Engel Group has signed the New Plastics Economy global commitment of the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, becoming one of the first machinery companies to make the circular economy pledge.
The Schwertberg, Austria-based company said it joined the closed-loop plastics initiative, which includes more than 350 players in the value chain, in mid-March.
“As a member of the international plastics industry, we are not only responsible for our own products, but also for the products that are produced by our machines," CEO Stefan Engleder said.
The company, he said, aims to use its experience to ensure that plastics are handled responsibly worldwide and that “the conditions are created for plastic products to be returned to the material cycle at the end of their useful life.”
As part of this, Engel said it is supporting its customers in designing and producing packaging in compliance with the circular economy rules.
The company also helps customers open up a wider range of applications for recycled materials.
Engel said it will center its focus on providing a high level of process consistency and on preventing rejects with the help of intelligent assistant systems. The company will also develop innovative processing technologies aimed at further increasing the proportion of recycled material in sandwich components.
Increased focus will also be placed on working closely with processors in the course of product development with the goal of reducing material usage and enabling the subsequent recycling of products.
The company said it aims to further strengthen its consulting services in the area of upstream processes in a bid to optimize the processing of recycled materials for injection molding.
The Ellen MacArthur Foundation is one of the leading global drivers of the circular economy. Since 2010, the organization founded by British sailor Ellen MacArthur has been committed to a sustainable, resource-saving economy.
In concrete terms, the initiative founded in 2018 is about avoiding unnecessary packaging and ensuring that by 2025, all plastic packaging will be reused, recycled or composted.
Each member company is asked to set individual goals and report regularly on its progress to the Ellen MacArthur Foundation.