Defining Plastics Recyclability

Global Definition of Recyclable Plastic Packaging and Products Released

The global outcry of hostility against plastic products has been gathering momentum since the end of 2017 and, subsequently, politicians and governments have pledged to introduce measures to reduce plastic waste.   However, many of these new policies have been deemed to be popularist and lacking in substance.

plastic-bottles

Many governments, including the European Union, have set recycling targets that have been questioned by the recycling and plastics industries.  The EU has made a pledge to have all plastic packaging recyclable or reusable by 2030, a far more aggressive strategy that the UK Government’s plan for plastic waste reduction.

However, until recently, there has not been a definition to govern the use of the term “recyclable” and so how could any of those targets be quantified?  Due to the public outrage about how plastic waste is damaging our planet, politicians have wanted to be seen to take urgent action, but maybe a more considered approach is needed.  Should the first step be to engage with:

  • Plastic product designers and producers;
  • Companies who will ultimately recycle the products;
  • Businesses that will use the recycled plastic products in the manufacture of new products.

One issue that has often plagued the waste sector is the defining the terminology.  Even the classification of “Waste” differs from country to country.

However, two leading global international plastics recycling organisations have worked together to define the term “recyclable” in terms of plastic products and packaging.  In July 2018, Brussels-based Plastic Recyclers Europe (PRE) and the Association of Plastic Recyclers in Washington, USA have concluded that there are four conditions that define a plastic product as being “recyclable”.  These are:

  1. The product must be made with a plastic that is collected for recycling, has market value and/or is supported by a legislatively mandated program;
  2. The product must be sorted and aggregated into defined streams for recycling processes;
  3. The product can be processed and reclaimed/recycled with commercial recycling processes;
  4. The recycled plastic becomes a raw material that is used in the production of new products;

Technology already exists to help with the sorting of plastic waste into defined streams.  Additionally, there is processing equipment available to remove contamination such as metal (Magnetic Separators, Eddy Current Separators, Metal Detectors) and other contaminants (Optical, X-Ray, Infra-Red).

A recent case history report highlighted how EcoVyn, a PVC compounder in the UK, already processes 1000 tonnes of plastic waste each month of which 80% is post-consumer.

Bunting Magnetics Drawer Magnets at Ecovyn

Such clarity of the definition of whether a plastic product is really “recyclable” can only be beneficial, assisting product designers, users and recyclers.  However, it remains unclear whether the EU, UK and other governments will use this new definition when setting their recycling and plastic waste targets.

For further information on metal separation equipment designed for removing metal from plastic waste and in other recycling applications, please visit our website or contact us on:

Phone: +44 (0) 1442 875081
Email: press@buntingeurope.com
Via the website

Other Plastic Waste & Recycling Articles

Metal Recovery Focus at CARS 18

Metal Recovery Equipment on Show at CARS Exhibition

At the CARS 2018 exhibition (11-12 July 2018, NAEC, Stoneleigh, UK), the focus on stand M6 will be on maximising the recovery of metal whilst also maintaining purity levels.

The Complete Auto Recycling Show (CARS) is Europe’s premier event for auto recyclers and material processors. It is the only event of its kind, drawing over 1,200 attendees from across the globe in 2016.

Unlike traditional trade shows, visitors get the chance to experience not only the indoor exhibitions, but to see working line demonstrations, participate in offsite tours, visit the Skills Lab and access the Conference Theatre – all included within the free ticket.

Master Magnets, the recycling focused division of Bunting Magnetics Europe Ltd, will be demonstrating the separation and recovery of non-ferrous metals and stainless steel on stand M6.

“Our focus is on recovering as much metal as possible in a high value grade,” explained Dave Hills, Bunting and Master Magnets Head of Sales.  “There is always a balance between recovery and purity and the best results often come from several stages of separation.”

Master Magnets has a complete range of metal separation equipment for every stage of metal recovery.

