Closing the Loop

Recyclable recipes, the use of global identification numbers, standardized data formats, and the deployment of a stable server infrastructure: R-Cycle creates the basis for a closed-loop circular economy.

Work on the R-Cycle project has forged ahead over the past two and half years. The first interim results were already presented to an international audience at the K 2019, the major show for the plastics and rubber industry. We have received a lot of positive feedback and suggestions for further pilot projects.

Since then, R-Cycle has made enormous progress. R-Cycle already has the capability to map all recycling-related data digitally during the production of packaging film and provide all this information to third parties. All the relevant parameters are entered in the database automatically via an IoT gateway. Films are distinctly labeled using invisible marking technology and are serialized with globally valid identification numbers.

R-Cycle throughout the life cycle of a packaging

R-Cycle throughout the life cycle of a packaging

R-Cycle stores recycling-related packaging data and makes it available for the recycling process. All recycling-related data is collected during production (1), conversion (2), and filling processes (3) and then linked to the packaging by using a marking technology. After the packaging was disposed of by the end-consumer (4), it is identified during the recycling process (5). The materials are then sorted into pure fractions (6) by retrieving recycling-related data previously stored, thus allowing to re-use them for high-quality applications.

Status quo: Well advanced pilot projects

Several pilot projects have already been initiated with partner companies including global raw material suppliers, major retailers, global brand-owners, and independent institutes. The projects focus on the development of recyclable and recyclate-containing recipes, marking technologies, and the deployment of the standardized data environment.

What has emerged from the projects: R-Cycle is already a viable solution for the recycling of plastic packagings.

Circular Economy Action Plan of the EU

At the beginning of 2020, the European Union unveiled its Circular Economy Action Plan which outlines the EU’s transition toward a future circular economy. This new plan demands traceability of plastic packaging to ensure its recyclability in future. It presents a catalog of 50 measures to establish circular economy, including the tracking and managing of information about resources and the digitization of product data through to the step-by-step development of standardized systems.

At present, there is as yet no viable solution in the market that responds to the EU action plan. Therefore, the industry is challenged more than ever to develop ideas to set up a sustainable circular economy for plastics. Since 2018, we have been working on a functional solution with R-Cycle to ensure the traceability of single-use plastics and thus to introduce a system that enables high-quality recycling.

Circular Economy in Practice

R-Cycle offers the solution

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Together for the circular economy

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