The Global Commitment draws a line in the sand in the fight against plastic waste and pollution. It unites over 500 businesses, governments, and other organizations from around the world behind a common vision and a set of 2025 targets to address the problem at its source. It is led by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation in collaboration with the UN Environment Programme. The problem with plastic starts long before it reaches our oceans, rivers, and beaches, and so must the solutions. Through the Global Commitment, businesses and governments commit to change how we produce, use, and reuse plastic. They will work to eliminate the plastic items we don’t need; innovate so all plastic we do need is designed to be safely reused, recycled, or composted; and circulate everything we use to keep it in the economy and out of the environment.
APK AG pledged – as part of the Global Commitment- after starting the first Newcyling® plant in the beginning of 2019 with a capacity of 8,000 t/a, APK will significantly expand its Newcycling® capacity. Until 2025 at least one additional Newcycling® plant is scheduled to be built with a minimum capacity of 25,000 t/a input volume. This new plant is expected to focus on recycling mixed plastic waste from post-consumer origin.
In the past two years we reported about our first important steps towards fulfilling our commitment. APK’s first industrial scale Newcycling® plant in Merseburg has successfully taken up operation and produces fully commercialized recyclate products. Moreover, APK met several key milestones to enable Newcycling® of post-consumer waste. First lab trials showed that the technology can be used for removing pigment colors (decoloring) as well as inks (deinking).
What progress have we made in the past year and what will come in the future?
By expanding our interdisciplinary research team and our research laboratory, we have been able to conduct multiple tests for various post-consumer waste streams in laboratory-, technology- and industrial-scales. In this context we achieved further decisive results e.g., in the areas of decolorization and cleaning of post-consumer waste (successful hot washing campaign). A wide range of different input research projects shows that with Newcycling® a variety of material can be recycled to high quality secondary raw materials. All these insights will be relevant in the scaling up of our process with the construction of further plants.
The next Newcycling® plant is already being planned together with a partner. Plant engineering is progressing continuously.
In addition, we are striving for further strategic partnerships for the construction of additional plants in Europe, Asia and the Americas in order to contribute to a circular economy for plastics and to the vision of the Global Commitment.
With all these developments we are on track to achieving our 2025 target.