Monday, November 28th, 2011

UK Study Confirms a Future for Post-Consumer Film Recycling

As the result of a feasibility study conducted with three major manufacturers, UK-based Axion Consulting has confirmed that closed-loop recycling of post-consumer and retail waste plastic films could become a commercial reality within four years. Axion says supermarket waste plastic films can be turned into refuse bags, outside billboards, in-store displays, and shelving among other things that could be sold or used by the stores themselves.

Comingled post-consumer and post-retail plastic film was the feedstock for Axion’s recycling strudy.

Axion’s research was funded by Water & Resources Action Programme (WRAP), a not-for-profit private company backed by government funding from England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland, that helps businesses in those regions to reap the benefits of reducing waste, develop sustainable products, and use resources efficiently.

Roger Morton, Axion’s director, said the studies should give manufacturers confidence to invest in production capability, which in turn would stimulate local authorities to accept waste plastic films in their recycling collections.

One of the three UK manufacturers taking part in the feasibility include is CeDO, which successfully produced refuse sacks that met existing product specs using 100% UK-sourced recycled content from household waste. The other two companies, Centriforce and Protomax, focused on making boards from comingled film waste that could be made into shelving, panels, billboards and more. Both firms are continuing to work with retailers to open up market opportunities.

David Brookes, CeDo’s technical development director, says UK retailers are showing increasing signs of wanting to direct the plastic waste from the supply chain and retail stores back into products they sell. The technical foundation, he says, is critically important to deliver economic solutions. CeDO, he adds, will continue to develop technology for an economic closed-loop model for its customers in both the UK and all the EU.

The WRAP organization has a goal that states by 2015 it aims to develop a closed loop economy in the UK by driving up reuse and recycling and as a result reduce the quantity of packaging, textile, furniture, and electrical waste sent to landfill by 5%. That’s no small task But most agree that there is a strong desire on the part

of UK residents to become greener, particularly in the area of recycling, and specifically plastic film.

Panel made of recycled post-consumer plastic film

Rigid board made from PCR plastic film can be made into a variety of products..

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