Plastic Recycling Machines: Recycling Lines

Plastic Recycling Machines: Recycling Lines

HARD PLASTIC RECYCLING

Hard plastic objects can appear in many shapes and types. Each object can have specific requirements to the recycling process. We have a standard solution available for general hard plastic waste, which are suitable for most common plastics. For specific requirements, optional machines can be added to the line. The final product can be plastic flakes or virgin pellets. Suitable plastic types are amongst others PP, PE, PS, PET, PVC, ABS, BOPP etc.

PLASTIC FILM RECYCLING

Plastic bags and foil generally have specific needs to the recycling equipment that are different from hard plastic. To meet these requirements, we have developed standard solutions for the recycling of plastic bags and foil of most common plastic materials. These lines are mainly suitable for PE and PP but can also be used for PET, PS, ABS etc. Main part of the line is crushing and washing equipment. For specific requirements, options are available for sorting and regaining hard plastic particles or virgin pellets.

PET BOTTLE RECYCLING

Recycling of PET bottles is a product specific task for which we have three standardized solutions with many options. The basic part of the line consists of simple crushing and washing equipment. For higher demands to the quality of the recycled material we have a medium and high-end solution with extra washing equipment. There are plenty of options available for sorting out foreign materials. A granulation line can be added at the end to produce high-quality virgin pellets.

ELECTRIC CABLE RECYCLING

Electric cables generally consist of an evenly divided plastic and metal part. The main task in recycling them is to sort out the valuable metal. We have line solutions available that start with crumbling the cables into small particles of a few millimeters. There are three solutions available with different cutting power for different diameters. After crumbling the cables, a metal-plastic separator separates the metal from the rest. Our lines are suitable for both aluminum and copper cables.

TIRE RECYCLING

Car and truck tires are mainly made out of rubber. To regain the rubber for new purposes the tires have to be destroyed and the metal wires and fibers have to be removed. Since machines for destroying complete tires at once need a lot of force we have next to two automatic solutions a more economical semi-automatic solution as well for lower capacities. The semi-automatic solution needs more human workforce. After a repeating process of crushing and removal of metals and fibers, the recycled rubber will be available in particles of a few millimeters.

Our plastic waste abroad – where does our waste go?

Our plastic waste abroad – where does our waste go?

Around one million tons of plastic waste are exported from the UK every year. In addition to the EU member states, target countries are also various Southeast Asian countries or Turkey. It has long been known that some of these exports have significant negative consequences for the environment and for the local population in the importing countries (all information on plastic waste exports).

To address this problem, the EU Waste Shipment Regulation has been revised. Since January 1, 2021, certain plastic waste may no longer be exported from EU countries to countries such as Malaysia, India or Indonesia. Despite the fact that the UK doesn’t adhere to EU regulations anymore since Brexit, also the pressure on the UK government to ban all plastic waste exports is growing. But what exactly does it mean being banned under current EU regulations? And does that solve the problem of plastic waste exports and promote plastic recycling in the EU?

Ban only applies to exports to selected countries

The export ban on plastic waste only applies to exports from the EU to countries that are not members of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). This includes most countries in the so-called Global South and thus restricts, for example, the export of plastic waste to Southeast Asia.

Conversely, however, the regulation means that exports to OECD countries, such as Turkey, Israel, Mexico or Colombia, are still permitted. And even within the EU, waste can still be traded between the member states.

The EU Commission justifies these different regulations with the fact that it is possible in EU and OECD countries to recycle plastic waste in a high-quality and environmentally friendly manner. But this is a fallacy. Reports of improper waste disposal and illegal landfill fires in countries like Poland and Turkey have increased in recent years. And even if the waste from Germany for example is actually recycled in those other EU member states, it proves the already scarce capacities for the recycling of domestic waste.

We of BOMAC Industries support the development of environmental friendly recycling installations and are committed to increasing recycling capacities in Europe and America. We do this by offering companies state-of-the-art recycling equipment for plastic recycling of any kind. This includes but is not limited to PET bottle recycling lines and plastic bag recycling lines. Also for electronic waste we offer electric cable recycling lines.

Ban only applies to certain types of plastic waste

The export ban from the EU to countries in the Global South only applies to the export of unsorted plastic waste. Because these waste mixtures can hardly or not at all be recycled. However, an exception applies to mixtures of the common plastic types polyethylene (PE), polypropylene (PP) and polyethylene terephthalate (PET). These are not affected by the export ban.

And even sorted waste, if it is not classified as hazardous waste, can still be exported anywhere, including countries with a poorly developed waste disposal industry. The only requirement: both the exporting and the importing country must agree to the trade.

Plastic waste can also continue to cross borders within the EU. From now on, a permit is required for mixed plastic waste, but there are also various exceptions for special mixtures. Sorted waste, including particularly environmentally hazardous plastics such as polyvinyl chloride (PVC), can still be exported without restrictions.

