Regrind On the Mind
What do the sentences below have in common besides a clear recycling theme?
- Introducing Regrind to Your Molding Process
- Conveying, Storage and Feeding Issues with Post-Consumer Reclaim
- Maximizing PCR Content with Co-Injection Solutions
- Recycling: How to Begin the Process
- Driving the Change: High-Quality and High-Quantity Resin from Recyclable Feedstock
- The Co-Injection Revolution—You Won’t Believe How Recycled Material is Hidden Inside
- Risks and Solutions: How to Successfully Integrate More Recycled PET into Your Package
They are all titles of Plastics Technology webinars that have been presented by industry-leading suppliers over the last year, with all but one coming from makers of injection molding machines.
On April 20, I moderated a webinar given by John DePasquale, product manager for material handling & auxiliaries at Wittmann, entitled “Introducing Regrind to Your Molding Process.” In addition to injection molding machines and robots, Wittmann supplies a range of auxiliary equipment for breaking down, drying, blending and delivering regrind materials.
DePasquale opened his presentation with the results of a pre-webinar survey of registrants that touched on their use—or non-use—of regrind. Out of the approximately 220 responses, users and non-users of regrind were almost split: 54% and 46%, respectively. Of those that used regrind, however, fully one-third were using more than 40% with nearly half—49%—using at least 20%.
The top three concerns with regrind were part quality (31%), process inconsistencies (29%), and application limitations (28%), with dust (6%) and contamination (6%) following up the rear. The first two concerns are very much addressable with technologies that equipment suppliers are releasing to deal with variations in the material’s properties that can impact process consistency from shot to shot, while the last concern regarding application limitations is very much driven by market and regulatory standards that bar or greatly limit non-virgin resin.
The number and quality of webinars PT has had over the last year on the topic speaks to its ongoing importance to the plastics industry. While industry is moving forward on its own, there is also a push coming from states and businesses. New Jersey, California and Washington have all already passed recycled content requirements, while Oregon proposed legislation mandating the establishment of recovery rates. Individual companies and brandowners like P&G are Unilever moving forward with their own self-mandated goals for use of recycled content or elimination of products that can’t be recycled, with many targeting 2025 and 2030.
If you see more processing of regrind and recycled content in your shop’s future, a good place to start educating yourself on the matter would be PT’s webinars, which are available to watch on demand.
Incorporating plastics regrind and recycled materials is becoming more important than ever.