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V OL 18 N R 6 D E C E MB ER 2020 / JA N U A RY 2021

Palletplast wins WWF SA OVERVIEW OF Gold Pack PLASTIC POLLUTION trophy CHALLENGE Mpact Plastic Containers ups content of recycled material

Green industries lauded as engines of Western Cape’s economic growth

Section 18 charts new approach to waste management in SA

Africa’s first fully biodegradable rigid plastic jar from Teqal www.sapt.co.za

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2020/11/19 09:43

Roto material consumption resumes steady increase


Flying car designed with composites ready to hit the road


Alpla unveils world’s first carbon-neutral rPET


2020/11/26 14:55

Book e tenanc n i a m r you ment require fore , be EARLY ber Decem n w shut do

DEAN TOI DeanToi ad '016 10 (Screws&Barrels) with flash-REVISED.indd 94

Dean Toi’s core business is the manufacture and refurbishment of wearing parts for plastics conversion machinery and technical assistance. We have diversified to offer a fully comprehensive range of plant, machinery and associated equipment for the reduction and recycling of plastic waste as well as traditional extrusion machinery.

PHYSICAL ADDRESS: 27 Mopedi Road Sebenza Edenvale Johannesburg Republic of South Africa E-mail: candice@deantoi.co.za

POSTAL ADDRESS: P.O Box 8190 Edenglen 1613 Johannesburg Republic of South Africa Tel: (011) 452-3724 Fax: (011) 452-4722


2020/11/23 14:27


Publisher & Managing Editor: Martin Wells (martin@summitpub.co.za) Editor: Tessa O’Hara (tessa@summitpub.co.za) Publishers Assistant: Heather Peplow (heather@summitpub.co.za) Financial manager: Lisa Mulligan (lisa@summitpub.co.za) Designers: Jeanette Erasmus Graphic Design (jeanette.erasmus@lateraldynamics.co.za) Bronwen Moys Blinc Design (bronwen.clarke@gmail.com) Summit Publishing cc t: +27 (21) 712 1408 f: 086 519 6089 c: +27 (82) 822 8115 e: tessa@summitpub.co.za Postnet Suite 42, Private Bag X16, Constantia 7848, Cape Town, South Africa Unit 8, Bergvliet Village Centre, Cnr Hiddingh & Children’s Way Roads, Bergvliet 7945

www.sapt.co.za GAUTENG Lowrie Sharp t: (011) 793 4691 f: (011) 791 0544 c: 082 344 7870 e: lowrieplasticsmedia@absamail.co.za KZN Lynne Askew c: 082 904 9433 e: lynne@summitpub.co.za Printed by: Novus Print, Paarl Southern African Polymer Technology is published six times a year and focuses on these industries in South and Southern Africa. We welcome news, articles, technical reports, information in general and photographs about events and developments related to the plastics industry. The views expressed in the magazine are not necessarily those of the publisher. Views expressed are not necessarily those of the Plastics Converters Association, Institute of Materials or Association of Rotational Moulders either. Copyright: All rights reserved. ISSN number: 1684-2855 (ISDS Centre, Paris) Summit Publishing: CK 9863581/23 VAT reg: 4600187902

Plastics Institute

Association of Rotational

Plastics Converters

of Southern Africa

Moulders of South Africa


PET Plastic Recycling South Africa

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Institute of Materials

Pellets (now widely referred to as ‘nurdles,’ a term which apparently originated in the USA) have again been washing up on southern Cape beaches and created quite a hoohah. Suggestions that the pellets are a ‘toxic mix of petrochemicals and other additives, along with the toxic coating absorbed from polluted sea water’ and as a result ‘cannot go to landfill or be recycled’ have been made by wellinformed people in responsible positions. Test lab, Roediger Agencies, ran tests on pellets collected on Witsand beach (sample in photo)

Revenge of the nurdles ALLEGATIONS of negligence resulting from the washing up of pellets on Southern Cape beaches have been made against the industry in general. Although the volumes are small (12kg of pellets was collected in the Knysna area), the impact of the negative press has been significant. The current problem (literally) appears to be the result of a load of material, arguably not a container full as happened in the Durban harbour accident of 2017, falling overboard from a passing freighter, which it was said was “heading for Mexico”. Plastics/SA’s coastal management official John Kieser has been investigating and spoke to ship chandlers and shipping lines, but no-one was saying anything … until torn bags and even whole bags of material began washing up (the manufacturer is as a result now known). It’s therefore logical to say the relevant shipping line should be held responsible, but getting a conviction or a reaction would take months and possibly years. Polymer lab Roediger Agencies ran tests on the sample pellets collected and found that ‘no compounds were detected which may pose a significant health threat to the environment or people’. • Anyone who wants to see the results of the test, which outlines the testing process employed, is welcome to contact us.

Zoom in, then zoom out

MOST of us are becoming familiar with Zoom video conferencing and this is definitely a convenient way of conducting meetings in the Covid situation. But it’s also convenient that these virtual meetings tend to not be as long-winded as conventional meetings, possibly because no-one hogs the floor for as long as they did before. An example of this was the recent AGM of the rotational moulding group ARMSA: the proceedings were done and dusted in just 21 minutes, which was a record by some distance for ARMSA. It has since been proposed that all the association’s AGMs be conducted by zoom in future, following which – hopefully, post-Covid-19 – delegates can reconvene and proceed with the informal part of the meeting at the bar, which frequently tends to be more important, and more fun.

Just ‘hairsay’, but potentially very dangerous

OTHER than the moulders of the containers, most of you will not have been familiar with TRESemmé hair care products prior to 7 September, when an advert by the company in which the hair of black and white women was compared and drew a riotous reaction from a political party. TRESemmé was established way back in ‘48 in the USA and the brand has been owned by Unilever since 2010; using high standard containers mostly in signature black. The fact that the entire range had to be withdrawn after the protests reminds one how important it is to be cautious when marketing goods. In … IF YOU HAVE SA, the containers are manufactured by SOMETHING TO SAY one of the country’s top FMCG suppliers. Look at the bright side: if you have some gem of wisdom to impart, please write to us at tessa@summitpub.co.za

2020/11/26 10:46



CONTENTS Find out more at www.sapt.co.za


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WWF SA publishes overview of plastic pollution challenge

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DRV Plastics ramps up productivity

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Teqal: Africa’s first fully biodegradable rigid plastic

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Blow moulder Imvusa celebrates 15yrs


Roto material consumption resumes steady increase

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Palletplast wins Gold Pack trophy with rPET export shipping pallet


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ON THE COVER: MPACT Plastic Containers has recently fulfilled a major ‘circular economy’ commitment which sees its wheelie bins being manufactured almost entirely out of recycled materials – only the wheel tread is now moulded in virgin material. Read more on page 18 & 19



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Plastics recycling figures for 2019 Developing a roadmap for the managing of plastic waste in SA Plasti-Tech overcomes lockdown challenges Green industries lauded as engines of Western Cape’s economic growth Metals group Insimbi introduces its plastics drum business


Novel 3D printing approach for large vessel moulds Bridging the gap between CFRP and CMC


Alpla unveils world’s first carbon-neutral rPET Bottle caps made from recycled HDPE Dow Pack Studios sets packaging industry up for sustainable success Holland Colours’ biobased colour concentrates used in sunglasses


Arburg Freeformer in its element with AM parts Giant blanket to keep a glacier cool! BASF makes the best of two worlds

2020/11/26 10:46

COMMENT Doing a wheelie with rHDPE – The development by Mpact Plastics Containers of a new design wheel for its wheelie bins represents an important change in the waste management area. The structure of the wheel is now manufactured in recycled HDPE, yielded from used bins that it has either purchased back from users (in most cases municipalities) or exchanged for new bins. Just the tread of the wheel is produced in virgin material, in this case an elastomer. The use of the rubber-like elastomer gives the bins better traction and results in less rolling noise, a small but major triumph for the manufacturer. See page 18

Changing challenges

into opportunity is all we can do Don’t’ expect any favours from Covid relief or the State


DEC 2020 / JAN 2021


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OST OF YOU will not be looking back on 2020 with much satisfaction, and the reality is that the near future is going to be challenging.


the successful businesses in the industry I have visited have one very obvious feature: the boss is there most of the time and he/she plays a very active role in all aspects of the day-to-day running of the operation. To be honest, the mainstream converting/fabrication industry in SA is run by about 1000 people at most, and you, I’m nearly certain, are one of them. Energy from these people spreads through the organisation: without that it’s basically game over.

Changing challenges into opportunity is about all we can do, it’s either that or opt out. Covid-19 has presented major difficulties but our industry – the plastics, composites and rubber sectors – has also provided many solutions Ingenious and some sectors (specifically packaging and Gold Pack and more personal protection goods) have actually developments The Gold Pack Awards has become grown. Other sectors, however, are taking that can stimulate an annual event and we congratulate a hammering. And, in South Africa, dealing Palletplast of Cape Town, winner of the ideas for new with the State presents perhaps even more overall trophy this year. The fact that serious challenges. Not only are SOEs not products Palletplast’s rPET pallet makes extensive use developing (which would and should provide of PCR material may have tipped the judges’ demand for our products), they are actually scores in its favour. Going forward, 2021 and draining unbelievably huge sums. A lot of people beyond, including or developing applications for PCR in government seem to be confusing millions with billions. material is going to be vital for us. Now, suddenly, every loss is a minimum of a few billion. It’s There is a lot more in this final issue of 2020, including no simple matter to blow money on this scale. several ingenious developments that could stimulate ideas But there’s no point in dwelling on things we cannot for new products for you. The good news is that we will change. have more for you in 2021. About all you can do is look after your business, it’s the The future, as they say, is in your hands. most likely – and in most cases only – platform from which Martin Wells, Publisher to operate and grow. And I can confirm that every one of

2020/11/26 10:45

Book early s before Christma shutdown

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12:08 2020/02/03 2020/09/28 10:42 12:29


Palletplast wins

Gold Pack trophy with rPET Recognising outstanding packaging design in SA THE overall winner of this year’s Gold Pack Trophy is Palletplast for its rPET export shipping pallet. Born from the continued pressure on resources worldwide and the need to re-purpose waste and divert it from landfill, Palletplast has designed an export shipping

pallet that is a light weight, realistic and cost-effective alternative to wooden pallets that are well suited for the export environment. This year’s annual Gold Pack Awards programme, organised and presented by the Institute of Packaging SA (IPSA), presented more challenges than usual

rPET export shipping pallet

because of COVID-19 restrictions. However, because of the outstanding support shown by the programme’s sponsors, the awards were able to continue. The IPSA Gold Pack Awards are about promoting innovation, identifying the best solutions that have met South African and African regional packaging challenges and ultimately maximising



