A Major Crisis Threatening the Recycling Industry
Even if mineral oil is available in abundance at the moment and supplies would seem to be inexhaustible, the last barrel will still have been used up at some future point in time. And this is presumably a situation that applies to all other key raw materials too.
Only through a functioning recycling industry will it be possible to satisfy the requirements for raw materials over the long term. Central Europe is on the right track here. In Germany, for instance, the "Dual System" alone allows more than 95 % of the packaging materials of glass, metal, paper and plastic to be recycled. Naturally, it’s not enough to just recycle packaging materials. Germany’s yellow bins are already being misappropriated for the disposal of a large number of plastic and metal products which do not bear the "green dot". In a bid to raise the recycling rate for private households once again, the Ministry of the Environment is planning to introduce a bin for products made of plastics and metal, ensuring that these too enter the closed material loop. This would seem to be reasonable, were it not for the fact that the Federal States would like to nationalize what has so far been a privately-run disposal system. Experience has shown that this will lead to bureaucracy and to a cost explosion for the consumers.
Dear Readers, with this issue I am handing over the post of Editor-in-Chief to my successor, Dr. Karlhorst Klotz. I am delighted that I too am going to be recycled and will be remaining in the sector – having undergone an upgrade, as it were. I was awarded the honorary post of publisher of Kunststoffe and will thus continue to be available to the editorial team with my almost forty years of experience in the sector. I would like to thank all those who have accompanied me in the course of my career for their many years of loyal support and cooperation.
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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.
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