Dominican Republic – In-house recycling ensures sustainability of production waste

Located in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, the packaging film producer has stepped up its in-house recycling effort by working with Polystar.

The 37-year old plastic producer provides a wide range of plastic packaging and printing products including high and low density polyethylene film, shrink film, stretch film, flexo printed film, T shirt bags, garbage bags, patch handle bags, side sealing bags, laminated film, cluster bags, banana film and many others.

The newly installed Polystar plastic waste recycling machine can effectively and flexibly reprocess a variety of film products including heavily printed, lightly printed as well as non-printed HDPE, LDPE, PP, BOPP film waste. Different film compositions ranging from monolayer, two layer, multi-layer to laminated films with different degrees of printing percentage are reprocessed efficiently in Polystar’s Repro-Flex model which produces high quality recycled pellets.

In-house recycling returns the production waste up to 100%, putting high quality recycled pellets back into the production process (in this case blown film extrusion) and keeping the high quality of the end products (film) consistently high.

100% Sustainability: Recycling without quality loss - recycled pellets used for immediate blown film extrusion

With Polystar’s plastic waste recycling technology, the recycled HDPE and LDPE pellets are put right back into the blown film extrusion process. The gentle recycling process results in minimal material degradation without significant property change with reusability up to 100%.

Part of the film products such as T-shirt and garbage bags are made of 100% recycled pellets, and the quality of the end product remains high.

Top Productivity, flexibility, and user-friendliness:
The one-step recycling technology with easy operation

The one-step plastic waste recycling technology (combining cutting + extrusion + pelletizing) requires minimal space requirement and labor intervention.

The production waste enters the plastic waste recycling machine from the conveyor belt (for film scraps and rigid plastic regrind) and also through nip roll feeder (for film-on-rolls) at the same time. The input is controlled automatically based on the load of the cutter compactor. Through natural heat and friction, the cutter compactor then cuts and densifies the material into a semi-molten condition (a brief gentle heating just below the agglomeration point), which is ideal for the extrusion process then follows. The cutter compactor subsequently feeds the compacted material directly and consistently into the extruder then into the degassing, filtering and pelletizing processes.

In-house recycling significantly reduces production and labor cost

Flexible packaging makes up approximately 25% of the world’s plastic productions. PE film applications such as shrink film; stretch films and BOPP occupy the sector with yearly growth rates up to 5 % in the market. As raw material costs makes up a majority (over 75%) of the production costs, the question of how to reduce and reuse production waste becomes important for all plastic producers.

Recycling has allowed the company to save about 20~30 percent in raw material procurement. The reclaim of valuable secondary raw material has become indispensable for plastic producers today to stay competitive in the market.

The successful case proves how in-house recycling can be done efficiently and intelligently. The in-house recycling solution saves production and labor cost at the same time with a fast return on investment.