Sustainable Plastics - May/June 2020 - 31

recycling

A

lthough
perhaps
best known for
its focus on, and
expertise in, additives for PVC, Baerlocher also
has extensive experience with
other polymers, which is the
area of expertise of its Special
Additives Division. As Andreas
Holzner, the Global Head of the
Special Additives business unit
explained: "We are focussed
on all non-PVC applications
with our polymer additives and
when we talk about recycling,
I'd say to a large extent that we
are talking about polyolefins."
While PVC recycling is a
well-established activity in Eu-

rope, it is differently organised
from other polymers, with completely different collection systems. As it is often used in construction, PVC waste tends to
be generated during renovation
projects - the installation of new
pipes or new windows for example, where contractors and other
professionals handle the materials and are responsible for getting
them into the recycling stream.
Polyolefins, said Holzner, are
most commonly used for shortlife applications. "As such, they
show up at the recyclers more
often. At the same time they
have the highest potential with
regard to upcycling."

Not designed
for recycling
Recycled polyolefins - PP
and PE - are typically derived
from less well-defined streams
of post-industrial or post-consumer waste. In the case of
post-consumer waste, such
as packaging films and bottles, this is collected, sorted,
washed, shredded and regranulated into pellets, for converters
to reprocess into new products.
"However, virgin polyolefins
are typically stabilised for onetime use," said Holzner. Polymer
producers add additives to stabilise these materials to ensure

they meet customer expectations - "No stress cracking, no
discoloration of films, or brittleness of the films - this kind of
thing," he clarified. "But polymer
producers -who have been optimising their costs structures for
decades - only add the minimal
dosage of additive to their polymers in order to save costs. So
these polymers are typically not
designed for recycling."
As a result, post-stabilisation
of the polymer is needed, in order to be able to produce recyclate with the quality needed for
long-lasting products
"Without additives, problems
continued on page 32
May/June 2020

31



Sustainable Plastics - May/June 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Sustainable Plastics - May/June 2020

Contents
Sustainable Plastics - May/June 2020 - Cover1
Sustainable Plastics - May/June 2020 - Cover2
Sustainable Plastics - May/June 2020 - Contents
Sustainable Plastics - May/June 2020 - 4
Sustainable Plastics - May/June 2020 - 5
Sustainable Plastics - May/June 2020 - 6
Sustainable Plastics - May/June 2020 - 7
Sustainable Plastics - May/June 2020 - 8
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Sustainable Plastics - May/June 2020 - 40
Sustainable Plastics - May/June 2020 - Cover3
Sustainable Plastics - May/June 2020 - Cover4
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