Recycled plastic is not a new concept. A huge range of commercial goods now incorporate recycled plastic, even if they are not manufactured from 100% secondary materials.
Plastic products destined for industrial purposes can have more stringent requirements, however. Whilst the use of recycled plastics in construction is growing, commercial and technical barriers for using high levels of recyclate material in manufacturing still exist.
One of the organisations spearheading research and development into sustainable manufacturing is The Waste and Resources Action Programme Cymru (WRAP Cymru), funded by the Welsh Government.
Corilla Plastics, in conjunction with Resilience Sustainable Solutions Ltd, Cardiff University and Green Edge Applications, has been working with WRAP Cymru on a project exploring the manufacture of construction products from 80% – 100% recycled plastic and development of a cost-effective circular economy model.
Striving for a circular economy
As an expert in rotational moulding, Corilla Plastics will take responsibility for manufacturing the recycled products – in this case, twin-skin mortar tubs.
The first challenge involved sourcing recycled plastic of a suitable quality. Resilience Sustainability Solutions has worked alongside its peers at Cardiff University’s School of Engineering to identify sources which meet the project’s technical requirements, including density and melt flow index.
It is vital that the final products are robust enough that they not only meet industry-standard legislation, but also serve to challenge public perceptions on the resilience of recycled plastics. Corilla Plastics will prototype and test the products at increasing levels of recycled content, aiming to reach 80% – 100% recyclate without compromising on quality.
Cardiff University’s logistics team will research and plan a circular economy model, which will help to overcome the challenge of sourcing recycled material. If waste mortar tubs can be collected and reprocessed consistently, high product volumes could be created with minimal input of non-recycled plastic.
As the demand for recycled products grows, the circularity of the plastics economy will improve. Although recycled material is currently only marginally cheaper than virgin material, costs are expected to drop as it becomes more widely used.
Selwyn Jones, Managing Director of Corilla Plastics, said: “As a plastics manufacturer, I think we have a responsibility to support research into more sustainable production. We are working as part of an incredibly talented team, and I am confident that we will find a way to incorporate high levels of manufactured material without compromising on performance.”
Corilla Plastics is committed to exploring sustainable means of plastic manufacture, and will continue to work closely alongside its project partners for the duration of the project.
To learn more about how Corilla Plastics could support your project, contact the team today: email@example.com