ESE World, a European manufacturer of temporary storage systems for waste and recyclables, has announced it has proven that high-density polyethylene (HDPE) can be recycled at least ten times.
HDPE is a type of plastic that can be used in a wide range of packaging meaning ESE’s discovery could make a significant contribution to the world’s war on plastic.
In an attempt to prove its recyclable properties, the Luxembourg-based company carried a controlled experimental model that enabled virgin HDPE to be reused ten times.
The results of the test showed that the injection moulding process and shredding of the plastics have, in principle, no property-altering effects on the material.
As the service life of a container usually varies from ten to 20 years, the finding means that, over the next 100 to 200 years, the availability of HDPE for sustainable production is guaranteed without fear of waste.
Udo Fröhlingsdorf, Director of Product Development & Marketing at ESE, said: “Decades of developments under production conditions have put us in the position to process and treat recycled material in such a way that the quality of the products is on a par with virgin material. The findings of this series of experiments now allow us to engage in more targeted research and to develop further future-oriented methods.”
Businesses and political bodies around the world have been debating how to tackle the ever-growing problem of plastic waste, which risks polluting the oceans and threatens the sustainability of the environment.
For this reason, several global packaging and retail companies recently announced their commitment to source part or all of its packaging from recyclable and biodegradable materials.
Among the proposed solutions is the adoption of a closed-loop system thanks to which every material used to produce a packaging is constantly cycled and reused to create other packs, and now that HDPE has been proven to play a part in a circular economy it can become a key component in the industry.