Plastics consist mainly of macromolecules, and depending on the selection and manufacturing process, they have different characteristics. These properties include temperature resistance, plasticity, hardness, elasticity and breaking strength.
Within 65 years (1950-2015), around 8.3 billion tonnes of plastic were produced worldwide – this amounts to approximately 1 tonne per capita of the world’s population. It is therefore all the more important to handle them responsibly, which should always end/begin with recycling.
HDPE stands for High Density Polyethylene and finds its origin in the group of polyolefins.
Typical features are the high acid resistance, stability and resilience.
At temperatures around 125°C, however, HDPE begins to melt, a relatively low melting point for a plastic material.
We encounter HDPE every day in the form of household appliances, garden furniture and toys, but barrels and oil tanks are also made of this versatile plastic.
LDPE stands for Low Density Polyethylene and, like HDPE, also comes from the group of polyolefins.
Due to its temperature resistance (-40°C to 95°C), LDPE is very suitable for everyday use.
We encounter it most often in the form of packaging materials, e.g. the yellow bag, a thin, yellowish transparent plastic bag which is part of the Dual System in the German waste management industry, is made of LDPE film.
Since LDPE film can be recycled very well, we consider it our duty to do our part with the trade to recover regranulates.
Polyethylene terephthalate, PET for short, is a thermoplastic from the group of polyesters.
PET has a melting point of approx. 250°C and is practically insoluble in water.
Unfortunately, we are also all familiar with the images of vast quantities of PET bottles in the oceans of our planet. Of the approximately 300 million plastic bottles produced each year, about 10 million end up in the oceans. To actively counteract this problem, we are committed to responsible PET recycling.
We market most of the material within Europe, which is also required by the environmental authorities. Our customers are mostly processors. These process the goods again as regranulates, which then go to the compound manufacturers. End products such as shampoo bottles, rubbish bags, etc. are made from them. We export unmixed plastics to Turkey, Hong Kong, Malaysia and Indonesia. All buyers have import licences and can identify themselves as R3 plants. For example, for sorted goods with a foreign matter content of more than 2%, we require a notification for export.
The quality standards distinguish between the concepts of unmixed plastics and sorting quality. Unmixed plastics can be processed directly. Sorting quality refers to when several different types of plastic are mixed in one load or, possibly, other interfering materials such as paper etc. are included. These cannot go directly into processing. It must first be sorted into types of plastic, paper and, if applicable, waste (ejection).
Then an assessment of the quality must be made according to colour as well as the degree of contamination (soiled or not soiled). White or transparent plastics can again be used to make white or transparent regranulates. However, only black regranulates can be produced from all other colours.
In 2018, the rate of recycled plastic waste in the EU averaged an estimated 42%.
According to the European Directive on Packaging and Packaging Waste, the recycling rate target has been set at 50% by 2025 and 55% by 2030.
In addition, the requirements of the German Packaging Act (VerpackG) come into play in Germany. They are even more ambitious and demand a recycling rate for plastic packaging of 58.5% since 2019. This target was met exactly in 2019. From 2022, however, the required rate will rise to 63%.
As a rule, we load the material in tarpaulin trucks or with walking floor trucks (for loose goods). For export, we load into 40 ft high-cube overseas containers.