APK plans plastic recycling plants in Asia and Europe

APK, a chemical recycling specialist, has announced at Interpack it plans to set up recycling plants in Europe and South-East Asia to strengthen plastics recycling and to reduce global land pollution and marine litter.

According to a study by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation earlier this year, worldwide plastics production has reached more than 300 million tonnes per year and is still increasing.

Roughly 78 million tonnes per year are consumed in single-use packaging, much of which ends up in incineration, landfill, or in the oceans.


Ocean pollution

Less than 17 per cent of all plastic waste is currently recycled worldwide – this low number is due to a lack of efficient collection and sorting systems as well as a lack of advanced recycling technology in some regions.

APK believes it can build new recycling plants by 2025 at proposed sites in China, Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam in Asia, as well as the Netherlands, France, Germany and Poland in Europe.

APK has developed a breakthrough technology that can be applied to a broad variety of plastic types and combinations commonly used in packaging, even difficult ones including multi-layer films. The technology exploits physical and chemical properties of different polymer types to separate these efficiently, resulting in high-purity single-polymer streams.

Klaus Wohnig, CEO, said at Interpack 2017: “In Germany we have developed an advanced and economically interesting recycling technology to recover virgin-quality polymers from plastic-packaging waste. We call it Newcycling. We now want to expand in Europe while simultaneously bringing our technology to the region where the problem is acute - South-East Asia. Of course, we are open to further co-operations with interested industry partners to change the plastics economy from linear to truly circular as soon as possible. This challenge is a very substantial.”

APK Aluminium und Kunststoffe was founded in 2008, with a 57,000 m² plant near Leipzig, Germany.

» Publication Date: 11/05/2017

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