GERMANY – Siegwerk has partnered with German startup Wildplastic and the Hamburg University of Technology (TU-Hamburg), aiming to increase the recyclability of plastic waste.

The collaboration follows successful trials, conducted at the end of 2022, that involved deinking the collected waste before entering the recycling extrusion process results to achieve better recyclability.

Siegwerk said that deinking packaging before regranulation keeps the packaging in the recycling stream and prevents the packaging inks from contaminating the recyclable components.

Wildplastic and the Institute of Circular Resource Engineering and Management (CREM) of the TU-Hamburg began a collaborative research and development project in 2021.

The project intended to study the feasibility of enhancing the quality of Low Density Polyethylene (LDPE)-recyclates from post-consumer sources.

This project was funded by the Investment and Development Bank of Hamburg (IFB), while Evonik joined as a collaborative partner.

To facilitate the production of clean recyclates, Siegwerk is assisting Wildplastic in this project by supplying the deinking chemistry and expertise.

According to the company, a specific blend of the ink chemistry, deinking detergent, and method can make deinking successful.

Siegwerk senior project manager Ingo Fehr said: “It is a pleasure to work with our partners from Wildplastic and the University of Hamburg on this topic. We have a strong can-do attitude in common.

“The scientific perspective and the conscientiousness contributed by Jinyang help us to maintain a fact-based and objective view. Not only in the design of experiments but also in the interpretation of results.

“Wildplastic has the ambition to benefit from deinking in their recycling activities in just a few months and brings in an industrial perspective.”

the success of this initiative will help increase the rate of recycling in the country. The German authorities have also taken some actions to ensure that packaging materials are recycled.

For instance, the authorities adopted the German Packaging Act (VerpackG), which is the implementation of the European Packaging Directive 94/62/EC into national law.

Under CerpackG, anyone who sells packaged products to private customers in Germany is obliged to participate in a dual system.

These initial distributors must register with the packaging register LUCID and license their sales packaging there. Dual systems are nationwide take-back systems for this packaging.

Through these regulations and laws coupled with partnerships and collaborations between the private sector and the government, Germany is getting closer to achieving a circular economy.

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