Protecting the environment has become increasingly important in modern times.
The challenges we’re currently facing concern:
- Climate change or global warming
- Depletion of natural resources
- Dispersion of polluting materials into the environment
Plastic has low environmental impact. Transforming plastic into a finished product has less of an impact on the environment compared to glass or aluminum because it has relatively low melting point and weight.
Furthermore, its use in packaging and vehicles helps reduce their environmental impact.
Depletion of natural resources
Plastic contributes to preserve scarce resources such as forests, drinking water and food. It can be made from processing waste material, be it virgin or recycled. On the other hand, other types of packaging, such as paper or glass, may contribute to deforestation or energy consumption. Furthermore, the use of plastic packaging contributes to maximize the food conservation.
Dispersion of polluting materials into the environment
Polluting substances dispersed into the soil, sea and atmosphere include plastic, especially single-use. It can take hundreds of years to break down. Most of polymers can be recycled to create new products, thus minimizing environmental pollution.
It’s important to implement an awareness-raising policy with regard to the use of plastics, so that waste materials may also be considered a resource. Recycling is a key prerequisite for a circular economy.
What are the different types of plastic?
Plastic is a fundamental component of many items we use every day, including bottles, packaging, components for office, school, automotive parts and much more. Plastics is a unique word to identify an industry divided in multiple materials and by knowing the difference, as well as the SPI (Society of the Plastics Industry) codes, will help you to classify the different types of plastic and make more informed decisions about recycling.
The seven types of plastic include: Polyethylene Terephthalate (PETE or PET), High-Density Polyethylene (HDPE), Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC), Low-Density Polyethylene (LDPE), Polypropylene (PP), Polystyrene or Styrofoam (PS) and Miscellaneous plastics (including: polycarbonate, polylactide, acrylic, acrylonitrile butadiene, styrene, fiberglass, and nylon).
Disposable cups, take away and yogurt containers, furniture, baby milk bottles, reusable bottles
Is it really possible a world without plastic?
Without plastic our life would change drastically. Plastic is crucial in many industry sectors such as medical, packaging and automotive. Let's imagine for example to all components and devices used by the medical industry to serve patients or the packaging used for food distribution that need to be thick and robust to and able to withstand sterilisation temperature.
A life without plastic is no more possible. What people can do is properly recycling it.
From #plasticfree to #replastic.
Working with recycled plastic
Dealing with recycled plastic is very different from the standard process for virgin raw material.
The final producers must adapt their plants for transforming a material neither standardized nor consistent among batches like the virgin grains because of its unknown history. As consequence, chemical-physical characteristics may have wide variations and contaminants (NIAS) or low-boiling oils (VOC) may be present.
A makeshift use of post-consumed material like rPET or flakes may drive to:
Dryer lifespan reduction up to 50%
Additional maintenance costs
in final product
Potential risk of heath for consumers
Unquantifiable reputation damage
Therefore, using recycled plastic materials it is fundamental to ensure safe and traceable processes, reduction and control of contaminants and process stabilization to ensure high efficiency and quality.
Piovan Group Contribution
Referring to new plants installed in 2019, one PET bottle every two worldwide has been produced with lines provided by Piovan Group.
This, and the great expertise in extrusion process as well, makes Piovan Group the right partner for designing, building, start-up and service recycled plastic production lines.
Solutions for producing with recycled plastic
GenesysNext represents the state of the art in drying systems for the PET preforms manufacturing, creating a new standard. The cost for good preform produced is now reduced to a minimum level considering the main advantages: minimum waste of material due to scrap, lowest energy consumption and minimum labour cost, since the system is fully automatic. GenesysNext is designed to work natively with Pure-Tech filters.
AIPC stands for Automatic Injection Pressure Control. It is an innovative real-time control to stabilize the injection pressure ensuring the quality of the final product, acting on the main drying parameters. This feature is crucial when using recycled material that may vary its chemical-physical characteristic quite frequently due to its heterogeneous origin.
PureTech filtration system allows reduction of the VOCs that can be present in the process air. This is especially required in the case of recycled materials that can release substances during the heating or injection process. Pure-Tech filters deduce consistently the amount NIAS in the process air and maximize the life span of the production line.
Inspecta detects NIAS in PET preforms, available in two versions: for acetaldehyde or benzene. Suitable for very fast response measurements in production by line operator Inspecta is the best solution for prompt reaction and worldwide measurements comparability for multi-sites quality processes.
CDF condensing unit ensures the decontamination of process air, preserving the performances and lifespan of the drying system. It provides an additional filtering step and make possible the condensing of low boling contaminant substances.
Moisture Minder continuously monitors the residual humidity content trend allowing prompt corrective actions in case of need. The analysis is automatically performed by Moisture Minder without need of specialized personnel. Humidity tracking is crucial especially with recycled material that may be stored in non-controlled ambient conditions.
Crystallisers restore the crystalline status of amorphous recycled material making possible a safe drying phase. The models have been specifically developed to guarantee homogeneous crystallization in a smooth process even with complex materials without any dust generation.
MDW gravimetric blenders are available in various configurations and can dose and weigh up to 8 granular materials, allowing to select the most appropriate hopper capacities and dosing devices. The blenders can be combined with injection and blow moulding machines, and extruders, covering productions from 30 up to a maximum of 1800 kg/h.
Winfactory 4.0 is the production process control and management software developed by Piovan, designed to supervise the digital factory able to interact with ERPs. The new product combines the typical supervision functions with a wide array of new ones including the module to track the process over time for quality proof.
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