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Reduce, reuse, Recyclat – what is that?

All questions & answers on the output of packaging recycling

What is recyclate?

The term recyclate describes the result of a recycling process and therefore includes all materials that have been completely or partially recycled and serve as the basis for the production of new high-quality products. The decisive factor is that a recyclate has always been through at least one processing stage, which means it is reused.

Every day we work with our sister company QCP on the closed-loop for plastic packaging. We are happy to support you in the use of high-quality PP and HDPE recyclates. You can find more information here: Closed loop with recyclates

What are the different types of plastic recyclates?

In the recycling of plastics a distinction is made between pre-consumer recyclates and post-consumer recyclates. Pre-consumer recyclates come from materials that are separated from the waste stream during the manufacturing process. This is usually plastic waste of the same type and colour that cannot be directly reused in the production process for technical or legal reasons.

This does not include the reuse of materials from post-processing or regrinding that arise in the course of a technical process and can be reused in the same process. These are, for example, plastic label grids or punched grids of thermoformed PET trays.

In contrast, the term post-consumer resin - PCR for short - refers to the processing of packaging waste that arises after a use phase at end consumers, comparable sources of waste generation such as offices, hospitals, etc. and is collected via the yellow bag or the yellow bin, represents packaging subject to the deposit system or arises as commercial packaging waste, such as transport packaging like stretch film after securing from pallet transport.

In the recycling of plastics a distinction is made between pre-consumer recyclates and post-consumer recyclates. Pre-consumer recyclates originate from internal production waste and are directly returned to the manufacturing process, while the term post-consumer recycling - PCR for short - refers to the processing of packaging waste generated by end consumers or comparable sources of waste generation such as offices, hospitals, etc. and collected via the yellow bag or the yellow bin.

However, consumers' plastic waste can only be processed into a secondary raw material for the production of packaging, if it is available as pure plastics. Because not all plastics are the same: abbreviations such as PET, PP and PE stand for different types of plastic that are used in the production of packaging and have different properties.

For example Polyethylene terephthalate (PET) is often used for the production of disposable and reusable bottles for carbonated drinks or detergents. This is because PET is a transparent, rigid and at the same time resilient plastic that is not affected by oil, alcohol or diluted acids. The recyclable plastic polyethylene (PE) of high density is also resistant to fats, oils, acids as well as alkalis and is therefore used for packaging of chemicals, cosmetics, etc.. Polypropylene (PP) is characterised in the area of flexible packaging by its good printability and machinability. This is why it is used for chip bags or tubular bags for bars. In the dimensionally stable area, PP is often used for closures due to its well-suited flow properties.

The disadvantage: Even if pure plastic waste from the yellow bag or the yellow bin can be recycled well, in some cases those recyclates may not be used for food packaging. The European Food Safety Authority considers the risk of contamination of food through PCR from the yellow bag or the yellow bin as too great.

How is recyclate produced?

The basis for the production of recyclates is the professional sorting of the disposed plastic packaging. High-quality secondary raw material can only be produced, if the raw material is cleanly sorted by type of material. In the first step, the raw material is separated from the other packaging in the yellow bag (e.g. aluminium packaging) and sorted into plastic types.

Secondly, the single-variety plastics are shredded, washed, cleaned of impurities and melted by an extruder and then pressed into granulate. New plastic granulate is produced - the so-called regranulate - which is used as a secondary raw material for the production of packaging. In most cases, the regranulates are mixed into new plastics for this purpose, but there is also already packaging made from 100 % recycled plastic.

Are you interested in environmentally friendly recyclates from QCP? Then contact us! Our team of experts at BellandVision is looking forward to your enquiry: Contact

Will the use of recyclate in packaging be required by law?

For single-use plastic beverage bottles, there will be a statutory minimum recyclate input quota from 2025. PET single-use plastic beverage bottles must consist of at least 25% recycled material by mass from 1 January 23025. This obligation will be extended to all single-use plastic beverage bottles from 1 January 2030. From then on, all single-use plastic beverage bottles placed on the market in Germany must consist of 30 percent recycled material by mass. 

How do you get recycled material?

If you need recyclates for the production of your packaging or products, BellandVision is the right place for you! As a subsidiary of the SUEZ Group, we are, among other things, directly connected to the Dutch plastics recycling company Quality Circular Polymers (QCP) and have access to their recyclate. QCP, the joint venture of our parent company SUEZ and the plastics company LyondellBasell, specialises in the production of pure recycled polyethylene (PE) and polypropylene (PP) from plastic waste and thus produces 50 tonnes of recycled PP and HDPE (high-density polyethylene) per year as the basis for new bottles, caps & co.

The recyclates from QCP proof their high quality, robustness and durability with the joint project between the recyclate producer and the luggage specialist Samsonite: in 2019, the two companies launched the limited special edition suitcase "Green Grey" made from post-consumer recyclate. Recycled PP was used for the sturdy shell of the environmentally friendly hard case, while the interior fabric is made from recycled PET bottles.

Are you interested in environmentally friendly recyclates from QCP? Then contact us! Our team of experts at BellandVision is looking forward to your request: Contact

All the answers to the most frequently asked questions on…

Dual System
Packaging Act
Centrale Agency / LUCID
Declaration of Completeness
Recyclability
Use of Recyclates
Commercial Waste Ordinance
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