It is a high performance ultra-light weight plastic pallet containing 97% (or 12 litres) of recycled plastic material offering growers, shippers and receivers an advanced technology as an advantage to their business. The technology has been subjected to in-house live testing as well as exhaustive independent FEA and laboratory testing. This has been done by a range of well acclaimed international parties of repute. Palletplast’s quality management system is ISO9001:2008 certified and its manufacturing facility is FDA approved. The pallet is both lightweight and cost effective. The patented pallet design features the inclusion of three PET straps which enable the pallet to rack 1 200kg. This is vital in the fruit sector which needs cold storage as this sector exports more than 4 million pallets annually from the Western Cape. This entry was also a Gold Medal winner in the Transit category, and a Gold Medal winner in the Sustainability category. Palletplast was officially established in 2017 with the purpose of manufacturing export pallets from rPET. Made from up to 97% rPET, these pallets offer the industry, a sustainable and safe as well as fully recyclable pallet on which to export their products. As of the end of 2005 nations on almost every continent have insisted on ISP15 compliance which governs the shipment of wooden pallets. The standard practice for used timber pallets after export is incineration. This does not make ecological sense in a world where protection of the environment is paramount. Added to this disadvantage, is the fact that timber pallets are susceptible to absorbing water and carrying mould and because of this, timber pallets require several processes, including chemical treatments. rPET plastic pallets can either be re-used or granulated after use for further re-use and recycling abroad. They are produced in a standard size which is always consistent and this is important for container loading. At capacity, the Palletplast factory converts 400 tons of rPET into 20 000 export pallets monthly. This is a major advantage for the PET sector as it provides a solution to a previously poorly collected and recycled material. 6 DEC 2020 / JAN 2021

export shipping pallet exports and minimising imports for the continent. The awards are also about benchmarking the industry against global technological developments, as well as about recognising outstanding packaging design. This includes the packaging’s fit-for purpose considering construction, graphics, convenience, product protection and ecological impact. This year’s panel of judges, chaired

by Bill Marshall, included AnnabĂŠ Pretorius, Ralph von Veh, Vanessa von Holdt, Andy Rice, Charles Muller, Clive Glover, Gill Loubser,


Danone Yoghurt Tub Range Polyoak Packaging (Dairypack Tubs)

in their manufacture:


Vaseline Intensive Care Range Unilever, Alpla, First Impression Labels

The Health, Beauty, Medical and Pharmaceutical category covers a wide range of packaging types and formats. The common element for all the packs in this category is that of striking visual appeal with none of the finalists disappointing in this regard. Emotive imagery requiring precision pack execution both in format and print quality are often major elements to be addressed. This category is perhaps the most consumer focussed of all the packaging categories This relaunch of the Vaseline Body Lotion range in two sizes was designed to elevate the range image and to harmonise with the iconic Vaseline brand. This entry was a also a finalist in the Sustainability category and a Gold Medal in the Substrates category for the best in plastic packaging.

DEC 2020 / JAN 2021 7

Food packaging brings with it a combination of technical and creative challenges that are very demanding on the skills set of those who are tasked with creating it. The manufacturing processes, filling, preservation, storage, distribution, display, marketing communication, consumer handling and many other issues add to the complexity of execution of any food packaging. The Danone yogurt tub range features in-mould labelling of the pack, enabling superior branding. These lightweight polypropelene packs have a rectangular-shaped base which ensures the branding faces forward for shelfimpact, while the common rim diameter across three tubs eliminates the need for additional change parts and avoids lost capacity during changeovers.

The awards are Gunner Sigge, Kishan about promoting Singh, Shabeer Jhetam, innovation, identifying Susi Moore and Wendy the best solutions Knowler. that have met South African and Here we feature medallists and African regional finalists that packaging used plastics challenges


beauty silver MEDAL

Vital Vitamin Container & Closure Mpact Versapak, Plastics division, FMCG Atlantis

This entry combines a tamper-evident induction seal, bump-on closure and screw-on and screw-off closure, while also being child-resistant by way of interface clip design features. All of these features combine to positively affect assembly on the production line, ease of use for the consumer, prolonged shelf life, and product security. This two-part pack consists of an HDPE bottle and a PP closure.

bronze MEDAL

Clere Body Lotion & Hand Sanitiser Pack Mpact Operations, Plastics division, FMCG Atlantis, Amka Products

Clere required a redesign of their body lotion bottles without compromising their brand heritage or iconic shape. Filling line optimisation and product extension was a strong motivation for the redesign. The orifice diameter on the new bottle was increased to improve filling line efficiencies, while the bottle’s centre of gravity was lowered to create a more stable bottle on the filling line. In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, the iconic bottle has been extended into a new product category: Pure & Protect Hand Sanitiser.


Indigo Brands 220ml Spritzer Bottle finalist

English Blazer Lotion Bottle

8 DEC 2020 / JAN 2021

Evotec Plastics, Indigo Brands

The entry’s distinctive matte and high gloss finishes assist to evoke the style and character of the brand.

Mpact Operations, Plastics division, FMCG Atlantis, Indigo Brands

In contrast to its alternatives in glass, this two-part spritzer bottle consists of a polycarbonate cap and PET bottle. The product is new in its category – a premium fragrance packaged in a high quality yet affordable packaging medium.








What will the cars of the future look like? It’s difficult to say. What we do know is that cars will continue to be the personal mobility method of choice in the future. We know the automotive industry and its needs better than anyone. And this is so important right now. Because everything is changing. Because mobility and technologies are undergoing a lasting transformation. We are by your side. We are driven by the desire to meet your needs. www.arburg.com

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30.09.2020 11:37:24


HOUSEHOLD finalist

Eezi Pool Floatster Wormhill Investments, CarnaudMetalbox Zimbabwe Limited

This entry from Zimbabwe is an innovative monthly pool care treatment system boasting excellent design lines.


It’s Not Made In China Hip Flask Bottle It’s Not Made In China, D&D Engineering

This is a unique, 100% local, limited-edition ‘flat’ hip-flask shape PET bottle. The changing label presents an opportunity for local artists to showcase their talent, while the heavier bottle makes any discarded bottle more desirable to re-claimers. This entry was also a finalist in the Sustainability category.

DAY Water – Sprite Clear PET

silver MEDAL

The Coca-Cola Company, ALPLA, Mpact, CCBSA & Peninsula Beverages, Sprite

A switch from their iconic green packaging to clear preform across all pack sizes, serves their view to increasing recycling capacity. This change will undoubtedly have a positive impact environmentally, as well as economically – particularly for South Africa’s large population of waste re-claimers, for whom clear PET has more value.

The Gill Loubser Packaging Achiever Award This prestigious award is the highest accolade given to an individual by the South African paper and packaging industry. Gill Loubser’s name has recently been linked to this award in recognition of her life-long contribution to the industry both locally and internationally, in her role as a specialist packaging journalist and publisher. The award was first made in 1989 and since then only 15 honourees have received this accolade in its 31-year history. The award is not limited to CEO’s or other senior executives of the

10 DEC 2020 / JAN 2021

major organisations, or people who have been in the packaging industry for a very long time, but rather to those who through their passion and behaviour have made a significant difference to the industry. It may be awarded to anyone at any level in the sector in recognition of outstanding service. This year the award was made posthumously to Tom McLaughlin who passed away last year. For many years, as Woolworths’ packaging manager, Tom brought a particular brand of packaging professionalism and thought leadership to South Africa’s

packaging industry. Particularly well known for his progressive views on environmental matters affecting packaging, Tom was for many years something of a lone voice as he fervently hammered home his environmental messages at meetings, conferences and industry events throughout South Africa, at the same time shining brightly in his management role at Woolworths. Some three decades ago, when sustainability and biodegradability were simply words in the dictionary, and the concept of recycling was in its infancy, Tom


Fitch & Leedes 1L PET beverage bottle and PP closure Mpact Operations, Plastics division, Wadeville Plant, Chill Beverages

This new pack, designed for home consumption, is a value proposition to customers, ensuring that brand equity remains while meeting environmental and recycling requirements.

silver MEDAL

Innovative Application

Polypet Spacer Polyoak Packaging, Polypet

An entry that deserved particular accolades for the original thinking that went into the product’s conception is a recyclable, modified PET bottle which fulfils the role of a medical spacer.

Together with an asthma inhaler, this spacer replaces the need for a nebuliser in most cases. This presents a cheap and effective solution that has been accepted by South Africa’s major

was already predicting that environmental issues would play a progressively critical role in packaging’s future. Among his many pronouncements back then was that consumers felt the industry was ignoring its social and moral obligations with regard to conservation of resources and waste minimisation. He also maintained – quite rightly – that the entire packaging chain would be forced into shared responsibility: sharing the costs of waste disposal with local government and sharing the costs of setting up and maintaining recycling systems for householders, not necessarily because of financial viability but because it was the right thing to do.

His unwavering passion for the planet, his admiration for well-conceived and well-constructed packaging found a balance that has a profound effect on many of South Africa’s packaging suppliers. His enormous expertise and unwavering passion also meant he was ideally placed to be a mentor – happily and generously sharing his knowledge, while continuously challenging fellow packaging professionals, to rise up and meet the growing spectre of the need for producer responsibility. The two other worthy candidates were: Simon Downes, who through his keen business insight, well-honed financial management, brave investments, technical

government hospitals and clinics. A purpose-designed solution which is available at far higher volumes and massively reduced costs to conventional spacers, this is a truly exceptional entry.

knowledge and outstanding leadership skills, has been responsible for turning a modest family-run business, Shave & Gibson, into one of South Africa’s leading packaging businesses. Mandy Naude, who as Polyco’s CEO has demonstrated her innate ability to collaborate and build strong relationships with multiple stakeholders through her knowledgeable, engaging, honest and straightforward manner. Her driving force is to merge business and sustainability practices to ensure that recyclable packaging waste is recognised as a valuable resource that provides a range of economic opportunities within South Africa.

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SPECIAL AWARDS / COVID-19 Response finalist

Clere Hand Sanitiser Pack Mpact Operations, Plastics division, FMCG Atlantis, Amka Products

This demonstrated a quick response to the COVID-19 pandemic, using the bottles they had developed for the Clere Body Lotion range to house Clere’s Pure & Protect Hand Sanitiser and effectively differentiating between the two products by use of a self-adhesive label and removing pigmentation from the HDPE bottle and PP closure.


Shower to Shower Germ Protect Range Sainsbury Design (Pty) Ltd, T3 Plastic Packaging, Bowler Plastics, Berry Astrapak (a division of Berry Global), Advanced Labels, First Impression Labels, Amka Products

12 DEC 2020 / JAN 2021

This range of hygiene products consists of a body wash, three liquid hand soaps, sanitiser gel and sanitiser spritzer, and was launched to meet the current and future demand for products that provide consumers with protection from germs.


Amcor Flexibles Bag in Box for Hand Sanitiser Amcor Flexibles South Africa

An example of responsible packaging. Amcor Flexibles SA used their internal resources and manufacturing capabilities to produce a product to assist co-workers and colleagues, using their 7-layer co-extruded bags and technology know-how, normally used to manufacture wine bags, to launch hand sanitisers in a Bag in Box format.


Face Shield Mpact Versapak, Mpact plastics division

Mpact moved swiftly to design, prototype and produce a fully recyclable face shield consisting of a 400-micron PET visor and PP in-house regrind headband. Within two weeks, the team helped reduce the spread of the coronavirus by using traditional ‘packaging materials’.


Evotec Recycle Range Evotec Plastics

Evotec manufactures a range of products which uses post consumer waste material; they are made using 100% recycled material and can be recycled again after use.



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2020/11/17 09:56


Collaboration is key to achieve change at scale Lorren de Kock, Project Manager: Circular Plastics Economy at WWF South Africa, talks to us about the WWF report, what must surely be the most comprehensive document yet produced on the impact of plastics on the environment in South Africa and the possible solutions.

