We have recently launched a new de-inking machine at Tatrafan – the Film Cleaner from Polymount. It will allow us to reduce the volume of plastic waste and contribute to the circular economy, as the cleaned film can be recycled internally or reused as the start-up material for a new design.
Second chance for the waste
The new technology will help us process existing waste into an end product of higher quality, which is one of the cornerstones of the circular economy. Until now, we have been producing coloured agglomerate (PP) or coloured regranulate (PE) from waste, and these have been used to make less demanding plastic mouldings.
The new film de-inking machine will enable us to clean the ink almost completely. Subsequently, we should be able to produce a transparent regranulate that has a wider range of applications. We intend to use the transparent PE regranulate for PE film production. The PP regranulate will, in turn, be used to produce transparent or white plastic mouldings, and we will also offer it for sale to external companies, as we no longer manufacture PP film.
How film de-inking works
From the unwinding section, the roll of printed film is directed into a system of three tanks with a cleaning liquid for de-inking, in which the guide roller and squeegee system are immersed. The squeegees remove inks, and the film is dried in the drying section. Finally, the clean film is wound into the final roll.
The filtration system is constantly working during the machine’s operation. It purifies the cleaning liquid in each of the three tanks separately, and the vapour extraction of the cleaning liquid is also in constant operation. The whole process is controlled by the staff via a control panel.
We are currently in the testing phase of the machine, where the staff is also getting acquainted with it. Our aim is to achieve the cleanest possible film. Therefore, we are working with our subsidiary Chemosvit Folie to set up individual operations.
The printed film has limited recycling and reuse possibilities. Therefore, it is important for us to seek ways to help improve this while contributing to sustainability.