Recycling of plastics

Plastics are an integral part of our everyday lives, may it be in electronics like smart phones, as highly efficient packaging materials or in building applications. Many of these materials are already recycled, but there is room for improvement. We work on solutions for post-industrials as well as post-consumer materials streams and have also characterised many materials in regard to their in-house recyclability.

CREAToR

Brominated flame retardants such as HBCD or PBDEs show an excellent flame retardant per-formance and have been used in various plastics such as polystyrene or ABS for many years. Today we know that these flame retardants are environmentally harmful and they have been banned by the EU a couple of years ago. This is a problem in the material recycling process and requires the removal of the flame retardants before reusing the plastics. In the EU project CREAToR, various detection and extraction methods for bromine-containing flame retardants are investigated with the aim of removing the hazardous substanc-es and produce high-quality products from the recycled plastics.

EnzATex

In 2018, Austria generated almost 222 thousand tons of textile waste, of which only 23% (i.e. 51∙103 t) was collected sorted and 77% (171∙103 t) ended up in mixed waste. Used textiles in mixed municipal waste end up almost exclusively in thermal recovery. In total, only about 7% (approx. 15∙103 t) of the 222 thousand tons of textile waste is recycled and 10% (approx. 22∙103 t) is reused (UBA 2022). A significant increase in the recycling rate of used textiles should therefore be aimed for.

HospiCycle

Especially in the medical sector, packaging is very important for hygiene reasons and cannot simply be replaced. Plastics play an important role here, as they package consumables sterilely and efficiently with little material input. In addition, many consumables in the medical sector are also made of plastic, as this makes them easily and cheaply available in large quantities. That is why it is hard to imagine life without plastics - however, the question arises as to whether plastic waste cannot also be recycled here. Therefore, the aim of the HospiCycle project is...

RecyPO

The fraction of the “hard plastics”, which is partially collected in the municipal waste collection centers, is currently not utilized in a broad way. Therefore the project “RecyPO”, a cluster-cooperation-project funded by the Upper Austrian government, dealt with the separation, reprocessing and the proper additives for these materials, to enable the re-use of these recyclates for new applications.

rWPC

Wood plastic composites are existing in the market since several years. Due to that, the question arises, if these materials can be recycled at the end of their service life, but also after processing and deck building. Within the cluster-cooperation-project, funded by the Upper Austrian government, these aspects were investigated in detail.

References

Battenfeld-Cincinnati, Camo, Erema, Fill, Greiner Packaging, Hawle, ifw, KMI, Kruschitz, KTM Technologies, Kuvag, Lithos Natural, M2C, NGR, OFI, PCE, Peak Technology, Poloplast, Praher, Rosenbauer, Semperit, SFC, Theurl Leimholzbau, Tiger Lacke, TIZ Grieskirchen, Trodat, Zitta