14 DEC 2020 / JAN 2021

How did you become involved in your research into the plastics sector and its impacts? LdK: WWF is a science-based organisation and one of the requirements from our funders for our Circular Plastics Economy programme is to generate research which provides the evidence for the plastics system to transform from the current linear economy of ‘takemake-waste’ to a circular economy which holds multiple environmental as well as social and economic benefits. Why did you become involved? LdK: I have always been very interested and passionate about environmental and socio-economic issues. I made a career change a few years ago to get more involved in the sustainability sector and also decided to study further. I was working in climate change and the development of sustainability metrics for the agricultural industry whilst doing an MSc in Life Cycle Assessment when the emerging global plastic pollution crisis came to everyone’s attention. I felt that this was a new environmental issue where we needed to firstly get stuck in and understand the complexities and then develop viable solutions. I am an engineer so I like working in complex systems and finding solutions. >>

WWF SA publishes overview of plastic pollution challenge Collective action to take these solutions to a scale that matters THE World Wildlife Fund SA released its ‘Plastics: Facts and Futures’ report in October, providing an overview of the plastic pollution challenge in South Africa and proposing what it sees as necessary interventions to address it.

The report explores the environmental and socio-economic impacts of plastic pollution in the South African context, with a focus on plastic packaging as a major contributor. There are also plastic products beyond packaging that need to be given attention in Africa and South Africa and these are identified in the report. These include hygiene products such as sanitary towels and nappies, cigarette butts and certain types of fishing gear, all of which are not currently well managed and add to plastic leakage into nature. The report consolidates the mounting evidence to highlight the risks of a business-as-usual path but also to provide ideas for first steps and identify the levers to deliver significant positive impact in this complex system. “No single organisation can solve

the plastic pollution challenge by itself and an inclusive, collaborative process with multiple stakeholders across the plastics value chain is needed, with a strong focus on prevention rather than mitigating impacts once they have already occurred,” said Lorren de Kock, Project Manager: Circular Plastics Economy at WWF South Africa. “Addressing the plastic pollution crisis must not be done at the expense of other increasing environmental problems, but if done right, addressing plastic pollution will result in net positive environmental outcomes for our planet across a range of environmental and social stressors,” she added. The current plastics economy South Africa’s current plastics economy is almost entirely based on the linear ‘take-make-waste’ approach. South Africa’s linear model is illustrated through the large dependency on virgin material for its plastics production and presents several barriers to the transition to a circular plastics economy. The first milestones towards circularity are present in the struggling recycling economy, which is characterised by


DEC 2020 / JAN 2021 15

3. A weak and already strained waste management system is supported by a marginalised but growing informal waste sector. 4. There are several but Primary barriers to achieving disjointed initiatives a circular plastics If done right, throughout the plastics economy value chain with a addressing plastic The report reveals that narrow focus on endthere are ďŹ ve main pollution will result of-pipe solutions. barriers to achieving in net positive 5. There is a a circular plastics environmental lack of a cohesive economy in SA. outcomes for our planet and trusted local These include: across a range of evidence base and 1. The current environmental and a lack of sector-wide economic cost of virgin social stressors collaboration and plastic does not account trust between industry for the negative impacts of and civil society, and with plastic pollution on nature and government. people. These challenges at a systems level 2. The plastic production system is and at each life-cycle stage cause largely dependent on fossil fuel-based a cluster of negative impacts on the virgin materials and unsustainable, environment and human well-being. non-circular design of products and >> packaging. the vulnerable and under-supported informal waste collection, sorting and recycling sector.

news Collaboration is key >> What in your opinion would be an ideal solution? LdK: The plastics industry and the plastic sector nationally and globally is a complex system. In a situation like this we need many solutions at every stage of the life cycle - from resin production, manufacturing, consumption and end of life. And all of these solutions need to happen simultaneously in order to transform the system at scale.

16 DEC 2020 / JAN 2021

What are the most fundamental steps that need to be taken to achieve this? LdK: Plastics is a material we need in the modern age but we really need to manage it better according to circular economy principles of designing our waste and ensuring it remains in the economy so that its climate, biodiversity and socio-economic impacts are mitigated. As mentioned, because the material itself and the system is incredibly complex, all stakeholders (industry, government and citizens) need to firstly acknowledge the problem and come together to find solutions. Collaboration, firstly in designing solutions, implementation and monitoring progress towards targets, is key to achieve the change at scale that we require and ensure the sustainability of the industry

into the future. One example of such a platform is the South African Plastics Pact which is a collaborative platform and most importantly has time bound targets to which members report progress up to 2025. Do you think legislation would help to achieve compliance (such as, for example, the introduction of a deposit system)? LdK: Legislation is one of the mechanisms needed to achieve better management and monitoring of plastic. Many governments are supporting the circular economy concept and see it as the solution to achieve better resource management across all material life cycles. Our own government also fully supports the circular economy approach in order to increase investment into the waste sector to create more opportunities and most importantly jobs and to reduce the environmental impacts of various waste streams. The newly published Extended Producer Responsibility regulations are an example of regulation which supports these goals. You mention incineration in the report. Stats I have suggest that 39% of post-consumer plastics material

Key messages 1. Plastic is a complex material that provides value across several industries, yet its strength and durability have resulted in widespread persistence in the environment. These negative externalities, once quantified, reveal the true costs of plastic. 2. Tackling the plastic pollution challenge requires a life cycle approach – failures occurring at each stage of the plastics life cycle all contribute to the problem. 3. South Africa consumes both locally produced and imported fossil-fuel-based plastic raw material, which is often cheaper than recycled material. Projected expansion in plastic production to meet the exponential increase in consumption will significantly increase the plastics sector’s contribution to global greenhouse gas emissions, from 4% in 2015 to 15% by 2050. 4. Plastic packaging is a plastic leakage hotspot. 52% of plastic raw material produced in and imported into South Africa is used for packaging applications. 5. Plastic leakage in the form of litter and illegal dumping is symptomatic of a weak and fragmented waste management system. This is a result of the inadequate collection and sorting infrastructure, combined with a lack of capacity in municipalities. 6. Plastic pollution in the marine environment is a

in Europe is used in incineration for energy generation. Would this be at least part of the hoped-for solution? LdK: Europe does incinerate a great deal of their post-consumer plastics but this is changing. With the new Plastics Directive that has been approved by the EU Parliament and the various Plastics Pacts emerging in each country, along with the regional European Plastics Pact, the focus is shifting to keeping plastics in the economy through design for reuse and recycling and ensuring a minimum post-consumer recycled content in plastic products and packaging. For the South African context the incineration solution is extremely expensive, which will drive up waste management costs considerably. And if you look at the decreasing costs of renewable energy from sun and wind, burning plastic for energy generation will not be able to compete from a cost perspective, even against our coal fired electricity from Eskom. There are other challenges that come with incineration which can be found in literature, so overall we feel that transforming the plastics system to become circular is the best and most balanced approach in order to achieve the environmental and socio-economic benefits needed.

transboundary issue. Most plastic in the ocean comes from land-based sources and gets transported across national borders via waterways and atmospheric and ocean currents. 7. The circular economy model provides the framework in which to guide collective action. Plastic recycling is only one of a suite of interventions required across the plastics life cycle. Others include elimination of unnecessary and problematic plastic items, product design for reuse and new product delivery models such as own-container dispensing schemes. 8. South Africa has a well-developed plastic recycling sector; however, it is facing huge challenges, worsened by the limitations imposed by the Covid-19 lockdown regulations. The price of oil is also a considerable factor that contributes to the instability of the recycling system in South Africa and globally. 9. A preventative approach that tackles the plastic pollution crisis at the source will be critical, instead of solely focusing on mitigating the impacts after the fact. 10. While there are various policies and actions in place, little can be achieved without deep collaboration, accountability and transparency. Critical decisions need to be made in the short term, including the alignment towards a common vision, the fast-tracking of a mandatory extended producer responsibility scheme underpinned by time-bound national targets, and supporting a new global treaty to address plastic pollution.


Actions needed

18 JUNE / JULY 2020

18 JUNE / JULY 2020


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  23  DEC 2020 / JAN 2021 17

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The researchers believe that by 2030, South Africa !$'&(*)%+%(!%,&!'(&+*)( "!*%"$&%!"'&$, !" "!*%"$&%!"'&$, !"   !$'&(*)%+%(!%,&!'(&+*)( *-)(,#+(!%* *-)(,#+(!%*  *  * * * can make progress towards a circular plastics #)&-#&$%-))- #)&-#&$%-))- ,% ,%   %-2)$(*!*/3!)*"!%) %-2)$(*!*/3!)*"!%) '!% '!% economy, founded on the principles of circular -&("!%#&)#/-!* -&("!%#&)#/-!* *  !%(%* *  !%(%* %)(!%)(!! -!##&$'#*-!* ! -!##&$'#*-!* !% !% design, innovative reuse and refill schemes, $&%* )*&,#&'$)*('#%* )*&,#&'$)*('#%* * *      $&%* * %.* * %.* '(&))!)!% '(&))!)!%      a thriving recycling economy and established %% &$")&%'%&!&*! &$")&%'%&!&*!     #/* #/* %,)*$%*%%()*(+*+( %,)*$%*%%()*(+*+(     markets for secondary resources. To be successful, '!&$!"!" '!&$!"!" *")$! *")$! &(*#(($("*&()$## &(*#(($("*&()$## -!&$%!*"!%& -!&$%!*"!%& these actions depend on systems thinking, deep *(!)%!%*(&+!%!%%*!,)&(#&# *(!)%!%*(&+!%!%%*!,)&(#&# '%!%%% "($! '%!%%% "($! !&#!%&" !&#!%&" '(&,!%!#&,(%$%*)&+*%% '(&,!%!#&,(%$%*)&+*%% collaboration and shifts in mindset. !'&'$$%, !'&'$$%, )!%*#&##/'(&+'(&+*) )!%*#&##/'(&+'(&+*) "$&%&)"$!&"&$)&& "$&%&)"$!&"&$)&& Roadmap exists to solving challenge of plastic pollution 1. Strengthen the regulatory environment through mandatory %&%%!("&!"$ %&%%!("&!"$ * *$+)*'(&+((&$) * *$+)*'(&+((&$) &%" "!!%'$%)!! &%" "!!%'$%)!! The report concludes that the time has come to adopt a extended producer responsibility and other policy &&$"!&$""($ #"$&% %'$%&" %'$%&" $%!&!!"'!&&#$"&% $%!&!!"'!&&#$"&% !%&("!%-!* !%&("!%-!* ,#&'$%* ,#&'$%* instruments, recognising the informal waste sector and preventative approach to&&$"!&$""($ plastic pollution,#"$&% collaborating across supporting a new global legally binding treaty address )*!$+#*#&#'(&+($%*%%*!&%# )*!$+#*#&#'(&+($%*%%*!&%# -!* to -!* %!%,)*$%*,#+& !##!&% %!%,)*$%*,#+& !##!&% -!!!%&&'&"!%& "($! -!!!%&&'&"!%& "($! !&%*% !&%*% the plastics value chain towards a shared vision. plastic pollution. !%!*!*!,*&+/#&##/'(&+'(&+*) !%!*!*!,*&+/#&##/'(&+'(&+*) ,#(/%&$'#*%  !* )(*%!%%&,*!,'(&))* !* )(*%!%%&,*!,'(&))* * * ,#(/%&$'#*%  Solving the challenge of plastic pollution is not straight2. Unlock investment through implementing #$"&%)"$&'%&"($"!$ an industry%'(&+*)-!* %'(&+*)-!* #$"&%)"$&'%&"($"!$ )'!&'%)$&$&* )'!&'%)$&$&* forward, but the roadmap exists. With (/#&%*%* this (/#&%*%* in place, it will be a wide strategy, supporting the South African Plastics Pact, 1-*(!&)%)*& 1-*(!&)%)*& !%!$'#$%**!&%' !%!$'#$%**!&%' )* )* *-!##) *-!##) )&$&!$%&$'&'$!$"% )&$&!$%&$'&'$!$"% relatively straightforward task to make commitments, monitor and increasing capacity, knowledge, infrastructure and ,#&'*&***(&%*(&#&,(* %-#/+!#**&(!)* *$%+*+( *$%+*+( 1 #* 1 #* &+&+ #!**#!%&($*!&%!),!## #!**#!%&($*!&%!),!## %-#/+!#**&(!)* and report on progress in,#&'*&***(&%*(&#&,(* a transparent manner. These all  innovation for circularity. #$"'&%" #$"'&%" !!&""'&$! !!&""'&$! % $&#"!%$%#")$%&*$% "$#'"!%' "$#'"!%' #&"!)$"#!&& #&"!)$"#!&&% $&#"!%$%#")$%&*$% require a collective mindset shift and behaviour change 3. Ensure accountability through systems for local evidence -(#)&-&("!%&%)*')* -(#)&-&("!%&%)*')* *-!###!$!* *-!###!$!* %&& * )'#%) * )'#%) ,$'(&,!)!&%&(% ,$'(&,!)!&%&(% %&& interventions at individual and institutional levels. The ultimate sharing, ambitious target setting and transparent reporting * will !$'&(*!%&'#)*!-)**&'(&** * be !$'&(*!%&'#)*!-)**&'(&** 1 $)*('#%!)#)&!%,#&' *!,-)*$%$%*)/)*$* *!,-)*$%$%*)/)*$* * * 1 $)*('#%!)#)&!%,#&' result of these actions to precipitate the necessary shift based on accurate and trusted data. &!($"! &!($"! !&&$*!!'%&$* !&&$*!!'%&$* '#)*!)!%+)*(/%- '#)*!)!%+)*(/%- ")%"$&%#$&"!"&"!! ")%"$&%#$&"!"&"!! &(*&(* towards &' the &' establishment of a local circular plastics sector. 4. Support the local industry through a level playing field, !$")& !$")& !"$")%&, !"$")%&, * ** * ** *!#)-!##(#)!%* *!#)-!##(#)!%*   '(&))!%&(/##$*(!#)(&$ '(&))!%&(/##$*(!#)(&$ educated and mobilised citizens and increased local at https://www.wwf.org.za/our_research/ • The full report can be downloaded


