06.10.2020

R-Cycle forges ahead

Consortium members present pilot projects at second face-to-face meeting

On October 6 all the members of the R-Cycle Consortium met for their second strategic face-to-face meeting. Arburg, Kautex Maschinenbau, Reifenhäuser, the Institute for Plastics Processing (IKV) at the RWTH Aachen, and GS1 Germany all accepted the invitation of Brückner Maschinenbau to meet at their headquarters in Siegsdorf at Chiemsee.

As currently usual most operational meetings take place virtually – but this was not effecting the progress within the pilot projects at all. The workshop focused on presenting practical applications for R-Cycle and on further progress in developing the fundamental standard. Project managers and CEOs of the consortium members were able to exchange views personally and collaborate on future strategic directions of R-Cycle.

Dr. Benedikt Brenken, Director of the R-Cycle Initiative, explains: “Even though we collaborate very efficiently on digital platforms, personal contact is vital – despite face masks and/or social distancing – so that we can evaluate project results and discuss new strategies. It is impressive to see the progress the project has made in only three months since the official kickoff in June. We have been able to demonstrate that R-Cycle works successfully under real conditions and in a number of different applications. The transition from theory to practice is a decisive factor for the further development and success of the initiative.”

One of the pilot projects shows how R-Cycle works in the sustainable use of stretch film in logistics. Germany’s leading stretch film producer, POLIFILM EXTRUSION, produces a special film to wrap transport pallets at METRO GASTRO, the specialist hypermarket for catering customers in Düren. Before the film is produced, the cast-film line at POLIFILM was networked to the R-Cycle data platform. All recycling-related data is stored in real time during production of the film rolls. Standards from GS1 Germany, known for everything to do with barcode standards and solutions, are used for cross-company data transfer. The data is retrieved during the sorting and recycling process by a mark on the film to separate the film scrap into sorted fractions. This process recovers clean recyclate from waste film and produces new stretch film based on the cradle-to-cradle principle.

Besides the pilot projects, further progress was made on networking the consortium with additional partners along the value chain – from plastic packaging producers through to the subsequent recycling process. Michael Baumeister, Managing Director Technology & Logistics at Brückner Maschinenbau, said, “We are delighted to host the R-Cycle Consortium meeting this time. The initiative is a decisive basis for our industry to implement a functioning circular economy for plastic waste. The overarching cooperation and the addition of further partners along the value chain underscore the importance of the objective.”