4 Reasons to Start Recycling Factory Plastic Wastes In-House

2022-08-03 | Technical Blog | By Resul Gökpınar |
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Recycling plastic waste is considered an important issue for the governments as well as the industry in order to protect the environment and sustainability through a circular economy. Now, with the efforts of both parties, plastic recycling and usage of recycled pellets in manufacturing are increasingly led by EU Commission and many countries such as Germany, the US, the UK, Canada, Australia, and Brazil.


What is In-house Plastic Recycling?


First of all, must mention post-industrial recycling (PIR). Post-industrial recycling refers to reprocessing plastic wastes that are generated from industrial processes, most of time from the production of plastic products. When this plastic recycling process took place within the production plant, is called in-house plastic recycling.


In-house recycled material
( In-house recycled material )


What are the post-industrial recycled contents for in-house recycling?

Many plastic scraps and defective plastic materials generated during the production by plastic manufacturers or product converters can be an example of post-industrial recycled contents. The most common ones are t-shirt bag cut-offs, HDPE/LDPE film and bag edge trims, printed and non-printed plastic film and bag wastes, raffia, woven bag, scraps blow molding pinch-offs, injection molding pinch-offs, and so on.


PE film recycling machine
( PE film in plastic recycling system )


Why Plastic Producers Should Start In-House Plastic Recycling?


Many plastic producers have started to recycle their own plastic production wastes within the factory and returned the recycled pellets back to production or sell in the market. Considering global polymer price increase and the shortage to reach out to resources, producers found this is beneficial not only to reduce their carbon footprint but also to save costs by using more recycled content in production.


  1. Recycling within the factory saves cost and time

    When the plastic producers outsource the recycling of their production scraps, they need to handle some pre-steps such as classifying and storing a certain amount of the wastes in the facility that is worth enough to be sent out for recycling and transporting the wastes to the recycling facility. Besides, the producers also need to bear the outsourced recycling fee. After the recycling process, in most cases, the recycled pellets must back to the producers’ factories.

    In contrast, in-house recycling eliminates many of these steps and saves cost and time generated by the recycling process of production wastes such as edge trims, defected bags and films, plastic lumps, plastic bulks, and many more. Because recycling production scraps within the factory do not require logistics and outsourcing fees. Moreover, it gives freedom to the producers to optimize production and recycling processes, and minimize the storage time and space.


    recycled pellets back to blown film production lines
    ( Recycled pellets back to production lines )


  2. Creating a circular economy

    Manufacturers are required to use more recycled materials in their plastic products. This lowers the cost of production as well as carbon footprint by minimizing virgin material usage. Especially film and bag manufacturers must obey governmental regulations in order to increase recycled materials usage to sell their products in certain markets such as Europe and US. In this case, one of the most efficient and less costly ways to acquire recycled resin is using your own post-industrial recycled material in the production.


    plastic waste recycling
    ( Plastic waste recycling )


  3. Better control on recycled materials for production

    To optimize recycling efficiency and obtain recycled pellets that have the same quality and characteristics can be easily achievable when the same input is reprocessed in a stable recycling machine. However, in some cases, even if the materials are made of the same polymer, the characteristics might be varied and hard to distinguish without advanced tools.

    In terms of in-house recycling of plastics, manufacturers know their material characteristics very well, and the materials are most likely to be prevented from contamination and humidity. These can result in 100% of the same type of in-house recycled pellets back to the production lines directly. This helps the manufacturers maintain quality control of the final products.


    in-house recycled plastic pellets
    ( In-house plastic recycled pellets )


    For instance, many garbage bags, agricultural film, and construction film producers from Turkey and the Middle East, Southeast Asia, India, and Latin America have included POLYSTAR recycling machines in their production lines to re-use the recycled content in their own productions.


  4. Creating economic value

    Considering the increase in polymer prices and the opportunity cost of reaching out the virgin materials, in-house recycled resins are more valuable than ever in the market. Even though the manufacturers do not use 100% of these recycled pellets, they can trade in the market and turn their production scraps into economic profit.

