The pollution of the environment and in particular the oceans has made consumers increasingly wary of plastics. It is therefore imperative that we work with plastics for our packaging and products responsibly, and dispose of the resulting waste responsibly.
However, rejecting plastic altogether is the wrong approach. Plastic opens up many possibilities and offers considerable advantages that have become indispensable in modern life. Compared to other materials (glass, tin, etc.), plastic has many favourable properties such as its light weight, durability and non-permeability. Moreover, the amount of energy it takes to process and transport plastic is much lower than it takes for the materials listed above.
We have been using injection moulding to process plastics for 85 years, and the organic plastic granules we are “rediscovering” today were even around back then. In recent years, we have refocused our efforts on polymers as an alternative to the plastics extracted from fossil fuels. Thanks to ongoing research and development, and intensive cooperation with alternative plastic-materials manufacturers, we are able to produce a large portion of our product range from both organic and biodegradable raw materials.
H&K Müller aims to shed light on renewable plastics. We want to be as transparent as possible when informing our customers, and have therefore compiled the most important information for you:
Material is deemed bioplastic when it consists mostly or entirely of biopolymers. But the term “bioplastic” does not indicate the material’s actual compostability or biodegradability.
We are unfortunately not permitted to offer this material in all sectors or for every possible purpose, although such wide use is technically possible. Bioplastics do not yet fully comply with all of the requirements for Regulation (EU) No 10/2011 and Regulation (EC) No 1935/2004. But with the current research into the material as vigorous as it is, it won’t be long before all the standards’ requirements are met.
Biodegradable refers to how microorganisms bring about the decomposition of raw materials. Several factors influence this process, and while there is no time limit per se, the rate of decomposition depends on the plastic product’s wall strength.
Raw materials are deemed compostable when they have met every requirement of European Standard (EN) 13432. According to this regulation, compostable plastic must be at least 90% degraded in a span of 6 to 12 weeks under regular conditions.
For more than 50 years, H&K Müller has been making products from recycled pre-consumer plastics. We process 100,000 kg of these materials every year.
Thanks to our close cooperation with our raw-material suppliers and our ongoing validation and testing, we at H&K Müller are also able to produce many of our products from recycled, post-consumer plastic materials.
“Pre-consumer recycled plastic” refers to plastic materials accrued from industrial waste that typically builds up in large amounts and is mostly homogeneous.
“Post-consumer recycled plastic” is plastic collected from the recycling bins of consumers or end users. In this case, plastic waste is crushed in a sorting facility before being sorted by type through different technical and chemical processes. This ultimately allows the plastic to be processed into new products.
We unfortunately cannot yet provide recycled plastic in all sectors or for every area of application. The recyclates currently on the market do not yet fully comply with all of the requirements for Regulation (EU) No 10/2011 and Regulation (EC) No 1935/2004. But in our view, with the current research into the material as vigorous as it is, it won’t be long before all the standards’ requirements are met. We’ll keep you up to speed on any progress!