Technological watch

Starlinger's circular economy solutions for plastic packaging at Chinaplas

As a technology leader for woven plastic packaging production and supplier of plastics recycling systems, Starlinger sets the focus on circular packaging solutions such as recycled big bags or PET bottles and present a tape extrusion line for processing recycled PP.

On the occasion of this year's Chinaplas in Shanghai from April 23 to 26, Starlinger is hosting an Open House at its production facility in nearby Taicang. A 1.5 hour drive away from Shanghai, visitors can see a starEX tape extrusion line with eqoCLEAN filter module in operation there. This machine setup allows the production of tapes with high shares of recycled polypropylene and CaCO3 - an important stepping stone on the way to a circular economy for raffia sacks and FIBCs.

Starlinger’s starEX tape extrusion line with eqoCLEAN filter. ©StarlingerThe eqoCLEAN filter module is designed for producing high-quality PP tapes with post-consumer recycled PP. It enables, for example, the use of recycled polypropylene from post-consumer big bags to produce heavy-duty PP tape fabric for new big bags, thus closing the loop for this popular packaging application.

The eqoCLEAN module consists of a SPB single-piston power-backflush filter, a melt pump, and a second filter unit. The SPB filter has one piston and four cavities for filter screens. The automatic high-pressure backflushing process cleans the filter screens throroughly, increasing their lifetime and reducing machine downtime significantly. During the hydraulic power-backflush procedure the tape line operates at full production speed without interruption of the production process.

With the eqoCLEAN filter module, tapes containing high shares of CaCO3 and post-consumer rPP can be produced on Starlinger's starEX tape extrusion lines without cutting back on production efficiency. This is essential for Starlinger's "Circular Packaging" concept which promotes closed product cycles for big bags to reduce resource consumption and environmental pollution.

As a second highlight, the new RX 6.1pro circular loom for lightweight and heavy PP tape fabric will be on show at the Starlinger booth during Chinaplas. The middle-sized 6-shuttle loom puts the focus on sustainable packaging production combined with longer part lifetime and operator-friendly design. With production speeds of up to 920 picks per minute and more than 85 % production efficiency the loom delivers outstanding fabric quality from 50 to 140 g/m² (140 to 200 g/m² as heavy-duty version) while saving energy and resources.

A call for a circular economyWith closed-loop concepts for plastic packaging Starlinger supplies solutions for a circular economy in the plastics industry. ©Starlinger"With fast growing amounts of plastic waste in all parts of the world, a circular economy for plastic packaging is definitely called for", says Harald Neumüller, CSO of Starlinger. "Starlinger focuses on developing technologies such as the starEX tape extrusion line with eqoCLEAN filter module that enable packaging producers to manufacture woven plastic packaging in the most sustainable way: Our machines use as little raw materials as possible, have very low energy consumption, achieve high efficiency and can process recycled materials", he emphasises. "At the same time, we aim to close the packaging loop: Used plastic packaging needs to be collected, recycled and reused again - if possible in the same application without downcycling. With our plastics recycling lines a wide range of discarded plastics - be it post-consumer or industrial production scrap - can be turned into a valuable resource. Our PET recycling systems, for example, convert used PET bottles into food-grade recycled resin that can be used for producing new bottles. They are in operation at bottle-to-bottle recycling facilities all over the world."
Closing the loop

Starlinger recycling technology offers recycling solutions for plastics such as PE, PP, PET, PES, PA, PLA or PS. Special technological features such as high-vacuum degassing or odour reduction ensure high-quality recycled pellets that can be used in packaging applications again. Starlinger's PET bottle-to-bottle recycling process builds on more than 15 years of solid know-how in this field and has been approved for food-contact applications by a number of multinational brand owners as well as national and international authorities. Solid-state polycondensation and decontamination reactors supplied by Starlinger viscotec complement Starlinger's PET recycling technology and guarantee highest pureness and optimum viscosity in the recycled PET pellets or flakes. The new viscoZERO melt phase decontamination reactor is designed to produce recycled food-grade resins from polyolefins and polystyrene as well as food grade and IV-increased recycled polyester.

Publication date: 16/03/2024

Smart Extrusion

This project has been co-funded with the support of the LIFE financial instrument of the European Union [LIFE17 ENV/ES/000438] Life programme

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Last update: 2022-01-31