Colours for the Recycling Loop
Reused polymers can be made usable again in a various ways:
- Mechanical recycling: used plastics are processed into recyclates. Plastic waste from consumers is called post-consumer recyclate/resin (PCR). Waste plastic from industrial processes is called post-industrial recyclate/resin (PIR).
- Thermal energy recycling: The energy contained in the plastics is used by incineration to generate electricity, for example.
- Chemical recycling: The monomers or petrochemical based materials are recovered and used to produce material very similar to virgin quality.
Making polymers recyclable
With our LifoCycle range, we can set the course for good recyclability and thus easy sortability during the processing of virgin and reused polymers. With suitable colouring solutions, we ensure sortability, for example. Our NIR-detectable masterbatches support automatic sorting.
Masterbatches for recycling processes can be developed on the basis of so-called virgin polymers as well as on the basis of partial or complete recyclate carrier systems. The latter are particularly suitable for virgin materials intended for the recycling loop. Suitable additives counteract degradation processes in the recycling process through repeated thermal stress.
At present, even after colour sorting and polymer separation, the sorting systems only yield rather light and dark PCR polymer fractions as a starting point.
A lighter one tends to be able to be coloured in attractive shades with higher variety and lower use of colourants, so that the masterbatch concentration and colouring costs in the ﬁnal article can remain moderate. However, lighter polymer fractions tend to be less available due to the more complex sorting and processing.
Darker types currently limit the variety of colouring; the rule is: the darker the target shade, the more realistic and cost-eﬃcient the result. Light shades can hardly be achieved or only at high cost.
With our interpretation of the Colour Road 2023 and 2024, we impressively demonstrate the colour spectrum that is possible with colouring PCR materials.
We will be happy to advise you on your individual recycling project.