The quality of recyclates

The acceptance of recycled plastics cannot be achieved without a focus on quality. What is beneficial to the environment also has to stand up to market requirements. Therefore, it was obvious for MKV to work on and co-author the DIN SPEC 9144, the world’s first market standard for recycled plastic. The DIN SPEC 91446 is the classification of recycled plastics based on Data Quality Levels for use and (digital) trading. To build a circular economy for plastics clear definitions are required. The DIN SPEC 91446 is an important step towards a circular economy.

The use of recycled plastics, just like virgin material, must be aligned with the specifications given by the product to be manufactured. Recycled plastic has to be manufactured in such manner that it exhibits consistent property values throughout the entire production process. This in turn means that the quality of the recycled plastic has to be oriented towards the property values of the original material.

MKV’s recyclates, the ZIA-compounds, are comparable to virgin material and offer for many applications a suitable alternative to virgin material.

Regrind, agglomerate, regranulate or regerate/compound, the quality of them all starts with the collection of faulty, parts, sprues, or regrinds from the different waste streams of the manufacturers, sorted according to material, e.g. PA6/PA66/POM/PBT etc., reinforced or non-reinforced, and if possible by colour. Ideally at this point in time material data is collected via (safety-)data sheets.

Production of regrind from homogeneous byproducts or plastic waste that has neither been mixed with other plastics or materials nor been contaminated with paper/metal or other impurities.

The use of raw materials of unknown origin and content can adversely affect the material characteristics such as strength, impact strength, surface texture and deviate from the delivery specification. Minerals or other fillers affect the shrinkage or strength of the material.

For the purchase of regrind it is necessary to request a material data sheet from the supplier (obligatory according to REACH or GHS/CLP) or, if not attainable, to carry out one‘s own testing. Otherwise: No Data, No Market.

The process of manufacturing recycled plastic material appears to be straightforward but faces several challenges:

  • Consistent availability of commodity sources
  • Homogeneous material sorting at the manufacturer
  • Fluctuating quantities
  • Temporary over-supply or shortage
  • Fluctuating commodity prices due to over-supply or shortage
  • Test regulations and acceptance policies which contradict the requirements or go too far
  • Existing commodity specifications in drawings
  • Continuous adaptations due to changes in legislation

We take care of all that, and you can rely on always receiving a high quality product.