!"  %(+*+(* %(+*+(* *-!##))!)*!%(&-!% *-!##))!)*!%(&-!% * ) * ) &+) &+) &#) &#) !)-!##&#&%-/ !)-!##&#&%-/ markets for recycled materials. publications/?32751/plasticsfactsandfutures        

Mpact Plastic Containers ups content of recycled material Wheels use close to 100% rHDPE MPACT Plastic Containers, one of South Africa’s leading manufacturers of wheelie bins, is using an increasing percentage of recycled material in its bins and their wheels and, in the latter’s case, only the tread is moulded in virgin material. “We use up to 50% recycled material in the manufacture of the municipal wheelie bins. This percentage is governed by the quality of the material received back from the municipalities,” said Mpact Plastic Containers MD

Loutjie de Jongh. “In the recycling process, the material is ground up, washed and pelletized. In the pelletizing process, stabilisers and additives are added to ‘rejuvenate’ the recycled material. The material for the wheels follows the same process,” added De Jongh. The recycling is managed at the Mpact Plastics Containers (MPCSA) plants in Atlantis and Brits where it is able to ensure the material is within specification, said De Jongh.

MPCSA has for some years backed up its product with the commitment to buy back used bins once they reach their end-of-life cycle, estimated to be eight years on average. The majority of the wheelie bins are used by municipalities for garbage collection and MPCSA undertakes to either buy back discarded bins or offers a serviced exchange (one new bin for 10 disused). “We take full responsibility for the products we make,” said De Jongh.

Beyond Plastic Awards showcase eco-designed solutions BEYONDPLASTIC.NET, a global initiative dedicated to reducing the use of single-use plastics, has named the winners of its 2020 Beyond Plastic Awards. The initiative was launched in 2019, by Ulrich Krzyminski, as a politically and commercially independent online platform

for environmentalists, packaging designers, engineers, and companies to present and exchange ideas, concepts and products of eco-responsible solutions replacing plastic packages. Below we highlight some of the winners we thought were particularly innovative.

Most practical impact to reduce the use of plastics winners


DEC 2020 / JAN 2021

by Allan Gomes, Brazil Coolpaste was created with the aim of developing a sustainable packaging design for toothpaste – in a way that did not affect durability. Coolpaste uses impermeable cardboard, and the cap of the tube is also biodegradable, made from Polylactide (PLA), a bioplastic derived from renewable resources, such as corn starch, tapioca roots, starch, or sugarcane.


by Mohamed Hassan Mahamad, Mohamed Abdirashid Farah, Shamso Hussein & Ecosoc, Somalia This team created a chemical-free and energy-conserving plastic extrusion technology called ‘Waxy II Technology’ to recycle and transform waste plastics, packaging materials and agricultural waste into durable and environmentally friendly roof tiles, interlocking bricks, paving stones and plastic lumbers. The finished products are durable, cost effective, aesthetically pleasing, insect resistant and easy to work with.

Most innovative approach winners

The Item Bag 2.0: Packaging That Dissolves! by Jack Cleary & the Wastebased Team, United Kingdom

The Item Bag 2.0 is a biodegradable, nontoxic, carbon-negative storage bag made from a polymer similar to the material used to coat dishwasher/laundry tablets, and it dissolves in boiling water. This project sought to tackle the problem of poly bags in the fashion industry, which are normally made from polyethylene or polypropylene. The team behind the Item Bag 2.0 notes that “We offset 200% of the carbon footprint of each bag, so each one is drawing CO2 out of our atmosphere instead of adding to it.”




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Increased use of recycled material – As much as 50% of the material in the bins is recycled HD



The mould is one of the most sophisticated pieces of equipment in use in the industry in SA currently. The 240-litre bins weigh an estimated 14kgs (empty), so the initiative by MPCSA has over the past five years Wheels come on – diverted at least 700 tons of plastic The cores of the new wheels are moulded material from going to landfill and in recycled HD and the tread in a virgin instead managed to convert this elastomer, the latter in an material into new products. over-moulding process www.mpcsa.co.za

DEC 2020 / JAN 2021

Two-stage injection process But it is the wheels which are the stars of the show currently. Virgin material was previously used, but MPCSA recently completed the project to redesign the wheel disks using rHDPE. A complete new production cell has been set up using a two-stage injection moulding process in which the wheel disks are first moulded followed by the ‘over-moulding’ of the tread in the elastomeric material in what is a single machine cycle.

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DRV Plastics ramps up productivity Greentech Machinery supplies four machines DRV Plastics, based in Roodepoort, Gauteng, has commissioned two Wintec injection moulding machines supplied by local agent, Greentech Machinery. DRV Plastics specialises in the production of aerosol and generic closures, promotional packaging and containers and larger part injection moulded parts for the industrial industry. It prides itself on its ability to provide customers with fast lead times on mould designs and production. “We learnt speed from the promotions industry, and we learnt quality from the cosmetic industry. So if you want high quality products with fast turnaround times, we can help you with your next project,” says Warren Vorster, MD of DRV Plastics. The injection moulding machines supplied by Greentech include a: • Wintec E-WIN 1000/440 PRO with a 40mm barrel and screw, 100 ton

clamping force and an optimal shot weight range of 50-151cm³; and a • Wintec E-WIN 1800/740 PRO with a 60mm barrel and screw, 180 ton clamping force, and an optimal shot weight range of 170-509cm³.


“Both machines are fully chose the Wintec electric and designed for machines as they packaging applications, give us more accuracy high precision and accuracy,” explains and speed in JC Jonker, key account the manufacturing manager at Greentech. of our products, don’t take up much This will enable DRV as well as factory floor space. Plastics to run production extra capacity.” The benefits for DRV with low cavity moulds include a higher output, with high speed. reduction in energy costs and “Since the commissioning of less rejects due to high accuracy. the new machines we have managed “We chose the Wintec machines as to increase our output more than they give us more accuracy and speed threefold,” he adds. in the manufacturing of our products, Designed and engineered in Europe, as well as extra capacity,” Warren the machines are also compact and

20 DEC 2020 / JAN 2021

Bagman recycles BOPP, finds some applications BAGMAN of East London has entered into one of the more unusual recycling ventures of late, the reprocessing of bioriented polypropylene film. Few, if any, have been involved in reprocessing BOPP, mainly originating from film scrap, which is widely used (chip, biscuit and other packets) and virtually all of which goes to landfill. But Bagman boss Wouter de Lange, who’s not scared of a technical challenge, was keeping mum about the project. After some prodding, however, he relented. “BOPP film printed on its own does not work due to the gaseous content created by the printing. We have to run a blend with another PP.

“The final product was used for injection moulding and passed the test with flying colours. We have a second trial run for alternative pending and are awaiting the outcome,” said Wouter. All the BOPP material being run at the moment is ‘pre-consumer’. Bagman has not yet trialled co-ex foiled BOPP (silver coated) but Wouter said it’s “one step at a time” for now. “One problem we have to overcome is to pre-shred the BOPP fast enough and cost efficiently to prepare the stock for blending and finally pelletizing. The second hurdle we have to cross is to source sufficient PP for blending purposes. Rome was not built in a day, just watch and see.”

ut diamonds, but No, those are not unc challenge, Wouter the of le sca given the with the rBOPP ffed chu te de Lange is qui n’s new Polystar processed on Bagma don recycling line in East Lon

Safrique trade into Africa hardly affected

Sealing the deal – DRV Plastics’ Warren Vorster (MD), JC Jonker (key account manager at Greentech Machinery) and Chris Brink (factory manager at DRV Plastics) with the two new Wintec injection moulding machines recently commissioned

adds. “We will also see a reduction in electricity usage and product costs that will enable us to pass the savings on to our customers.” Greentech also supplied the Motan gravimetric mixing and conveying system. These systems have high material accuracy during mixing, ensuring optimal material saving, and a higher quality end product, says Jonker. The systems boast continuous self-optimisation, high performance and reliability. “We invested in this new machinery as we have been servicing the aerosol industry for more than 10 years and we needed to find a way of improving our turnaround time and wanted to increase our level of quality,” explains Warren. “The high accuracy of the machines have really been impressive and the ability to have multiple parallel movements on the full electric machines allows us to really fine tune our production,” Warren added.

