DÜSSELDORF, GERMANY — U.K.-based plastics recycler Luxus Ltd. (Hall 5/A45) is using K 2013 as a platform to sell its vision, according to Peter Atterby, the firm's managing director.
“Our theme for the show is ‘the fusion of art, science and innovation' as we believe that this reflects how we as a company have continued to push the boundaries in recycled-content polymer technology beyond the accepted potential to deliver high-quality, engineered ‘eco' positive grades.
“It's this commitment that has led most recently to the development of a lightweight polypropylene for ‘A' surface interior applications, known as Hycolene, based on both prime and recycled materials,” he said.
The recycled grade offers automotive manufacturers a material with a high recycled content (up to 60 percent), gained from post-industrial and post-consumer feedstocks.
“The major benefits of Hycolene are both the weight saving it offers, typically a 10-12 percent weight reduction for each component, and improved scratch resistance over current talc-filled polypropylene alternatives,” Atterby said. “So it effectively lifts the burden on automotive manufacturers, enabling them to meet both stringent EU emissions targets through lightweighting as CO2 is reduced, and green performance goals, thanks to its recycled content,” he said.
Louth, England-based Luxus offers in-house test and analysis services, which operate from a technical center – bridging the gap between polymer science and commercial needs, Atterby said.
“The Luxus plant can produce highly engineered polymers in prime or recycled grades from diverse waste streams to clients' exact technical specifications — creating completely new applications as a result,” he said, adding that the company can add value to mixed plastics waste.
Looking ahead, Atterby said the principal drivers for the recycled plastics market will remain largely unchanged for 2014 — scarce resources, volatile oil prices and growing consumer demand for eco products. But there are problems, too.
“If the market is to mature, we need to develop better systems to deal with low-quality feedstocks and there needs to be a real emphasis on all partners in the supply chain working together — in particular designers,” he added.
Atterby also pointed to global events as a driver for increased recycling in Europe.
“World uncertainty in terms of polymer supply and demand remains due to continuing conflict in Syria,” he explained, adding that the slowing of previously fast-growth economies and volatile energy prices all means that the recycling industry has a lot to contend with.