The Idea of Circularity Is Gaining Momentum
The plastics sector has owned up to its responsibility. This thesis is put forward by Prof. Hans-Josef Endres in our Special on the circular economy in which he summarizes important trends at K 2019 for recycling precious plastics (p. 19). So, with K over, have all the problems been solved?
Unfortunately not. In short-lived applications, plastics lose their value all too quickly once their purpose has been fulfilled – packaging is a prime example. We are reminded of this by the mountains of superfluous gift wrapping after Christmas. We remove the contents, and the previously important functions of the now empty wrapping are immediately rendered obsolete, no matter what material has protected the product until then. Even, and especially, a high-tech product such as multilayer film then becomes useless.
But does it necessarily have to be worthless? No, argues Alexander Baumgartner, head of a large manufacturer of flexible packaging and chairman of the Flexible Packaging Europe association. He sees a definite need to catch up in Europe when it comes to dealing with plastic waste. A look at Asia, where the recycling industry is receiving a boost from political regulations, shows – surprisingly – how things could be different (p. 16). Such ideas for more sustainable products and recycling systems are always welcome, wherever they are to be found.
We wish you a good start to the New Year, in which we hereby launch the 110th volume of Kunststoffe – a success story for the sustainable transfer of technological know-how that continues to motivate us.
Dr. Karlhorst Klotz karlhorst.klotz <AT> hanser.de
International Polymer Processing, the journal of the Polymer Processing Society, is a discussion forum for the world-wide community of engineers and scientists in the field of polymer processing.
The journal covers research and industrial application in the very specific areas of designing polymer products, processes, processing machinery and equipment.
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