About DRV Plastics DRV Plastics is a reputable plastic injection moulding company which manufactures high quality Plastic Injection moulded parts. DRV are a skilled, passionate and approachable team who have 26 years of creating dies with precision moulding. Their fully equipped tool room and their R&D development team are equipped with high end modern tooling machinery and can create new moulds and bring products to life in a few short weeks. DRV is known for the high quality aersole closures, tubs and containers in many sectors of the market, including cosmetics, homecare and industrial. They also have experience in producing larger plastic parts for the plumbing and retail industry.

www.drvplastics.co.za www.greentechmachinery.co.za

INTRA Africa trade specialist Safrique says its supply lines to customers across Africa have not been as seriously affected by Covid as had been originally feared, and in some instances business actually grew due to the demand from food manufacturers across the continent. “The majority of our customers who produce packaging products have not had a drastic drop in business,” said Mervyn Moodley, MD of Johannesburg-based Safrique. “We are dealing in approximately 30 countries in Africa and on average we were able to maintain our sales. Some of our local suppliers were affected initially by the drop in local business but that enabled us to export additional volumes to Africa,” he added. “Supplies of virgin material from our partner is USA was affected for a brief period during the hurricane in Texas and Louisiana, which resulted in some producers declaring force majeure, but it’s back to normal now and shipments to Africa have started again.” Border traffic delays at Beit Bridge, where some haulers have been held up for up to three days, have not affected Safrique as adversely either. It gets cargo pre-cleared, before the truck rigs arrive at the border post, and works with agents at the customs points and this has resulted in minimal delays. Safrique supplies a range of materials (including recycled and virgin material and masterbatch), moulded products and, more recently, even machinery to manufacturers across Africa. • It’s estimated that intra-Africa trade (trade between African countries) accounts for just 2% of total African trade, as opposed to far higher rates for America (47%) Asia (61%), Europe (67%) and Oceania (7%). www.safrique.com DEC 2020 / JAN 2021 21


Plastics recycling figures Total of 503 600 tons’ plastics waste collected – more than half was packaging day! Some 244 300 tons of CO2 A DETAILED survey into the state of South Africa’s plastics recycling industry was saved – the equivalent emissions is conducted annually by Annabé of 51 000 cars in the same year. Pretorius of Plastix 911 – an independent Considering the economic downturn consultant who has an unsurpassable that was experienced, the rising cost of knowledge of the industry and has formed electricity, the impact of load-shedding a wide network of recyclers with whom and other deterring factors, this is still a she conducts one-on-one interviews. terrific accomplishment of which we can “The collection, documentation and be proud,” Anton adds. publication of updated and detailed data regarding Growing acceptance of More the amounts of plastics including recycled that were produced, plastic in packaging than 70% of processed and South Africa’s plastics all the recyclable recycled in South industry continues plastic collected Africa, provides us to be dominated in 2019 came with an important by the packaging instrument to gauge industry, which from landfill and the growth and accounts for 49% of other post-consumer the local market. It is development of the sources. industry. To get an encouraging to see the accurate assessment, growing number of brand Annabé interviewed the 288 owners who are committed to plastic recyclers who were operating including recycled content in their in South Africa at the end of 2019,” packaging. Thanks to this growing endsays Anton Hanekom, Plastics|SA’s market, 119 000 tons of recycled plastics executive director. were used in 2019 to manufacture During 2019, a total of 503 600 tons of new rigid and flexible packaging items. plastics waste was collected for recycling. Recycled flexible packaging was the Of this, more than half (362 800 tons) was largest market for recyclate, with 24% of packaging – giving South Africa an input all recycled materials finding a market in recycling rate of 45.7%. shopping bags, refuse bags and general “The amount of plastics we recycled flexible packaging. back into raw material was the equivalent The recycling of plastic made a direct of 24 million two-litre milk bottles every contribution to South Africa’s GDP of

22 DEC 2020 / JAN 2021

Plastic Recycling Figures 2019

2.3% and an 18.5% contribution to the manufacturing GDP in 2019. R2,065-billion was injected into the informal sector through the purchasing of recyclable plastics waste. 58,750 income opportunities were created – which include waste pickers and employees of the smaller entrepreneurial collectors. Input vs output? There are various ways in which recycling figures can be analysed. Some researchers prefer ‘Input Recycling’ – which measures the tonnage of recyclables collected for recycling. Others advocate for using ‘Output Recycling’ figures, i.e. the actual amount of material that was processed and sold as new raw material, after the recycling process for the purpose of understanding material flow. “The debate over input vs output is a very old one. Both ways of measuring offer their own advantages and disadvantages. In Europe, they prefer calculating the percentage of collected waste that is sent away for recycling, i.e. Input Recycling. Because we are often compared with Europe, the Department of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries (DEFF) agreed that it makes sense for us to follow the same methodology as our European counterparts when reporting on the recycling rate of plastics, paper, glass and cans,” Anton explains.

for 2019 Local production down, plastics recycling is up In 2019, SA converted 1 842 745 tons of polymer (locally produced, imported and recycled) into plastics products. This was a decrease of 1.8% from the previous year. What is encouraging, however, was that recycled content made up 18% of these locally converted polymers. South Africa converted 337 745 tons of recycled material into new products. Although only a 0.1% improvement on the 2018 figures, it does not accurately reflect the bigger emphasis being placed on recycling and the growing awareness amongst government, industry and civil society. Instead, it is a reflection of the

South Africa recycled the equivilent of

24 million two-litre milk bottles every day

economic challenges the manufacturing industry experienced in general. Need for separation-at-source, effective waste management infrastructure More than 70% of all the recyclable plastic collected in 2019 came from landfill and other post-consumer sources. Thanks to these successful collection and recycling operations, 2.2% less plastic waste ended up in landfill. However, these valuable materials are extracted at a high cost to the recyclers who have to wash the contaminated material, and to the waste pickers themselves who put their lives and health

at risk. South Africa needs to follow the example of other developed countries where the necessary infrastructure has been put in place to get the recyclables out of the waste stream as early as possible. • The full 2019 Plastics Recycling Report can be purchased at a cost of R700.00 (excl VAT) from Plastics|SA. Email: Dianne.Blumberg@ plasticssa.co.za for more information.


DEC 2020 / JAN 2021 23


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Developing a roadmap for the managing of plastic waste in SA Industry leaders and stakeholders meet at Plastics Colloquium 2020

KEY role-players in the plastics manufacturing, collection and recycling industries, the Department of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries (DEFF) and other interested parties participated in the 2020 Plastics Colloquium Feedback session which was held virtually in November. This was the second Plastics Colloquium following the inaugural event that took place in Johannesburg a year ago, and was jointly hosted by DEFF, the Consumer Goods Council of SA, Plastics|SA and the informal sector associations. The objectives of the annual Plastics Colloquium are: • To create a platform for representatives

• • •

of government, private sector and civil society to engage with one another in order to provide a more effective partnerships with the aim of enhancing plastic waste management To promote discussions between these role-players on sustainable management of plastic waste in the country To create a national platform where information can be exchanged on best practice with regards to plastic waste management To identify key economic opportunities that could be realized from plastic waste and discuss ways in which the informal sector could be incorporated

into plastic waste recycling To deliberate mechanisms and technologies for the effective delivery of waste management services by municipalities and other service providers

Impressive progress Six working groups were each afforded an opportunity to present on the progress they have made against the priorities that were agreed to at the 2019 Plastics Colloquium. Representatives of these working groups offered some insight into the success and challenges being faced with Biodegradable and Compostable Plastics; Product

Section 18 charts new approach to EPR regulatory framework eliminates free riders in the system ENVIRONMENT, Forestry and Fisheries Minister Barbara Creecy, set the 2021 Plastics Colloquium as the deadline by when she will be requiring the various working groups to present a possible system, governance model and financing of the plans. “Today’s primary task is to now move beyond innovative pilot programmes and significant local partnerships to craft a roadmap for our country was a whole to address the serious problem of plastic waste leaking into our environment,” said Creecy. Minister Creecy said this intervention was necessary to address the fact that almost one-third of plastic waste leaks into the environment with devastating effects on water systems and marine biomes. The Minister emphasised that any solution to the plastic waste problem must include improved household waste collection at municipal level, the role of household waste separation and waste reclaimers, as well as educating communities about the dangers of plastic waste in the environment and the role they can play in preventing it. Meeting under the theme ‘Plastic Waste and the Circular Economy’, the Plastics Colloquium feedback session comes a week after the publication of the Extended Producer Responsibility requirements for the paper, packaging and 24

some single use product sectors, as well as the lighting sector and the electrical and electronic equipment industry to register their plans to manage waste post the consumer stage of a product’s life cycle with the Department. This gives effect to Section 18 of the National Environmental Management Waste Act, 2008 and also charts the new approach to the management of waste in South Africa. It will make a significant contribution in the diversion of waste from landfill, thereby increasing the recycling rate to achieve the objectives of the National Waste Management Strategy. Extended Producer Responsibility is a means through which the manufacturers and importers of products are required to bear a significant degree of responsibility for the impact their products have on the environment, from manufacture to the day they are discarded. This ensures that products that can be recycled, or up-cycled, are and that waste products diverted to landfill is kept at a minimum, fulfilling the Waste Management Strategy 2020’s goal of creating a Circular Economy. “This EPR regulatory framework eliminates free riders in the system. Annual targets for post-consumer waste management have been set and the producers will be accounting to the country each year on progress towards

DEC 2020 / JAN 2021

NEWS SECTION 18.indd 24

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NEWS to the plastics leaking into the environment and ending up in our rivers, streams and oceans requires teamwork, focus and dedicated effort from everybody involved,” he says. Whilst he admits that much work still needs to be done before South Africa reaches the implementation phase, Hanekom added that it was encouraging that the various stakeholders and role players were each willing to take responsibility for a specific section of the plan. Key areas requiring attention The following were identified as key areas requiring attention during 2021: 1. Developing a proper municipal collection system with the necessary infrastructure to deal with the waste collected in neighbourhoods, (i.e., landfills, incineration possibilities for plastics that are difficult to recycle, buy-back centres etc.) 2. The role of reclaimers in the waste management process, with proper consideration and attention given to their relationship with regards

to household waste collection and separation, expanded public work programmes and municipal public employment systems; 3. The role of producers and formalizing them into EPR schemes in order to eliminate the “free riders” who do not financially contribute towards plastic waste collection and recycling the packaging that enters the local market. Where necessary, certain single-use plastics will need to be phased out and replaced with compostable plastics; 4. Ongoing research by the CSIR to include the use of compostable plastics and waste-to-energy, in order to provide decisionmakers with a clear understanding of how the system works and ensuring that every decision taken in the future is evidence-based; 5. Building on the work already done by Plastics|SA and the Consumer Goods Council of SA when it comes to educating and informing consumers about the consequences of littering, the importance of recycling and their role in creating a litter-free South Africa.


Standards and Certification; Product Design, Development & Innovation; Integration of the Informal Waste Economy; Infrastructure (including SALGA activities); and Consumer Education and Awareness. “The 2020 Plastics Colloquium Feedback Session was an important step forward for everybody involved in the plastics value chain. It was hugely encouraging to hear about the impressive progress the various working groups have made this past year despite the huge disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic,” says Anton Hanekom, executive director of Plastics|SA. Hanekom also applauded the clear commitment made by Government and all the other stake holders to work together to find workable and sustainable solutions to prevent plastic waste from ending up in the environment. “Achieving our objective of Zero Plastics in the Environment is not something that the plastics industry alone can achieve. Finding a solution

waste management in SA meeting these targets. We need to applaud the efforts of those producers that have committed these targets even before the Regulations were published,” said the Minister “We will be also using the government’s District Model to expand and strengthen our Municipal interventions on keeping South Africa clean. The Department is also presently assisting Municipalities to apply for the Municipal Infrastructure Grant in order to procure compactor trucks that aid in waste collection and landfill compactors for operation of landfill sites,” said Minister Creecy.

