Circular Economy in Practice

R-Cycle enables high-quality plastics recycling by identifying recyclable packaging as such and then separating it. This results in pure recycling fractions which can be used to produce high-quality products.

Traceability is the key to success

Produce, use, recycle: R-Cycle permits high-quality recycling by tracing the life cycle of packaging. It forms the basis for a functional circular economy. The traceability of certain products has been common practice in retail for some time. For example, meat packaging is stamped with a QR code to trace every production step – from the retailer and the processor down to the animal feed used. In future it will be possible to apply the same working principle that is already used for the contents of the packaging to the packaging itself.

A functional recycling of plastics in relevant quantities can only be achieved if the recycling plants are able to distinguish between recyclable and non-recyclable packaging. This requires the clear identification of packaging. As a product is processed in many different process steps by different companies along the value chain, a globally recognized standard is necessary.

R-Cycle adapts established technologies and standards

R-Cycle adapts established technologies and standards

In order to establish R-Cycle comprehensively and swiftly, existing technologies and standards are applied and adapted to suit for the recycling of plastic packaging. R-Cycle is based on globally valid identification numbers, field-proven marking technologies, and the tracing technology already used to trace packed meat products.

The new standard for circular economy

Several technologies for marking plastics exist already and are suitable for various applications. They will be continuously enhanced and new ones will be added. Complementary to these technologies R-Cycle creates a new standard that focuses on the data environment behind the marks. This enables recycling data of entire production processes of packagings to be stored in a database for recycling purposes.

The benefit: Packaging can be identified precisely in the recycling process by providing the necessary information regarding their ingredients. R-Cycle permits the rapid and precise sorting of recyclable packaging to obtain high-purity sorting fractions. This results in high-quality recyclate which can be processed into a wide range of high-quality plastic products.

Closing the Loop

R-Cycle is making rapid progress

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