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EcoCortec closes another loop in plastic recycling

EcoCortec has announced that it has closed another plastic recycling loop with the first delivery of plastic waste from its customer Jakob Schober GmbH (Waldorf, Germany) to Beli Manastir, Croatia. This signals the start of a new recycling partnership between the two companies to recover plastic scrap and incorporate it back into quality finished goods. The initiative comes at a time when the world is increasingly looking for ways to be more sustainable.


According to the UN, 46% of plastic waste ends up in landfills, 22% ends up as litter, and less than 9% actually ends up recycled. Why is it so hard to capture and reuse this plastic waste? Among the challenges are collecting material after it has been sent around the world and finding a consistent supply of recycled content within strict cleanliness and quality requirements. These issues can make it difficult for manufacturers to turn used packaging into anything more than cheap rubbish bags.


EcoCortec does not let these barriers stop it from pursuing and implementing a circular economy in the VCI films market. First, the company introduced VpCI- 126 PCR in early 2023. This version of vapor phase corrosion inhibiting film contains 30% post consumer recycled content (PCR) sourced from a recycled raw material supplier that follows strict quality standards. Eco conscious customers like Jakob Schober intentionally order VpCI-126 PCR to achieve a better environmental footprint.


EcoCortec is able to go above and beyond simply producing film with PCR content, thanks to its onsite recycling facility, where it can reprocess both post consumer and post industrial scrap. Jakob Schober naturally ends up with much of the latter as it creates 3D bags from both VpCI-126 PCR film and regular plastic film for its export packaging kits. Scrap builds up quickly, and in March 2024, the two companies entered into an agreement to ship clean plastic scrap to the Beli Manastir plant for reprocessing. After further inspection at EcoCortec, the scrap was re-granulated and tested in the lab before being used in VpCI film production. EcoCortec does the same with used packaging from a local construction business and sister company CorteCros, thus minimising waste and expanding the use of PCR in finished goods beyond VpCI-126 PCR film alone. The same truck that took the product to Schober was loaded with VpCI-126 PCR scrap for transport to EcoCortec 1000 km away, resulting in additional fuel savings for a better carbon footprint as well as a circular economy.


The company is now on the lookout for more recycling partners who will help it increase its volume of high quality recycled content in all VpCI films by sending clean post consumer plastic waste for recycling. This will create new channels for EcoCortec and local businesses to fulfill European and international goals such as increasing the amount of high quality closed loop recycling, making products that can be recycled in their original markets, and reaching 30% recycled content in plastics packaging by 2030.


By not only making 30% PCR film but also receiving and reprocessing local waste materials into quality new material, EcoCortec is well on its way to making these goals achievable for itself, customers, and local businesses.


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