DEC 2020 / JAN 2021 25

Creecy addresses issue of single-use & compostable plastics Referring to the call by advocacy groups for a total ban on plastic bag use, Minister Creecy said the colloquium needs to take a firm decision to remove a range of single use plastics from our production and consumption processes with clear and incremental targets on an annual basis. Government would work closely with the industry to avoid any unintended consequences while we explore alternatives to plastic bags to mitigate the resultant socio-economic impacts. The new regulatory framework has been strongly influenced by the various Working Groups set up after the

2019 Colloquium and therefore includes matters such as ensuring environmental labelling conform to acceptable SABS standards and promote public awareness and influence greener choices on the part of consumers. Other standards that have been critical to the focus of the Plastic Colloquium are those of compostable plastics. “If we are to look purely at figures, it is clear that actions taken by government and the private sector are resulting in positive change,” the Minister said. “ the use of recylate plastic has increased from 293 000 tons in 2015 to 337 000 tons in 2019”, with 58 000 income opportunities and R2-billion injected into the micro enterprise sector” she added. Minister Creecy said as the country focused on building back the economy and society, more sustainable developmental paths must be sought. “The Circular Waste Economy presents us with one such opportunity that offers opportunities for sustainable resource use, technological innovation and job creation,” said the Minister. • Minister Creecy’s full speech can be downloaded at


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Africa’s first fully biodegradable rigid plastic jar from Teqal

26 DEC 2020 / JAN 2021

30% lighter than closest competitor, 60% less energy to manufacture TEQAL, the specialist producer of injection moulded rigid plastic containers for the cosmetics and industrial sectors, has been awarded a R50-million financing facility by the IDC to expand its factory at the Dube TradePort Special Economic Zone. Started as a greenfields venture in 2016 in a mini-factory at Dube Trade House in KZN, Teqal ‘cherry picked’ a highly skilled team and, with a R39-million investment in high-tech production and automation equipment, commenced output of a range of specialised thinwall containers. Now it is taking the process a step further with its development of Africa’s first biodegradable cosmetics jar – along with a full wraparound in-mould labelled jar. “The only way to change the impact of plastic on the environment is at product level, and a biodegradable solution will have a major impact on the environment,” says Teqal sales & marketing director Sean Kirkham, who has been involved in the industry for over 20 years, originally at Consupaq, a manufacturer of packaging tubes and caps that is now part of the Berry Astrapak group. Not only is its product completely biodegradable, it is 30% lighter than its closest competitor and uses 60% less energy to manufacture. All of which adds to reducing the container’s carbon footprint. There are a lot of challenges in recycling, including the fact that some plastic products recycled once or twice cannot be recycled any further. Not ‘green washing’ “Our cosmetics packaging is not ‘green washing’. This is not about making people feel good. It is 100% decomposable and has no microplastics,” says Kirkham.

The bio-based material used to produce the external components is ‘Seedling-certified’. This is a Swiss certification that verifies the compostability of a product, according to the European standard EN 13432. If the components end up in the ocean, landfill, or are placed in soil, they will fully biodegrade and will not leave any microplastics behind. Teqal’s strengths include the strategic registration of functional and technical designs and patents, along with in-house high-end packaging, tool-making and design experience – all of which are vital in generating value in the personal care and cosmetics industry. Last year Teqal entered the Institute of Packaging’s Gold Pack Awards with its Reflections jar in the Health, Beauty, Medical & Pharmaceutical Packaging category and received its first award for innovation. New 2 500m² factory planned Since its start-up, Teqal company has expanded three times and currently takes up 750m² of space. Now with a major five-year contract in hand and financing to build its own factory, Teqal is looking to move to TradeZone 1 within the Dube TradePort. A new 2500m² factory with capacity to double in size is in the planning. The benefits provided by being housed at the Dube TradePort SEZ made it an obvious choice for Teqal. Topping the list of benefits was security. The proximity to the King Shaka International Airport also rates highly. Kirkham says he has had more customers visit the factory in four years than in the entire 20 years at his previous factory elsewhere in Durban. “It’s easy for people en-route to another appointment to pop in for coffee and see what we are doing.

Sean Kirkham, sales and marketing director at Teqal, with one of the moulds used for the new containers produced with biodegradable polymers in the Teqal manufacturing plant located at Dube TradePort Special Economic Zone

There’s no better marketing than showing customers our factory and explaining our product. It’s invaluable.” Dube Trade Port is an environmentally arduous place for businesses to operate in, with strict requirements and regular audits. But for a company that uses solar power and energy-efficient servo-driven equipment and solvent-free ink, it is easy to comply. Says Kirkham: “This is what we are about. The audits provide us with a benchmark against which we can judge, and it gives us a helping hand in the right direction.” www.teqal.co.za

NEW!! HDL Series

German engineering at affordable prices

Tel: 011 824 3103 email: sales@sescc.co.za www.sescc.co.za

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2020/11/26 11:10


Civils contractor Binvic contracted Plasti-Tech to supply HDPE piping (200 and 450mm diameter) of 18,300m, which included welding of stub ends for the Kenmare WCP-B (Pilivili) project in Mozambique, a cross-border project which was completed on time in spite of the lockdown

Plasti-Tech overcomes lockdown challenges to meet supply timelines for flagship project

28 DEC 2020 / JAN 2021

R27-million project one of largest dredge moving projects in the world LEADING importer and supplier of HDPE piping systems in southern Africa, Plasti-Tech Piping Systems, was recently contracted to supply HDPE pipes, fittings and welding equipment for a Mozambican overland piping, supply and installation project. Despite the Covid-19 lockdown challenges, the company leveraged its expertise to deliver the order on time, allowing the contractor, Binvic, to meet its deadline on site. As an international project and full-service management company, Binvic recognises the importance of communication, leadership and meeting deadlines. “Our reputation depends on the successful management of relationships between companies as well as crossborder communication with project teams on the ground,” says Binvic MD Dennis Keenan. With that in mind, the company contracted Plasti-Tech to deliver a crucial HDPE piping, fittings and welding equipment order for one of its flagship projects in Mozambique where the

delivery timeline was stringent, despite the need to execute the contract right in the middle of the lockdown. Binvic contracted Plasti-Tech to manufacture and supply HDPE piping (450mm & 200mm diameter) of 18,300m, which included welding of stub ends for the Kenmare WCP-B (Pilivili) project, package CM020 – an overland piping, supply and installation project. Plasti-Tech was also tasked with supplying Hurner CNC welding equipment, four 500mm welding machines, a Suda buttfusion machine, as well as various fittings and flanges for the project. Brad Chamont, managing member at Plasti-Tech, explains that the contract was awarded in March, some two weeks before the hard lockdown in South Africa. “We received our essential service provider approvals and certificates, which allowed us to continue working during the lockdown, under stringent safety parameters.” The order was completed within five weeks. Chamont concedes that the lockdown

put a lot of stress on the team to get the order done. “However, with our expertise and understanding of the significance of this project, we managed to deliver the order on time, despite the challenges,” he adds. Chamont is pleased to have been part of such a flagship project. He notes that the Kenmare WCP-B is one of the largest dredge moving projects in the world. “It was a proud moment for us as a company to be part of such a large project. We are grateful to Binvic for entrusting us with such a crucial responsibility.” Despite the challenges of having to work during the lockdown, the R27million project came just at the right time for Plasti-Tech: “With lockdown shutting many businesses in South Africa, our business was very limited during the time and a project of this size is what we needed to help us get through these tough times,” concludes Chamont. www.plastitech.co.za

PVC pipes & pipe fittings industry market Growth, trends, and forecast (2020 - 2025) THE latest PVC Pipes & Pipe Fittings Industry market research report by Market Study Report, offers a top to bottom analysis of this business sphere in terms of potential industry size, supply chain, growth dynamics, opportunity analysis, and competitive landscape. The report covers the United States, Europe, Asia-Pacific, Middle East and Africa and

South America. It also extends through abstracts on various industry segments, inclusive of a rundown of the business scenario across the various regional markets. Additionally, the study provide insights into to the impact of Covid-19 pandemic and recommends strategies that could maximize ROI amid these uncertain times.

•K  ey areas covered in the Covid-19 impact assessment include: •S  ocio-economic implications of the coronavirus outbreak •P  eaks and valleys in demand during the Covid-19 lockdown period •S  upply chain challenges •P  rojected long-term outlook of the pandemic on industry development www.aeresearch.net

Milliken presents

New DeltaMax Performance Modifiers Deliver Higher Performance for Virgin and Recycled Polypropylene ™

New Additive Family Maximizes PP Impact & Melt Flow to Expand Application Opportunities; Promotes Sustainability by Raising Recycled Resin Performance to Equal or Exceed Virgin Material Milliken & Company is introducing DeltaMax™ performance modifiers, a radical advancement in additive technology for polypropylene impact copolymers (PP ICPs) and recycled polypropylene. The new concentrates maximize the impact strength and melt flow of resins without compromising stiffness performance. These improved properties allow PP to be used in a wider range of applications in more cost-effective ways. In addition, the new DeltaMax technology is highly effective in modifying post-consumer and post-industrial recycled resins. It elevates impact and melt flow to the same level as – or better than – those of virgin resin. This unique capability allows compounders and converters to incorporate up to 100 percent recycled PP without sacrificing performance or processing.

tive safety standards, while keeping a keen eye on improving sustainability and costs.”

“DeltaMax solves a long-standing unmet need in the polypropylene industry, where the market has been seeking higher impact PP plastics at higher melt flow rates,” said Prem Patel, Milliken’s global business development manager. “DeltaMax simultaneously improves both impact and melt flow in PP impact copolymers and recycled resins, which now enables converters to make parts stronger, lighter and faster than before. It also improves the sustainability profile of the industry and provides a range of other processing, energy reduction and system cost benefits. The net effect is that converters, brand owners and OEMs can now meet market needs for higher impact driven by e-commerce shipments and increasing automo-

Optimizing Recycled PP

Increasing Impact, Maximizing Melt Flow Milliken’s new DeltaMax performance modifiers offer customers the ability to increase impact performance, maximize melt flow or achieve a precise balance of these properties. The DeltaMax melt flow modifier can raise melt flow by as much as five times while maintaining impact and stiffness. This improvement allows converters to increase operating efficiencies and create more innovative part design with easier flow through molds. The DeltaMax impact modifier increases impact strength by as much as three times by optimizing rubber dispersion and domain size. This higher impact performance allows compounders to decrease rubber content to reduce weight and costs. Another important benefit of the DeltaMax technology is its ability to optimize recycled PP. Until now, the limited availability of high-performance recycled streams and their variability from month to month have inhibited adoption of recycled PP. DeltaMax performance modifiers remove this road-

block by restoring impact and melt flow properties, enabling recycled resin to mirror or even surpass the properties of virgin PP. DeltaMax offers Milliken customers an opportunity to significantly increase recycled PP content to reduce costs and answer demands for more-sustainable materials. Extending the Benefits of PP to New Applications Target applications for PP copolymers and compounds enhanced with DeltaMax concentrates include housewares such as totes and hampers, lawn and garden products such as outdoor furniture and flowerpots, and industrial crates, battery cases and pails. These PP materials can also be used in appliance components such as washer drums, refrigerator trays and motor housings, and in automotive bumpers and interior parts. The DeltaMax family of concentrates is currently available in North America, with global distribution planned for the coming year. Target Applications for PP Copolymers and Compounds Enhanced with DeltaMax™ Concentrates Include Housewares, Garden Products, Appliance Components and Automotive Bumpers and Interior Parts.

Vernon Ramiah, Ph.D. Territory Manager: South Africa and Sub-Saharan Africa West Wing, 6 Kikuyu Road, Sunninghill, 2191, South Africa T [+27 11 236 8723] / C [+27 76 114 6727] vernon.ramiah@milliken.com © Copyright 2020. DeltaMax is a trademark of Milliken & Company. The Milliken logo is a trademark of Milliken & Company.

