Between 2006 and 2018, there was a 92% increase in the amount of post-consumer plastic packaging destined for recycling. At the same time, there is a growing interest in sustainability among companies and end customers, and the economy is gradually changing from linear to circular. It is the role of us manufacturers to constantly look for ways to respond to these requirements and thus contribute to sustainability. One of the ways is the use of recyclates in packaging production.
Recyclate is a material that results from recycling plastics or other types of waste and subsequently serves as an input raw material for the production of other products. We distinguish between two types of recyclates:
It can be found under the PCR abbreviation. This material is made from consumer waste, such as plastic beverage bottles or other types of packaging. After fulfilling its purpose and proper separation, it reaches recycling lines, where it undergoes sorting, cleaning and melting.
The process results in resin. It can be used in the production of secondary packaging that does not need to comply with the requirements for food contact – films for pallets, beverage multipacks and so on.
In this case, it is a material obtained from waste generated during the production process. Its abbreviation is PIR. Waste is generated during machine start-up or material cuts during packaging production.
As such waste never leaves production, it is easier to collect and recycle than post-consumer waste. Waste from the production process is also recycled and used for the production of secondary raw materials.
Our subsidiary Chemosvit Folie uses both types of recyclates, for example, for the production of packaging solutions used for group packaging of toilet paper.
Advantages of using recyclates
Packaging production using recycled materials has several benefits that are related to the environment. As recyclates have less impact on the environment than primary raw materials, they allow:
- reduction of the carbon footprint – the production of recyclates consumes less energy and fossil raw materials than the production of new plastics, which results in lower greenhouse gas emissions
- waste reduction – it takes years for plastic waste to decompose in landfills. It is up to 450 years for plastic bottles. In this case, the waste does not end up in a landfill but gets a second chance. It is converted into a raw material from which other products are made.
- promoting the circular economy – its essence is the recycling and reuse of materials and products
Recyclates are the next step we can take to create a future with less waste. Contact us if you want to learn more about recycled materials or how you can use them in the packaging of your products.