Image : Total Polymers Antwerp (Photo: © Michel Clinckemaille)
Total has launched a new range of high-density polyethylene (HDPE) compounds with high levels of recycled that it says offer performance equal to or exceeding that of virgin resins.
The new ‘Circular Compounds’ range, targeted at the packaging sector, offers natural-coloured polymer products that Total says covers all the manufacturing needs for blow-moulded bottles and heavy-duty containers for household and industrial liquids, with a guarantee of 25 or 50 percent minimum Post Consumer Recyclate (PCR).
Total’s initial production capacity of HDPE Circular Compounds amounts to 20 kT, coming fully on stream during the course of 2017.
“Total is currently extending the applications of the recycled compounds concept by developing additional new grades, since we believe it will be essential to place the European virgin plastics industry in a new yet essential role as ‘circularity enhancer’,” commented Jean Viallefont, Vice President Polymers, Europe, at Total.
The composition and manufacturing process of these Circular Compounds is especially designed to minimise their environmental footprint, while ensuring outstanding performance and processing properties, just as with any virgin resin.
The recycled content originates from post-consumer household waste collected in Western European countries and is recycled by selected partners chosen by Total for their product quality and recycling process capabilities. In its Antwerp plant, Total applies a last deep decontamination step, which transforms the PCR into an absolute fragrance-free resin.
Finally, the PCR is compounded in Total’s plant with highly technological HDPE virgin products, specifically designed and produced as intermediate resins in order to overcompensate for any lack of performance and consistency of the PCR. The resulting compounds are meant to be fully equivalent to any virgin resin sold in the same application, but Total says in reality they “largely outperform them in all key aspects for their application.”
Fuelling the Circular Economy
The company believes that for the Circular Economy and for plastics in general, the innovative concept of high performance Circular Compounds allows the recycling industry and the virgin resin industry to open up new markets for high-quality recycled polymers.
As a contribution in this area, Total’s objective is to enable downstream industries to rely on recycled materials and to achieve this, it is currently developing additional new grades for a wide variety of applications.