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2020/10/05 12:35

DEC 2020 / JAN 2021

Spill Tech takes over beach pellets cleanup




Green industries lauded as

THE aptly named Spill Tech business is taking over management and clean-up of the plastic ‘nurdles’ beach washup problem. This could be one of the more minor challenges for the company, but also one of the most irritating and persistent … and difficult to resolve. Spill Tech is a nationwide hazardous waste management company that operates 24/7/365. It is involved in ‘rapid response to hazardous spills and discharges to protect people, property and the environment’ and is involved in hazardous waste management, contaminated land rehab and spill response. The problem with ‘nurdles’ washing up is that the pellets tend to spread widely and are difficult to collect (John Kieser’s research suggests that the use of shade cloth works, as it allows beach sand to fall through but not the pellets). A further problem is that few tend to take responsibility for such spills, be it the manufacturer or supplier of the material or the ship owners/chandlers or insurers. In the case of the recent spill on the Cape South Coast, the manufacturer of the material (a global polymer supply group) is known to the clean-up groups but had not even been informed (other than by the paparazzi) of the situation. www.spilltech.co.za

SOUTH Africa’s Department of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries have identified the country’s ‘green economy’ as a sector that could contribute to economic recovery from the devastating impact of COVID-19. As integral as plastic is to modern life, we can no longer ignore the devastating effect plastic waste is having on nature. The amount of plastic waste has ballooned in recent times and found its way into the environment at a tragic cost to South Africa’s natural heritage and wildlife. Doing their part to drive much-needed education, awareness and behaviour change is local packaging manufacturer Tuffy. Tuffy has joined forces with WWF SA to create greater awareness around the waste-to-landfill impact on the environment through on-product messaging, in-store communication, and other relevant activities. By purchasing Tuffy’s refuse bags, consumers contribute to the fight against waste. For every pack sold, Tuffy will donate a portion of the refuse bags’ sales in support of the vital conservation work done by WWF SA.

Big Krones rPET system goes under hammer

For every pack of Tuffy’s refuse bags sold, Tuffy will donate a portion of the refuse bags’ sales in support of the WWF SA

Premier Winde visits Tuffy manufacturing plant

A partnership against plastic waste The WWF SA partnership is a true testament to Tuffy’s long held commitment to the adoption of innovative production methods. Having pioneered

the refuse bag-on-a-roll concept in South Africa, Tuffy has subsequently established itself at the forefront of the global sustainability agenda through its leadership in recycled content in plastics manufacturing. “We are delighted to be partnering with WWF SA in amplifying the need for increased knowledge around sustainability issues. At a time when ecological awareness is more important than ever, it is our responsibility as manufacturers to help drive more environmentally sensitive business practices and effect real change which can be facilitated even further with collaboration across the board,” says Rory Murray, Tuffy marketing head. Commenting on the partnership Justin Smith, Head of Business Development at WWF-SA, said: “Tuffy is an iconic South African business that has driven real innovation in plastic recycling. We are incredibly grateful to them for their support of WWF’s work”. This pledge is also underpinned by Tuffy’s role as a founding member of the SA Plastics Pact, a national initiative developed by the WWF SA in 2019 whereby various key stakeholders have set a series of ambitious 2025 targets aiming to address plastic waste and pollution.

THE big Krones PET recycling plant at Mpact Polymers in Wadeville was offered for sale on auction on 30 November. The main polymerization plant, including the Krones processing unit and Piovan decontamination system, has capacity to produce 21 000 tons of rPET a year. It uses nearinfrared (NIR) sorting technology, where the monitoring of the wavelength of different material chemistries is used to separate materials by resin type. This system is used, for example, in MRFs to separate HDPE and PET containers.

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engines of Western Cape’s economic growth Turning trash into trash bags Tuffy was the first organisation in the country to be certified for using 100% recycled material in its refuse bags (75% of the recycled content postconsumer waste) and the first to receive accreditation from an international product verification company to verify the claim 100% recycled. Tuffy also produces regular grocery carrier bags, for various retailers, using recycled material – initiatives which have substantially increased the use of recycled content in the plastic industry. These days Tuffy, on average, recycles an astonishing 544 311kg of plastic per month.

NEWS TUFFY-.indd 31

chosen to outsource to the Asian continent, we’ve remained committed to supporting South African livelihoods and job creation,” concludes Murray. After the visit to Tuffys pioneering manufacturing plant, Premier Winde said: “The Western Cape Government has identified jobs as one of our key focus areas in our recovery plan. Local manufacturing and the green economy are important drivers of job creation and we welcome businesses that are committed to local manufacturing, making our province greener and which contribute to the employment and dignity of the people of the Western Cape.”



Tuffy, on average, recycles an astonishing 544 311kg of plastic per month

DEC 2020 / JAN 2021

Keeping all production on local soil Western Cape Premier Alan Winde visited Tuffy’s manufacturing plant in Stikland in November. The company has been part of the economic life of the province, since its inception in 1986. While some of its peers chose to move their production offshore, Tuffy has remained firmly invested in South Africa’s economic development as a key provider of jobs and advancing skills development; currently maintaining a 300 strong workforce located at its two operational plants in Bellville and Stikland. Tuffy has nurtured high quality homegrown manufacturing talent – developing

its own customized machinery and production methods ensuring South Africa’s natural resources are protected in the process too. The Premier’s visit highlights the challenges posed by plastic waste and particularly the advancement of the Green Economy on government’s agenda. The Premier gained insights into the customized strategies, technological advances and process that have made Tuffy worldrenowned for its use of recycled plastic content, and had far reaching positive impact on the local plastics sector. The occasion of the Premier’s visit couldn’t be better timed, as his administration recently marked the anniversary of GreenCape, the Western Cape’s green economy sector development agency, which he launched a decade ago that has since facilitated R41 billion worth of investment into the South African green economy, supporting the creation of many direct green jobs. “Having gone the distance in terms of withstanding difficult market circumstances in the local manufacturing environment, and when so many have

Douglas Greig (head of manufacturing & supply chain at Tuffy), Premier Alan Winde & Stefan Rabe (group CEO Bounty Brands)

2020/11/26 11:26


Blow moulder



Imvusa celebrates 15yrs Steady growth as single-machine operation expands to 10 units 2020 marks 15 years of operation at Imvusa Plastics, the blow moulding business in Atlantis near Cape Town. Imvusa was established in 2004 from humble beginnings, in the beautiful town just outside the mother city of Cape Town in the established SEZ zone of Atlantis. Karel Geduld started the business with the main purpose of giving back to the community by creating employment and enhancing skills development and growth. Manufacturing commenced in 2005, which marks the ‘official’ start-up of Imvusa. Production was managed by Karel’s daughter Carlene, who at that time used to start up the company’s single machine, pack and deliver to clients. Carlene even handled mould changes. The sole machine, a Bekum HBD51, ran only PVC bottles at that time.

“We remember the times, right at the beginning, when we only ordered one bag of HDPE from West African Polymers (Tony Stopford) to run an order,” said Karel, formerly of Winplas in Cape Town and … prior to that, with the Elvinco group. Production was gradually expanded to run HDPE and polyprop cosmetic bottles and jars. By 2008 operations had become too much for Carlene to manage and she was fortunate to be joined by her brother Carlo, who left his employment at the VW production plant in Uitenhage. The business has continued on a similar trajectory since, is now owned and managed by Karel and Carlo and employs some 40 staff members. Imvusa specializes in blow and injection moulding. It has grown its capacity steadily and is now running eight blow moulding machines and a single injection unit that produces more than 50 different general and

client-specific products. Imvusa runs PVC, HDPE, LDPE and polypropylene containers from 50ml to 5-litre. It is now in the process of acquiring another blow moulding machine as well as a stretch blowing machine (for PET containers) as it continues to expand capacity and improve quality. “Our objective is to focus activities towards specialized services, to become a leader in niche markets and expand the business at a rate that is both challenging and manageable, serving the market with innovation and adaptability,” said Karel. “Future prospects include the acquisition of the latest machinery that will lead Imvusa into a technological advantage and ensure excellence in every aspect of the company’s operations. The new advancement will ensure that staff acquire the necessary skills and improve their personal and professional capacities,” he added.

Bokamoso Polymer Fund launched 32 DEC 2020 / JAN 2021

SA plastics industry invited to participate in creating a vibrant future TSHWANE University of Technology launched a new qualification in October – the Bachelor of Engineering Technology in Materials Engineering in Polymer Technology. The aim of this new qualification is to address the critical shortage of qualified plastics technicians and engineers facing South Africa, as the global competition and technical skills gaps in the industry increase. In July this year, the Academic Advisory Committee of TUT’s Polymer Technology Section ¬ consisting of industry members and academia* ¬

registered the Bokamoso Polymer Fund. The aim of the fund is to offer incentives to students enrolled in the programme for excellent academic performance, in the form of financial contributions which will be made towards their TUT academic tuition fees (paid directly into their TUT account). A portion of the money raised for this fund will also be used to help pay for the purchasing of new equipment, as well as for the general upkeep and maintenance of existing equipment currently being used by the students within the

Polymer Technology Department. The administration of these funds will be strictly controlled by the Department’s Academic Advisory Committee. Members of the SA plastics industry are invited to adopt and own this fund to ensure that we leave a legacy that continues to enrich the lives of young people in our country. At the same time, we will be improving the skills pool and strengthening the plastics industry with young, vibrant and talented successors who will build on the legacy of their predecessors.

Wayne Tozer and Sue Supasar of Rubber Products & Mouldings with the new import-substituting rubber skids

RPM puts skids into imports

Wees Geduldig – The management team at Imvusa includes Clinton Geduld (production supervisor), Chaentine Warnick (communications), Carlo Geduld (co-owner), Karel Geduld (co-wner), Cathy Geduld (financial manager), Carlene Kotzee (HR/sales), Nicolene Morris (Covid-19 compliance officer), Bellestine Adams (QC supervisor) and Joseph Geduld (raw materials supervisor)

As a local family-owned business, Imvusa feels the drive and passion to become an ecologically-sustainable company that empowers the youth of the surrounding areas by alleviating poverty, ensuring skills development and training and an overall boost to the economic status of Atlantis. The year 2020 has been tough for most companies, especially due to the Covid pandemic. Even through the pandemic, however, Imvusa assisted the vulnerable community of Atlantis by supporting schools in the town as well and in nearby Darling as well as Pella in the Northern Cape by supplying bottles and caps for sanitizers and filling bottles with sanitizer weekly. Containers were

also donated to churches and police stations in and around Atlantis. “We were blessed by having the advice and assistance of some individuals over the last few years, like Marcus Twine, previously of Mpact group, Terrence Fillies of Aerosol & Cosmetics Works, Tony Stopford (PolyGo/Cape Polymers), Patric Leggitt, a friend and longtime client, and Shafick Sallie of Small Enterprise Finance Agency and would like to thank them for their assistance and guidance for which we will be forever grateful,” said Karel. Imvusa: Karel: Carlo:

