Germany’s leading stretch film producer, POLIFILM EXTRUSION, is running an R-Cycle pilot project for the wholesale trade. The aim is to demonstrate how R Cycle works using the example of stretch film in a real application in order to ensure the recycling and reuse of film scrap. Test partner is METRO GASTRO based in Düren near Cologne, a specialist wholesale store for catering customers.
The METRO GASTRO hypermarket supplies its customers to order with a wide variety of different catering products of very different shapes and weights on custom-packed pallets. Before the products are transported to the customer, the staff at outgoing goods must wrap the entire pallet with stretch film. This may require up to 150 meters of film per pallet. Consequently, there is a high recycling potential here since large quantities of stretch film is consumed in the logistics sector.
POLIFILM EXTRUSION is now supplying about 130 kilometers of PFE Power machine stretch film to the METRO GASTRO hypermarket in Düren as part of a recently started pilot project. The stretch film is collected separately after use to produce new stretch film from the sorted film scrap. In essence, this sets up a genuine circular economy for this plastic. “For us at POLIFILM, this is a major step to complement our activities in the use of recyclate, for example our PCR stretch film,” says Hikmet Kalkan, Division Manager and Managing Director of Industrial & Agricultural Films POLIFILM.
Before the film is produced, the cast-film line at POLIFILM was networked to the R-Cycle data platform. All recycling-relevant 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 is the only method to recover clean recyclate from waste film and produce new stretch film based on the cradle-to-cradle principle.
Frank Groth, Head of Category Management Food at METRO Deutschland, explains, “We believe it is extremely important to design our processes as sustainably as possible and most importantly, to minimize plastic waste. R-Cycle allows us to assume our own responsibility and to recycle waste into reusable materials based on the principle of a circular economy.”