It is still unclear when a waste fraction is actually considered to be sorted. Even if the waste has been separated by type of plastic (PE, PP, PET, etc.), the sorted fraction usually still contains a certain amount of foreign matter. However, the larger this proportion, the more difficult it is to recycle. For this reason, EU limit values ​​are currently being drawn up that define the maximum permitted proportion of foreign substances.

A first step has been taken, but this is too small

The numerous exceptions mean that large quantities of plastic waste continue to be exported from for example Germany. The export ban on mixed plastic waste to countries in the Global South is an important step, but exports to Turkey or Eastern Europe are still possible.

The law can only work if it is enforced

In the waste sector, even the most ambitious legislation is worth nothing without checks and sanctions. Reports of illegal waste exports, for example through incorrectly declared waste, have recently increased. In order for the new export regulations to be effective, the control capacities at the ports and on the motorways must be expanded. This is the only way to guarantee that, for example, the shipping container to Malaysia only contains sorted waste or that the specified waste is actually loaded on the truck bound for Poland.

Our view: invest in domestic recycling facilities!

If the UK, as one of the wealthiest countries in the world with one of the best developed waste infrastructures, is not in a position to recycle its own waste, then this shows one thing: We live beyond our means and produce an amount of waste that we can’t handle without the “help” of other countries. The most important approach is therefore not to allow waste to arise in the first place. This requires legally binding waste prevention targets. Furthermore, the sorting and recycling infrastructures within the UK and the EU must be expanded.

The energy ABC of electronic devices

The energy ABC of electronic devices

Anyone who has strolled through an electronics market in recent years and looked at the new refrigerators, washing machines and dishwashers could quickly get the impression that there are only energy miracles to buy. Most of the electronic devices were rated at least class A, many even with A+++. So much better than very good. It makes practically no difference which one you buy. Or not?

Unfortunately, that is deceptive. The differences are still enormous. Even with electrical appliance with an A+++ label, you couldn’t be sure that there isn’t another that would use significantly less energy. The old energy labels simply can no longer reflect the current market situation. Therefore, the EU has started to relabel products. New labels have been attached to washing machines, dishwashers, refrigerators and TVs since March 2021, and to lamps and lights since March 2022. Other product groups will follow.

Due to the change, there is no longer an A+++, but a simple scale from A (very good) to G (poor). At the same time, the requirements have been significantly increased. Even electronic devices that previously made it into the top categories now mostly only achieve a C or a D rating. This means that the industry has plenty of room for improvement again to earn the A or B device award with more economical devices.

Buy new or repair old electronic devices?

So anyone who needs a new washing machine has a simple and good guide with the new labels. More complicated is the question of whether I should have my washing machine repaired if it gives up its last breath, or whether I should buy a new, more efficient one right away. Because of course: On the one hand, a new machine consumes less electricity, on the other hand, a lot of energy is used to build it, to obtain the raw materials for it and to ship it to me. Not to mention that the old machine then has to be disposed of and preferably recycled.

So which is better – repair or buy new? As a rule, it makes more ecological sense to repair electrical appliances as long as they are reasonably efficient. So repairing an antique fridge from the 1990s doesn’t make much sense, but a five-year-old A++ fridge does. If you keep the environment in mind when making a decision, you can judge fairly well whether repairing or buying new is better. In the balance sheet, this makes a huge difference: we could save 3.9 million tons of carbon dioxide in the UK every year by using televisions, smartphones, washing machines and notebooks longer!

Of course, looking at the bank account also plays a role in this decision for most of us. The newer the device, the more money you should invest in the repair, also for purely economic reasons. The exception here are washing machines. It is often worthwhile to keep old devices because they are constructed so robustly that they can continue to run for a long time even after repairs.

Who repairs electronic devices?

It often pays off to first see for yourself whether you can fix the problem. If the washing machine is no longer pumping out the water, it could simply be a clogged filter. A look at the operating instructions will then tell you what to do.

Further tips for an initial diagnosis and repairs on your own can be found on numerous websites. Most spare parts can also be found there. If you don’t have much practice with screwdrivers and soldering irons, it can be worth seeking advice in one of the numerous repair shops – or call for customer service or a local electronics specialist.

Right to repair

How repair-friendly a product is, is already decided during its development. Because then the manufacturer determines for example whether the device is easy to open and parts can be easily replaced. Politicians are currently developing so-called eco-design guidelines that specify these points for manufacturers – a sensible way of saving resources and energy!

But how can you tell for yourself which electronic devices are easy to repair? It’s not (yet) that easy. A good option would be a repair index. Germany plans to introduce this, France already has it. “Repair Index” sounds complicated at first, but it’s very simple and very practical: on a scale of one to ten, you can see from it when you buy it how easy it is to repair a device later.

Politicians could also make repairs more attractive by ensuring that spare parts are more readily available and repairs are cheaper – for example through tax breaks. Increasing the useful life of electronic devices therefore makes sense and is possible. You just have to be willing to do it!

We fully support all efforts of the EU and other countries to reduce electronic waste. We encourage the recycling of electronic devices and contribute to the creation of an environmental friendly economy. BOMAC Industries offers electric cable recycling lines and other recycling lines for diverse types of waste. A better world begins with now!