True circular economy Pöppelmann TEKU®.
More true circular economy not only protects resources, but also protects our climate.
What is so simply said , however, has now also been proven. In a study for Pöppelmann TEKU®, the Fraunhofer Institute UMSICHT evaluated the effects of the circular economy compared to a linear economy (in which PIR is also used).
The circular economy is the counter-model to the linear economy that still dominates today. The linear economy worked according to the motto “Take-Make-Use-Waste”: For each product, new material from new resources is used and each product becomes waste after its use.
The optimization of processing processes in the linear economy helps to actually use as much of the resources as possible in the form of products. In the plastics industry, for example, process-related waste (e. g. punching grids, waste, sprues) and scrap are processed for reuse as post-industrial recyclate (PIR), so that as much of the originally produced plastic as possible becomes a plastic product. Ideally, PIR contributes to the fact that 1 kg of plastic initially becomes 1 kg of plastic products and finally 1 kg of waste for incineration, landfilling or at best for wild disposal in nature.
The approach of the circular economy is to also recycle material from used products. In addition to the optimal use of new plastic including the use of PIR, the focus here is on the use of Post-Consumer Recyclates (PCR) from used products. Through an extensive, targeted recording of used products (e. g. used packaging via the yellow bag / the yellow bin/ Recycling bins) and suitable sorting and processing processes, an attempt is made to provide as much material as possible for the re-production of new products.
Only by using PCR is the consumption of new plastic reduced, each kg of PCR saves 1 kg of waste and 1 kg of virgin material and thus 1 kg of mostly fossil raw materials. Only by using PCR is it possible to ensure that plastic can be used several times in the form of products. Thus, 1 kg of virgin material can become more than 1 kg of plastic products over the various usage cycles. In the end, however, only 1 kg of plastic waste is generated. The better the recycling system and the higher the recyclate rate, the less virgin material is needed in the circular economy.
On its own, the PCR system is very complex. Until a usable recyclate can be provided for recycling in the production of plastic products, a lot of effort has to be put into the collection, sorting and processing, and waste is also generated in every step. However, the production of new plastic and the disposal of plastic waste have the greatest environmental impact in the plastics industry. In order to be able to evaluate all this together, the most sensible approach is to consider the system of 1 kg of virgin material Kunststoff via the various steps of processing as virgin material and as PIR, the processing and use as PCR and the proportional generation of plastic waste in each step. This shows that the average effect of a product on the greenhouse effect (“CO2 footprint”) decreases with an increasing proportion of PCR in the system.
In a study for Pöppelmann TEKU®, the Fraunhofer Institute UMSICHT evaluated the effects of the circular economy described above compared to a linear economy (in which PIR is also used). For this purpose, various scenarios with different assumptions for the recycling rate and the resulting proportion of PCR in the plastics industry were made. In the so-called “optimistic scenario”, which according to the study represents the situation for plant pots well, 64 % of the material of all plastic products would be made available again as PCR material for plastics processing.
In this scenario, in terms of resource conservation, 1 kg of virgin plastic can become an average of 2.7 kg of plastic products over the usage cycles before the material becomes plastic waste. In terms of climate protection, 1.5 times more products can be produced in this system with an identical climate impact than in the linear economy. This shows in concrete terms: More circular economy conserves resources and protects the climate. With our Circular360 plant pots, which are made of 100 % PCR material and 100 % recyclable, we close the cycle sustainably. Join us now!
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We would be happy to provide you with more detailed information on the circular economy. We will also be happy to send you the Frauenhofer study.
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