    Recycled content usage in production is encouraged by the law and industry. Therefore, there is a rising potential for in-house recyclers to sell their recycled pellets in the local and global markets. Injection molding, extrusion, and blow molding applications are most welcoming for recycled pellets. These recycled contents (mostly PE and PP grades) are often used in for the production of such as detergent bottles, battery boxes, broom fibers, pipes, furniture, profiles, toys, benches, recycling bins, and trash cans.


In-house recycling customer case:

Plastic recycling machine in Turkey
( Plastic recycling machine in Turkey )


Last June, Sürmeli Plastik, a flexible package and courier bag producer based in Istanbul / Türkiye, preferred POLYSTAR and started to recycle its own production wastes in-house by Repro-Flex 100 plastic recycling machine. While a limited amount of the in-house recycled pellets reprocessed from the scraps of flexible packages, handle bags, courier bags, exam bags, gift packages, shrink films and document pouches are used in the producer’s own production; the remaining high volume of it has been trading in the market and generates profit for the producer.



Recommended Machines for In-house Plastic Recycling


Since the in-house production wastes are varied, using a suitable recycling machine can help plastic producers to boost their in-house recycling efficiency. POLYSTAR provides various recycling solutions for different requirements of in-house recyclers as follows.


  1. Repro-Flex cutter compactor recycling machine


    Repro-Flex Cutter compactor recycling machine
    ( Repro-Flex Cutter compactor recycling machine )


    Thanks to the built-in cutter compactor and combination of cutting, extrusion, and pelletizing steps into one single machine, Repro-Flex brings a stable and one-step recycling advantage to the in-house recyclers. The machine is designed for recycling a wide range of materials including film and bag wastes, stretch film, multilayer films, pre-shredded regrind, and washed and dried film flakes.

    The integrated cutter compactor of Repro-Flex cuts, pre-heats, and compacts the materials, thus the materials are ready for a smooth immediate extrusion process. Then, the semi-molten material is directly fed into the recycling extruder. In this system, the materials are not required to be pre-cut before the recycling process. This provides the in-house recyclers time, space, and labor advantages as well as a consistent feeding for uniform pellet outputs.


  2. Repro-Air air cooled recycling machine


    Repro-Air air cooled recycling machine
    ( Repro-Air air cooled recycling machine )


    Due to the compact size and easy to operate the feature, Repro-Air air cooled recycling machine is one of the popular choices for film and bag producers who are looking for a small plastic recycling machine that can fit near their production machines and does not take up much space in the factory.

    Repro-Air does not use any water. Therefore, the pellets produced by the hot die face pelletizer are 100% dry and can be returned to the production process immediately. This model is suitable to recycle different types of HDPE, LDPE, LLDPE film and bag scraps, edge trims, and similar materials from in-house production. Multiple film rolls can be fed into the machine via a nip roller feeder at the same time without pre-crushing.


  3. Repro-One shredder integrated recycling machine


    Repro-One Shredder Integrated Recycling Machine
    ( Repro-One Shredder Integrated Recycling Machine )


    If you are a PP raffia, woven, non-woven, or rigid plastic manufacturer; Repro-One shredder integrated recycling machine will save you time, labor, and space with its one-step operation ability. Because, Repro-One has the advantage of combining shredding, extrusion, and pelletizing steps into a single recycling line with the help of the built-in heavy-duty single-shaft shredder. This machine is suitable for recycling plastic materials such as PP raffia, woven bags, blown film start-up lumps, purging, and plastic bottles effectively and without the need for a separate crusher.

    Moreover, the integrated shredder ensures a lower temperature while processing the material to achieve minimal degradation of the material, which is crucial for pellet quality and pellet reusability in the production lines.

    POLYSTAR provides various plastic recycling solutions for the evolving demands of plastic producers in 110 countries. To start recycling your factory plastic wastes in-house, contact POLYSTAR and we will help you to find a simple solution.


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About the Author
Resul Gökpınar

POLYSTAR’s International Sales Representative

Resul creates up to date content based on his experience, gained by solving customers problems from Turkey and EMEA market.

Find Resul on LinkedIn.