Speaker interview: Florian Riedl, APK AG
Up next is Florian Riedl, Director Business Development from APK AG. He will be speaking at the Plastics Recycling World Expo.
APK is a plastics recycling technology developer and producer of recyclates. The key focus of APK is its own solvent-based Newcycling technology that enables to generate from mixed plastic waste fractions again pure and sorted plastic recyclates. The gained recyclates show a purity level that makes is possible to use them as virgin plastics replacement in a wide range of demanding applications, such as in many flexible packaging items.
What do you think sets your company apart from your competitors?
The solvent-based Newcycling technology is not a chemical recycling process. Most chemical recycling processes cut the polymer chains into monomers or other chemical base units. The solvent-based Newcycling process keeps the polymer chains intact. The breakdown of the polymer chains consumes quite a lot of energy in most chemical recycling processes. And the afterwards needed synthesis of the monomers to new polymers is again an energy intensive step. These two steps are not needed in the Newcycling process.
Are there any new technology developments that your company is working on at the moment?
The Newcycling technology is already well-developed for LDPE. In addition, we have already shown at lab scale that the technology can be also used for other polymers and waste fractions. In the coming years, we will expand the capabilities of Newcycling for other plastic types beside LDPE.
What are the biggest challenges facing the industry today, and how can this be overcome?
One of the biggest challenges is that in many regions globally, big volumes of plastic waste are still not collected for recycling and therefore go to landfill or incineration. Making this plastic waste accessible for recycling should be one of the key priorities in the coming years. The implementation of EPR systems in countries where they are not yet in place will play a key role in achieving this.
How do you see the sector developing in the next five to ten years?
Due to the self-commitments of many brand owners and also the expected new legislations to increase the content of recyclates in packaging, the demand for high-quality recyclates that have a quality that can replace virgin plastics will further increase. We see this already today, the demand for such recyclates is higher than the availability on the market. We expect this trend will continue and even accelerate in the coming years.
What are you most looking forward to at this year’s show?
The Plastics Recycling Expo is a great place to meet the whole value chain and helps to continue and intensify the collaboration between the stakeholders. Collaboration is crucial to make a circular economy of plastics reality. That is what I am looking forward to most whilst attending this year’s show.
Catch Florian Riedl speak at the Plastics Recycling World Expo theatre.