Thursday, August 29, 2019
We get a lot of questions about PE film that is typically used for Bag-In-Box applications. Why not use bio degradable plastic? Why not use bio compostable plastic?
This is because we think changing the recipe of our plastic is not a solution for the near future. Some of these bio degradable plastics only break down in temperatures of 50°C or higher. While many compostable plastics have to be sent to large factories where they can break down.
According to specialists
The production of bio degradable plastic is 69% more damaging for the environment compared to the impact of plastic bags. The production of bio degradable plastic can only work if the energy supplied to make them, is green energy.
Switching from plastic bags to bio degradable plastic won’t solve the problem immediately. If we want to replace only 10% of the plastic bags by bio degradable plastic, in the US alone, we would have to build plants capable of producing more than 20.000 tonnes of bio degradable plastic each year. And we would have to build such a plant every month for the next seven years.
Recycling in a B2B environment
That’s why we believe recycling is the answer. Plastic bags are mainly used in a B2B context, that’s why almost 100 % is recycled. Many end customers of Pattyn customers work with dedicated companies to collect and recycle the PE bags.
At Pattyn we do our part. All PE bags made while testing our machines are collected in dedicated trash bags. A specialized company picks them up and recycles these bags. If we still have some unfinished rolls, we send them back to our film extrusion company GMP. They use a special regrinder that converts the old film rolls back into raw PE resins. Every two months a full pallet is sent back.
The mother of one of our colleagues makes shopping bags out of PE film leftovers. Another way of recycling PE.