For its innovative, solvent-based plastic recycling process Newcycling®, APK AG in Merseburg, is relying on the high-performance ZSK extruder technology and technical process expertise from Coperion. Using the Newcycling® process, multi-polymer and multi-layer plastic packaging, that previously could not be recycled, can now be separated and processed into homogeneous regrind using ZSK twin screw extruders. In contrast to chemical recycling, the polymer in this process remains unchanged and does not require energy- and cost-intensive re-polymerization. Newcycling®, therefore, is highly efficient from a cost and from an environmental perspective.
Thanks to the innovative, solvent-based Newcycling® treatment, as well as the excellent devolatilization performance and gentle material handling in the ZSK extruder, the quality of the recyclates is close to that of virgin product.
Plastic Waste as Challenge and Opportunity
The amount of plastic waste produced daily is one of the greatest problems of modern times. Worldwide, nearly 80 million tons of plastic packaging waste accrues annually. Of this amount, currently only about 10 percent of the resources used are recovered by recycling. 90 percent of it is incinerated, dumped into landfills, or littered into the environment.
The necessity of a circular plastic economy has never been greater. With its innovative Newcycling® process, APK is laying an important cornerstone for achieving the goal of greater sustainability and higher recycling rates in the plastics industry.
This one-of-a-kind physical and solvent-based process enables clean and single-origin polyamide (PA) and polyethylene (PE) pellets with virgin-near material character to be extracted from complex PA/PE multi-layer films. These recyclates can be reused in high-quality products up to the original application. Downcycling can thus be reduced and closed-loop recycling becomes possible.