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AIMPLAS develops a new plastic recovery technology for hazardous substances and mixtures packaging

Recycling systemSince last July, the Plastics Technology Centre, AIMPLAS, coordinates the research on a new and more effective and eco-friendly recycling system for hazardous substances and mixtures packaging. The Technological Centre AIDIMA, the association of manufactured goods exporters ARVET and the leading companies in plastics recycling and packages manufacturing ACTECO and ENPLAST, respectively, contribute to the European project LIFE EXTRUCLEAN, which receives support from the EU financial instrument LIFE and will last for 30 months.

In our days, a triple washing and drying method is used in order to remove the toxicity accumulated in hazardous substances and mixtures plastic packages. This treatment implies a large amount of water, chemicals and energy consumption as well as sewage generation, which needs a specific treatment. After this decontamination process, plastic is normally processed by extrusion and, as this treatment affects its features, the result is a recycled material with low added-value applications.

The LIFE EXTRUCLEAN project develops a decontamination process using sc-CO2 (supercritical carbon dioxide) during the extrusion process. The aim of this new technology to be implemented by the company ACTECO, along with AIMPLAS, is to simplify the current washing and drying processes before the extrusion process, resulting in energy and resources saving.

Not only is the new system a clean technology as it reduces the consumption of chemical substances, water and energy, as well as sewage generation, but it will also improve the quality of the recycled material extending the scope of application to other fields with higher added-value, for example the manufacturing of new packages for hazardous substances and mixtures.

The company ENPLAST will be responsible for obtaining packages made with this new recycled material and, in cooperation with AIDIMA, will carry out the packages validation for their final use.
In addition, ARVET will coordinate the dissemination activities scheduled during the project lifetime.