Circular Plastics Interview #1
Are you wondering how the plastic industry is transforming towards circularity? Read our interviews with pioneers, who are on track toward challenges and developments in circular plastics.
In the first interview, we’ve talked to Fabian Herter, Marketing Manager of ELIX Polymers, one of the leading manufacturers of ABS resins and derivatives in Europe. He explained his motivations and challenges towards achieving circularity. Check it out!
A global ABS solutions provider
ELIX Polymers, member Sinochem International, is one of the leading manufacturers of ABS resins and derivatives in Europe.
- What makes you go in the direction of a circular economy? What are the biggest challenges?
The majority of plastic waste currently goes to landfills and incineration. This is not acceptable, and we have to work together to improve the recycling streams and reuse this valuable plastic waste for mechanical and chemical recycled polymers. That's why we launched our brand E-LOOP for our more sustainable materials and also responsible innovation services.
The final target of all these solutions must be the transformation of the linear value chain into a complete circular model. Big challenges are to define common environmental standards that are clear for OEMs and also final consumers, educate them and improve the image of plastics and also avoid greenwashing. Global regulations have to be defined and the control of waste trade between countries.
Another challenge is the development of new technologies and investments in new plants to increase the available amount of high-quality recycled feedstocks.
- Are you using recycled plastics? If so, how do you ensure consistent quality of recycled plastic? Do you have permanent partners — recyclers?
Yes, we are using recycled monomers, ABS, and PC to produce high-quality ABS and ABS/PC blends that contain mechanical or chemical recycled plastics, but also renewable and bio-based feedstocks to produce more sustainable materials.
We are doing lots of quality controls to ensure consistent quality and work with permanent partners with whom we have long-term agreements to ensure enough quantities of these high-quality recycled plastics.
- How digital tools can help you in pursuing a circular economy approach?
There are several digital tools that can support our circular economy activities like online marketplaces where you can offer and buy recyclates, digital platforms that monitor the use of recycled polymers, but also new tools that can digitize and trace materials across complex supply chains.
- In which aspect the standardization is mostly needed in the plastic industry, and how would you like it to be implemented?
Yes, common standards are necessary to have a common understanding between different stakeholders like OEMs, converters, final consumers, and also between different regions. The implementation should be global and, of course, the different parties have to be involved when defining them.
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