The Northern Ireland Plastics group will be launching a special interest group (SIG) for recycling was set up to help those working in the recycling sector to collaborate in areas of mutual interest. This SIG includes plastic recyclers and also those who use recycled materials in their end products.
The goal of this group is to improve the competiveness of this sector and make the Polymer Recycling Sector in Northern Ireland a success. The sig is looking at many different areas including material substitution, innovation, supply chain efficiency and recycling policy. This is the first coordinated attempt to pull together all those who process and wish to process recycled polymers together with polymer recyclers to identify areas for improvement. We believe this will benefit all those who engage with the group.
We believe that the key benefits will be that the users of recycled polymer will gain insights into how their materials can be processed more effectively. Also those who are producers of recycled materials will learn how their customers’ needs can be met more effectively and how new markets for recycled materials can be created for the benefit of all. This area is particularly important at a time when 55% of processors in the U.K in 2011 are experiencing difficulties obtaining raw materials to meet their demands. (B.P.F conditions survey 2011).
Of course an increase in the amount of recycled materials being utilised will also have significant green benefits for Northern Ireland and further afield. Every tonne of material processed is a tonne of non bio degradable material diverted from landfill. Also for every tonne of plastic bottles recycles 1.25 tonnes of CO2 are saved (WRAP CO2 calculator for Councils) so this can have a large effect on the CO2 emissions linked to your process.