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  • Dear Readers!

    If you look back at the editorial in the last issue of REMONDIS AKTUELL, then you’ll find that the comments made there were almost prophetic. Just one of the topics it mentioned was the droughts in 2018, predicting that we could expect much of the same this year. Here we are, just a few months on, and this prediction has come true. Having analysed empirical evidence and ice cores, the overwhelming majority of climatologists agree that these weather conditions have been caused by industrialised humans – and that they can only be put right by humans. The question here, of course, is how. Most people are focusing on cars, energy generated by fossil fuels and, of course, air travel. Everyone is talking about the electrification of vehicles. You just need to consider the physical facts, however, to realise this will not be easy to implement. Germany’s national grid, for example, would be unable to supply the power needed if all vehicle owners tried to recharge their car batteries at the same time. The question must, therefore, be asked whether electromobility is the right solution. The move towards the electrification of vehicles is well underway though, as is the switch from fossil fuels to renewable energy. Scientists, however, are predicting that these measures will not be enough on their own. We have another good idea here and one that is practicable – as can be seen by REMONDIS’ daily work. Namely, making the most of the potential of recycling to curb climate change, preferably on a global scale. If humans were to succeed in systematically recovering raw materials and returning them to production cycles and if they were to stop sending waste to landfill (so methane is not produced there), then this would be the third most effective way of reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Germany made this move back in 2005 when it passed the ‘TASi’ [Technical Directive on the Recycling, Treatment and Disposal of Municipal Waste]. It is high time that a European TASi is drawn up or – even better – a global TASi. We are systematically implementing this law at REMONDIS every single day.

    Looking at the international stage, Russia is intensifying its efforts to reduce the amount of waste it takes to landfill by creating a well-functioning circular economy. The Russian government has launched an initiative that has made it obliga- tory for all 80 Russian regions to appoint a general operator to modernise their regional waste management sector and set up more recycling systems. For many years now, REMONDIS has been running just such a system in Saransk, the capital city of the Russian Republic of Mordovia and – according to a 2010 survey – one of the best cities to live in in Russia. The city is, therefore, acting as a role model, showing the direction that the Russian waste management sector could move in in the future.

    A number of our new apprentices joined the ‘Fridays for Future’ movement when they were at school, calling for more to be done to stop climate change. And so it was a logical decision for them to do their apprenticeship at REMONDIS where they can carve out a sustainable career for themselves, “Every Day for Future” so to speak. REMONDIS’ systematic recycling operations ensure waste is transformed into raw materials, energy and heat and play a considerable role in conserving natural resources and tackling climate change. Welcome to the climate professionals.

    Max Köttgen

Plastic recycled into high quality pellets

  • RE Plano GmbH has been running its high quality plastic recycling operations at REMONDIS’ Lippe Plant in Lünen for over two decades now. The company’s recycling facility, which is located next to the dismantling centre for waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE), processes waste plastic into high-grade plastic pellets so that this raw material can be returned to production cycles. Until just recently, the neighbouring WEEE recycling plant had generated volumes of certain types of plastic – for example from the insulation material found in fridges and packaging – that was unable to be processed at the Lippe Plant. Thanks to the opening of the new sorting facility for mixed plastics, this material cycle has now also been successfully closed.

Different plastics separated according to type

  • The new plant, located at the REMONDIS Group’s largest recycling centre, was officially opened by REMONDIS Electrorecycling GmbH and RE Plano GmbH in March. Mixed plastics removed from collection group 2 e-waste can now be sorted according to type so they can be sent on for further processing. These materials undergo a multi-stage procedure so they can be separated into three groups of plastic: polystyrene (PS), acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS) and polyolefin (PO).

    Plastic is a really useful material. Recycling it is an effective way to protect our seas and oceans and tackle climate change.

    “This facility offers an ideal solution for these materials. It allows them to be further processed in-house, it further extends the Lippe Plant’s excellent infrastructure and it makes each processing step more cost effective,” explained Gerhard Jokic, managing director of REMONDIS Electrorecycling GmbH. Once they have been sorted, the different types of plastic can be further processed and recycled so that they, too, can be returned to the plastics processing industry as high quality pellets.

    A multi-stage process is used to separate the plastics from the shredded fridges according to type

“Further increasing our plastics sorting expertise gives us a stronger position on the market and opens up additional sales channels for our plastic compounds.”

Ralf Mandelatz, Managing Director of REMONDIS Recycling

The goal: to recycle all plastics

“Further increasing our plastics sorting expertise gives us a stronger position on the market and opens up additional sales channels for our plastic compounds,” commented Ralf Mandelatz, managing director of REMONDIS Recycling. The construction of this new facility reflects the major developments and ongoing efforts being made by REMONDIS to make all types of plastic completely recyclable.

Plastics such as polystyrene can also be recycled with the right sorting technology.

RE Plano, the Group’s long-standing expert for refining, processing and recycling plastics, made the most of their existing capacities and in-depth know-how to plan and build this new plant. The sorting process is based on a two-stage density separator system and near infrared technology and is able to handle around 10,000 tonnes of material a year. A roofed area approx. 4,800m² in size was also built next to the sorting facility for storing incoming and outgoing materials for both this and RE Plano’s other facilities. As a result, the company has succeeded in setting up an efficient materials management system and ensured the plastics are stored safely. Both the store logistics and the new facility have been fully integrated into RE Plano’s existing system and are being run by the company’s own staff.

  • Every tonne of recycled plastic saves a good

The Ecodesign Directive needs to be extended

  • REMONDIS has, therefore, closed yet another material cycle as it strives to achieve its goal of seeing all waste plastics recycled. It will not be able to reach this target on its own however. Further measures are needed from both politicians and producers to increase material recycling rates and ensure the very most is made of the materials available. Such measures could involve extending the Ecodesign Directive to include raw material efficiency as well as developing incentives to encourage manufacturers to use recycled raw materials.

    Both REMONDIS and the BDE [Federal Association of the German Waste Management Industry] are calling on local authorities to adopt the Green Public Procurement principles. Having invested in a system that improves plastic sorting and processing, REMONDIS has taken an important step towards growing plastic recycling rates.

    (from left to right) Ralf Mandelatz, Managing Director REMONDIS Recycling, Norbert Rethmann, Honorary Chairman of the Supervisory Board of the RETHMANN Group, Ton Emans, Plastics Recyclers Europe, Gerhard Jokic, Managing Director REMONDIS Electrorecycling, and Martin Hemmer, Managing Director RE Plano, at the symbolic opening of the plant

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