For example, the reuse of materials must be considered and plastic made from fossil raw materials must be reduced. We not only process virgin material for our customers, but also use bioplastic and recycled material. What are these materials and how are they processed? Kees Langerak, Manager mould assembly & injection moulding, talks about this.
“Bioplastic is made from biodegradable materials such as sugar cane, wood fibers or corn. The materials we receive to process are often mixed forms. It can be processed just like polypropylene, so there is little extra work or challenge for us. Our molds and machines are also suitable for this. We have not had to deal with it very often, but we see the demand for it growing.”
Choice of recycled plastic
“What we see much more often is that customers choose recycled plastic. Many customers want us to provide the material for their injection molded products. We often have an advisory role in this, where we always discuss this option as an interesting alternative. We see that customers themselves are asking more and more about it. A few years ago, the use of recycled plastic was unthinkable in the automotive industry. It is nice to see that they are also increasingly considering recycled plastic as the standard.”
Differences in recycled material
“The recycled plastic that we process is often delivered very neatly. We mostly use Mafill for products where mechanical properties are not important. The plastic was cleaned, melted and returned to granules. It is very pleasant stuff and easy to use. We have also tested how regrind works. That is really shredded material, for example from plastic beer crates. All the colors together make it a gray and dark product. A customer then has much less color freedom. In addition, it turned out to be more complicated to process than granules. So there is a clear difference in recycled material.”
“A nice circular example is from one of our customers who makes partitions around sports fields. We make the supports in which the partitions are secured from recycled artificial grass that comes from the sports fields. The artificial grass is ground and delivered to us. This material does require some extra attention when processing because it is a type of regrind, but ultimately produces a beautiful product. That is really super circular and sustainable.”