Ferrous Metal Separation

drum_magnet_installation

The primary metal separation stage in any recycling plant focused on ferrous metals.  Large Drum Magnets, specifically designed for the arduous environment, are commonly used along with smaller Drum Magnets and Pulley Magnets.

Non Ferrous Metal Recovery

Eddy Current

Eddy Current Separator designs have been perfected to enable the recovery of even the smallest non-ferrous metals.  Two rotor configurations (ie concentric or eccentric) are available to suit the specific application.  Recent developments include a precise splitter positioning system to maximise recovery and purity.

Stainless Steel Separation

Gershow-System_4336-300x225

Stainless Steel Magnetic Separators are a relatively new addition to the metal separation range of equipment that has been extremely popular in USA secondary metal processing plants.  There are two variations available:

HISC (High Intensity Separation Conveyor) – This enables the magnetic separation of small and mid-sized stainless steel – 10mm to 40mm (½” to 1½”) – and for wire-cleaning applications.

SSSC (Stainless Steel Separation Conveyor) – With a patent magnetic circuit design of high-intensity neodymium magnets, the SSSC can remove up to 94% of irregular shaped stainless steel – up to 125mm (5”) in size – from auto shredding or wire chopping stream.

On stand M6 at the CARS exhibition there will be demonstrations of both non-ferrous metal recovery on an Eddy Current Separator and Stainless Steel separation.

For further information on Bunting Magnetics and Master Magnets and our range of metal separation equipment designed for the metal recycling, please visit our websites or contact us on:

Phone: +44 (0) 1442 875081
Email: press@buntingeurope.com
Via the website

Metal Separation MOT at WASTE 18

A Free Review of Magnetic Separators and Eddy Current Separators

At this week’s WASTE’18 Expo (Thursday, 5th July 2018, Warwickshire Event Centre, Leamington Spa, UK), on stand A Bunting Magnetics and Master Magnets are offering a free Metal Separation MOT.

The Metal Separation MOT involves a site visit to review the positioning, set-up, strength, and separation performance of Magnetic Separators and Eddy Current Separators.

Over time, it is not unusual to find that the positioning and set-up of metal separation equipment has been changed.  This may have occurred during a maintenance period or during a break down, or there could have been a change in the plant layout.  Assessing the installation as an external auditor enables a review with a fresh pair of eyes.  At the end of the MOT, a report is prepared and submitted and this can form part of a company’s quality management.

For further information, please see us on stand A at the WASTE’18 expo.

At the show, Bunting and Master Magnets will be exhibiting and demonstrating the Stainless Steel Magnetic Separator and the Mastermag Eddy Current Separator.

Separating Stainless Steel

Bunting Master Magnets at RWM17

The successful recovery or extraction of stainless steel from mixed non-ferrous metals (eg WEEE) or non-metallic materials (eg plastic waste) has been an issue for many recycling companies.  The Stainless Steel Magnetic Separator has been designed with an ultra strong magnetic circuit to attract and deflect the weakly magnetic metal.  Stainless Steel becomes weakly magnetic, usually on the edges, when passing through a shredder or granulator.  Demonstrations on stand A at WASTE’18 will show stainless steel being separated.

Separating Non Ferrous Metals

MasterMagnets_ECS-0634

Maximising the recovery of non-ferrous metals, such as aluminium and copper, increases financial return whilst also reduces the amount of material passing to landfill.  On the stand, there will be demonstrations to show how effective the Mastermag Eddy Current Separator is in the high yield and high purity separation of small and large non-ferrous metals.

With the global focus on waste management and recycling, especially with regards to plastic waste, this year’s WASTE’18 is expected to be busier than ever.

To register for WASTE’18 go to Free Visitor Registration.

For further information on Bunting Magnetics and Master Magnets and our range of metal separation equipment designed for the waste and recycling sector, please visit our websites or contact us on:

Phone: +44 (0) 1442 875081
Email: press@buntingeurope.com
Via the website