According to the European Strategy for Plastics (2018), by 2030 all plastics packaging placed on the EU market must be either reusable or easily recyclable. The material technology company Woodly, which develops recyclable wood-based plastic, has demonstrated the recyclability of its products, as well as the recyclability of the waste materials from all its production stages, with the help of plastic recycling machines from NGR.
This places Finnish-owned startup Woodly among those environmentally responsible companies that collect all production material for recycling. NGR’s Development & Process Technology Engineer, Dr. Peter Hierzenberger, who led the material tests at Next Generation Recyclingmaschinen GmbH (NGR), says: “Woodly’s material was easy to process and the granules recycled from their film were of high clarity. From the recycled Woodly granules, a clear, 20-micrometer thin cast film could be produced in our lab under typical polyolefin processing conditions and extruder settings, indicating that the material is suited for blown film processes as well. This is rare, as typically the reprocessing of bio-based plastics into thin films is not a simple task. Woodly’s material is a perfect match for NGR’s existing equipment.”
When processing biobased plastics like Woodly®, special attention must be paid to low, uniform processing temperatures (avoiding temperature peaks), increased sensitivity to shearing, moisture control and optimized residence times in order to prevent loss of essential material properties and discolouration.
NGR’s principle of the shredder-feeder-extruder combination meets all these requirements. In particular, gentle shredding with slow-running knives on one hand, as well as immediate and extremely fast material throughput into the extruder on the other, lead to high-quality pellets. In addition, the automatic system precisely maintains the narrow tolerance range of the biopolymer processing recipe. The ONE-STEP technology prevents impurities (dust, intermediate storage of regrind contamination, etc.) from impairing the recycling success.
NGR is an Austrian recycling specialist that develops and distributes plastic recycling technology worldwide. The company is constantly testing new plastic grades with start-ups to remain a pioneer in plastic recycling.
The CTO of Woodly, Martta Asikainen, is delighted with the well-run pilot experiment: “Recycling is a big part of the future of plastics as the industry develops ways to meet the growing material demand in a sustainable way. Woodly’s wood-based and recyclable plastic is designed to reduce the need for both fossil feedstock and virgin material. With NGR we have found a reliable partner for recycling, with whom we will be glad to expand the collaboration.”
Watch a video of NGR re-processing Woodly material