudited financial results for the three-month period ended March 31, 2021, Q1 2021 highlights include sales of $1,182 million (compared with $1,242 million in Q4 2020) for a decline of 5%, and $1,265 million compared to Q1 2020 results, a decrease of 7%.

The top four trends in carton recycling for 2021

As for most industries, the last year has been a challenging one for carton recycling in Canada. Certainly, at the Carton Council of Canada (CCC), we have witnessed a year characterized by significant fluctuations in both demand and price. Navigating these changes has not been for the faint of heart, nor should we expect that we've seen the last of pandemic-related impact on our business. Nevertheless, there are strategies we can use to help mitigate the challenges and maximize the opportunities ahead of us. Without a doubt, this is an excellent time to recommit to best practices like positive sorting, bale quality and consumer education. 

Curbing single-stream contamination of OCC at the MRF

Contamination of incoming OCC and other fibre streams at the MRF has risen significantly over the last several years. The pandemic has had an effect on what is being discarded, how much, and where. Today's MRF's see much more OCC and mixed paper from curbside programs, but far less Sorted Office Paper from businesses, for example. For MRF operators who are having issues with contamination of their incoming streams, resulting in higher sorting costs and lower purity of output, there are technology and strategies that can help. 

OCC volatility is off the charts

Recycled paper, and old corrugated containers (OCC) in particular, has always been a volatile commodity. Over the past few years, the market has seen boosts in demand from rising recycled containerboard production, followed by a sharp fall in export opportunities as countries, including China, introduce quality restrictions on imports and then supply-side disruptions. All this has naturally led to major swings in pricing.

Organics Recycling

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C&D Recycling

Collection & Hauling

SWANA curbside report provides tips on reducing contamination and boosting safety at the MRF

A new report from the Solid Waste Association of North America's (SWANA) Applied Research Foundation (ARF) addresses the issue of increased contamination in curbside recycling programs in recent years and its effect on costs and safety at material recovery facilities (MRFs). The ARF report, Reducing Contamination in Curbside Recycling Programs, is now exclusively available for download to SWANA Members, and will be available to the public by spring, 2022.

Return-It is adapting its social purpose to pivot to a post-pandemic era where nothing is waste

For the past 26 years, B.C.-based stewardship corporation Return-It, part of Encorp Pacific (Canada), has been a leader in recycling and community education. As of April, Return-It is broadening its commitment to sustainability after announcing its official social purpose aimed at creating a better future for people, communities and the planet based on the mantra: "We exist to foster a world where nothing is waste."

Ontario to use EPR to advance their Blue Box curbside collection program

Following extensive consultations, the Ontario government is advancing provincial, curbside residential blue box recycling by expanding service to more communities, standardizing the list of materials that can be recycled across the province and saving municipalities money by making producers of products and packaging fully responsible for the cost and operation of the program.

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