Recycling Technology on Show at K2016
The UK has set an objective of recycling 57% of plastic packaging by 2020. To achieve this target, the Plastics Industry Recycing Action Plan (PIRAP) is being implemented by the British Plastics Federation (BPF) and Plastics Europe with the support of WRAP.
However, with only 29% of plastics packaging presently being recycled in the UK (2015), the target of 57% appears to be presently out-of-sight.
2016 has not been a comfortable year for UK plastics recycling companies, with a number of closures across the country such as Boomerang Plastics and Ecotech in Rainham (now being reopened by Veolia).
Although there is political pressure to achieve the 57% target, there are questions about the financial viability, especially in the short term. Setting up a successful plastics recycling plant is not cheap and requires substantial investment in technology.
Additionally, the plant will also need substantial land for the storage of raw feed and processing material. Plastic is light and voluminous even when baled and regulations on storing and stockpiling mean that large storage areas are required to ensure that there is enough material to process on a constant basis. And land costs money.
Technology remains the key to unlocking the door to successful plastics recycling. At K2016, there are 134 companies listed as supplying ‘recycling equipment’. However, this is only 5% of the total number of companies listed as supplying ‘equipment’. Is this an indicator of the real priority being given to plastics recycling?
We [Bunting] have supplied Metal Separation equipment to a number of plastics recycling operations in the UK including:
- Drum Magnet, Eddy Current Separator and Metal Separator to Recapture Plastics;
- Drum Magnet for recycling toner cartridges at BCMY Ltd;
- Twin Pole Overband Magnet for HPR Plastics;
The future of plastics recycling remains unclear, apart from the large and looming figure of 57%. Plastic industry exhibitions like K2016 have an enormous responsibility to showcase the technology that will enable the UK and other countries around the world achieve their plastics recycling targets. Maybe more needs to be done to get more companies supplying recycling technology to the show.
Bunting provide a range of metal separation solutions for the recycling industry. For further details on the Bunting range of Eddy Current Separators, Magnetic Separators and Metal Detectors please contact our technical sales team on: