The news has been dominated by the effects of plastic pollution on humans and on the environment. More than 1 million plastic bags are used every minute. We’re also hearing more and more about plastic bottles, cotton swabs, straws and microplastics. Our clients might wonder, rightfully so, how recycling is handled during the process of rotational moulding and how Pentas goes about this process. We are happy to showcase our sustainable production.
Production without waste
Roto-moulding uses 85-90% polyethylene (LLDPE), a plastic which can be recycled well. But ‘niches’ such as nylon, ABS, polypropylene and polyesters can also be recycled well. Therefore, Pentas has no waste in its production process. Products that are labelled ‘scrap’ during the production process are reduced to minimal pieces of PE with our own shredder. These pieces are ground into powder by our supplier so that we can re-use them as a basic raw material for our products.
The same process applies to products from the sample and/or test series and the ‘waste’ resulting from, for example, milling operations. These are all collected and re-used.
In addition to the aforementioned implementations, we also recycle used products. Products from the field are regularly reclaimed to pass through the shredder in the same way.
Drainage tanks made of recycled powder
The recycled material cannot be used for all products. For example, there are products, such as a fuel or drinking water tank, which may only be produced from certified or released material. However, this recycled powder is perfectly suitable for wastewater tanks.
Only sustainable plastics
Sustainability starts with the raw materials used. One example is the cross-linked polyethylene (thermosets, XPE), a material in which additives influence the molecular balance. This instigates a chemical reaction that creates cross-links between the molecular chains and the polymer shapes up into almost one large molecule. Thermosets are difficult to recycle because they cannot be melted again. The environmental footprint of a product is heavily influenced by this.
This is why Pentas has been working on a strong continued development of LLDPE plastics. Pentas has been 100% XPE-usage free since the move to the current location, in 1990. We only use sustainable plastics.
Exceptions to the recycling of plastic materials
Not all LLDPE rotation moulding products can be recycled, unfortunately. An example of this can be a fuel tank that has served its purpose for years and still contains fuel residue. In the coming years, we would like to investigate together with our partners whether recycling is possible in the long term.