021 577 4099 082 384 9764 072 700 4722

Members of the Academic Advisory Committee are Gert Claasen (Safripol) – Chairperson; Elaine Relling (TUT) – Vice chairperson; Kirtida Bhana (Plastics|SA); Prof C Khoathane (TUT) – Assistant Dean: Teaching and Learning; Polymer Technology Division; Dr V Khumalo (PISA representative); Dr N Luruli (Sasol); P Makhubela (Sasol); Dr V Ojijo (CSIR); Dr W Mhike (TUT) Researcher and lecturer in Polymer Technology Division; Prof ER Sadiku (TUT) researcher and lecturer in Polymer Technology Division; K Sekwele (TUT) Polymer Technology student representative; M Thulo (Denel Aeronautic); Dr H Van der Watt (TUT) Curriculum Development Practitioner

Students doing the BEng Tech in Materials Engineering in Polymer Technology – from left, Thabang Modiba, Amoegelang Tshabalala and Sammy Mashabela (left photo) and , Tsebo Dipheko and Redemptor Tarehwa (right photo) discuss the practical exercise they’re engaged in

RPM to most people means revolutions per minute but when applied to Rubber Products & Mouldings of Cape Town the acronym is taking on an altogether different meaning at the moment, specifically in the rubber technical goods sector. Since taking over RPM in 2019, Wayne Tozer and Sue Supasar have become involved in a little bit of a speeded-up revolution of their own. One of their focusses has been on import-substitution and to this end Mrs Supasar, during a routine customer visit recently, noticed an imported transport skid which she was convinced could be manufactured locally and efficiently. RPM, which has been manufacturing since the 1960s, has the compression moulding capacity at its plant in Maitland, Cape Town, and producing the 21kg components was thus no issue. The customer agreed to the trial run and the first results have been favourably received. The skids – which have a loading bearing capacity of up to 30 tons – are used for transporting steel coils, which need to be very securely attached on flatbed trailers, for obvious reasons. www.rpm.co.za

BridgestoneFirestone plant in PE shuts TYRE manufacturer BridgestoneFirestone closed its tyre manufacturing plant in Port Elizabeth in November, with the lost of 252 jobs. A number of factors led to the demise of the company, said in a statement, the main one being that the plant was not able to produce the radial tyres now used almost exclusively. Investment in a ‘new multi-billion rand plant’ would have been required to switch to radial production, it said. DEC 2020 / JAN 2021 33

Insimbi GM Gerhard Prinsloo with the Progetto leak-tester which was recently commissioned, speeding up QC and building customer confidence


Hot out of the mould – Operator Abel Tyobeka handles the flash removal and trimming. Insimbi manufactures drums up to 250-litres as well as a range of containers from five, 20/25 and 210 litres along with closures, which are injection moulded on site too

Metals group Insimbi introduces its plastics drums Applies skills in metals commodities to plastics sector METALS business Insimbi Group has settled its plastic container and drum manufacturing venture and is now ready to tell the market about it. JSE-listed Insimbi’s core business is metal recycling and benefication, including all ferrous and non-ferrous metals, as well as a range of foundry and refractory products. It diversified into plastics in 2017 when it purchased Polydrum, a plastic drum manufacturing business which operated from premises adjacent to the Insimbi head office in Wadeville. The site was sandwiched between the Insimbi HQ and a site it had purchased further along the road, so the decision was taken to consolidate the properties into a single Insimbi site and manufacturing hub. The business, now operating as Insimbi Plastics, blow moulds plastic drums from five to 250 litres (including

20, 25 and 210-litre containers) chiefly for the chemical, agricultural and oil industries. It also produces high quality pool filters and has developed an innovative modular floating dock solution for both leisure and industrial applications. Itself a relatively new entrant to the large plastic container sector, Polydrum had itself gone through a number of changes prior to the purchase by Insimbi, including the sale of a PET container manufacturing operation. The business has blossomed in the Insimbi family. “Our drive for continuous improvement has led us to innovative,” said Gerhard Prinsloo, GM of Insimbi Plastics. “Today we can guarantee that we offer world class service and products because we continuously benchmark ourselves against the world’s best plants

34 DEC 2020 / JAN 2021

SA’s first road made of recycled tyres performs well SOUTH Africa’s first road made from a mixture of recycled tyres and asphalt has been hailed a success, and it may be the start of a new road structure for the country. In November 2019, the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) in partnership with Much Asphalt, the largest commercial asphalt producer in southern Africa, constructed a 200-metre road in Roodepoort. It is made up of a blend of recycled waste tyre crumb and a blend of cheap micro fillers, which are inexpensive locally mined products. The use of waste plastic in road construction is not new. The technology has been used both in Africa and internationally, including Australia, Canada, Ghana, India, Kenya, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Nigeria, the United Kingdom and the United States of America. The CSIR has been focusing on locally available alternative additives that would be much cheaper than the conventionally imported additives, as well as creating sustainable use of recycled materials that have an economical benefit for the industry, while resolving an environmental challenge for the country. To date, the road has no edge breaking and no permanent deformation is present on the surfacing, making it a successful trail run.

and technologies. Selected products carry a UN rating as awarded by the SABS and all containers manufactured in our plant are manufactured from grade HDPE which carries EU and FDA food grade approval.” Insimbi’s investment in the plastics has been challenging but certain. Synergies between the metals and plastics businesses have even emerged and significant progress has been made in the past 12 months in perfecting the operation from a service and quality perspective. Perhaps the biggest challenge faced in merging the plastics operation into the Insimbi group was the aligning and integration of the cultures, as most of the staff at the purchased business continued with Insimbi. www.insimbi-group.co.za



TLE 50Fs


Mould functionality



Higher strength & durability Longer screw life Accomodates greater range of plastics Greater reliability

More mould versatility Reduces cycle time Lessens material shrinkage Saves on installation time

Mould Functionality

Heater Efficiency

Increased injection dimentional accuracy Improved injection cycle Decreased risk of roadblocks

Improved thermal efficiency Shorter warm-up time, Faster cycle time 50-80% Energy use reduction


Screw Diameter Shot Volume Injection weight

30mm 75cm³ 68g


Injection rate 33g/s Max screw speed 320rpm Injection pressure 213

Max mould height 320mm Min mould height 120mm Machine weight 2.3T

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FORBES Capital, the family office of Ian Forbes (former CEO of BudChem), has purchased 100% of Africa Tanks, the Cullinan-based and only South African blow moulder of HDPE water tanks. An estimated R36-million undertaking when it commenced production in mid-2017, Africa Tanks operates one of the largest blow moulding machines in South Africa, a Yankang machine from China, along with moulds from the same manufacturer. Africa Tanks can produce a range of water tank sizes – including 5000, 4000, 2500 and 1600-litres – and has moulds for each of these high density water tanks. Using the latest extrusion blow moulding technology and 3-layer HDPE plastic, the tanks are manufactured with the outer layer being coloured to customer specifications, a mid-layer in black to prevent UV penetration and an inner layer of food grade white, which is algae resistant. Africa Tanks has been servicing customers within a 500km radius of Cullinan, an area which includes over

Forbes Capital buys Africa Tanks, blow moulder of water tanks in Cullinan 60% of South Africa’s population and arguably a higher percentage of the country’s buying power. “Africa Tanks has been well managed in the past and our objective is to maintain the standards set by the previous owners,” said Craig Forbes, a director of Forbes Capital. “Africa Tanks marketing strategy is largely focused on the northern and eastern regions of South Africa as the cost of transport is a limiting factor to service other areas of the country. However, if the opportunity arises and the necessary capital is available, we believe that Africa Tanks will need to increase its presence elsewhere in the country” he added. The entry of Africa Tanks to the tank market in 2017 was received with some apprehension in the roto sector, where a high percentage of the manufacturers are involved in tank production, although not only for water storage. Given that the roto sector has continued steady growth, with all-time high output of moulded

product of over 47,000tpa in 2018, due to the then drought-induced Cape water crisis (see article pages 38-39), the impression is that blow moulding has not had as much impact on the sector as feared. The advantage for blow moulder Africa Tanks is that its cycle times are considerably less than roto moulding: for example, blow moulding of a 2,500-litre tank takes an estimated seven minutes, and roto about 45min – just 15% of the latter’s cycle time. “Africa Tanks remains a niche producer and offers a unique but limited offering into the greater Gauteng market and adjoining provinces,” said Forbes. “The capital investment required to successfully expand both the range of products and the geographic footprint for a blow moulder versus a roto moulder to compete and be successful is debatable and time will be the judge as to how the strategy of Africa Tanks evolves,” he added. www.africatanks.co.za

‘Localisation Supermarket’ takes stock

36 DEC 2020 / JAN 2021

Equipping black suppliers with the opportunity and partnerships THE Localisation Supermarket – both a physical showcase and online catalogue of automotive components that are currently imported and for which Tier 1 suppliers are seeking local alternatives – is giving impetus to the South African Automotive Masterplan’s targets to transform the automotive supply chain. The Localisation Supermarket is an innovative permanent exhibition of automotive components that are not produced locally. It provides tangible and transparent access to localisation opportunities in the Eastern Cape’s automotive supply chain, for black

suppliers to participate meaningfully and to strengthen the manufacturing base of the sector. The supermarket is aimed at driving localisation to widen the manufacturing base and promote inclusivity of black suppliers. According to the AIDC Eastern Cape, who initiated the project with the Eastern Cape Automotive Industry Forum, bids have been made by local companies to produce 25% of the parts listed in the Localisation Supermarket. Fifteen viable RFQ’s to supply a range of parts have been submitted to Tier 1 suppliers in the Eastern Cape since

its launch. Two of the 15 RFQ’s were submitted by non B-BBEE local companies in the quest to achieve the targeted 60% local content. SAAM 2035 has set a target to increase local content from 39% to 60% and to transform and deepen the automotive supply chain. According to the SAAM2035 report, an increase in the contribution of Black-owned suppliers’ automotive GVA within the economy to 25% of the Tier 2 and Tier 3 total, is achievable. • View the Localisation Supermarket and other AIDC EC projects, at www.aidcec.co.za

Polystyrene recycling in SA increases 19% 39 recyclers of polystyrene reprocessed 3 699 tons of EPS POLYSTYRENE recycling in South Africa increased by 19% during 2019, thanks to the tremendous growth in end-markets using post-consumer polystyrene. “South Africa experienced very difficult trading and manufacturing conditions in 2019. Factors such as the economic downturn, ongoing load shedding and the rising cost of electricity, fuel and labour had a particularly negative impact on the local recycling industry. Despite these deterring factors, we are very proud of the fact that we managed to increase our reprocessing of polystyrene to 6 653 tons last year,” says Adri Spangenberg, CEO of the Polystyrene Association of SA. Both Expanded (EPS) and HighImpact Polystyrene (HIPS) have traditionally been classified as ‘plastics that are difficult to recycle’. Because the material is light-weight and often bulky, collection and transportation are challenging and can result in bottlenecks in the supply chain. To address this crucial logistics issue, the Polystyrene Association of SA began fulfilling the role of a facilitator in 2019. By putting recyclers, collectors and suppliers of polystyrene in contact with each other, the various end-markets that use postconsumer, recycled polystyrene started to enjoy a more consistent supply of recyclate and were able to increase their capacity. The 39 recyclers of polystyrene reprocessed 3 699 tons of EPS (e.g. meat and fruit trays, hamburger shells, take-away cups and containers) between them. In cubic meters, this equates to an eight-storey building which is 29m high or 3 237 shipping containers of 40-feet each! The décor market continued to be the

largest end-market of EPS packaging materials, with 42% of all the recycled material going into the manufacturing of items such as picture frames, curtain rods, skirtings and profiles. However, Adri reports that they saw a dramatic increase in the demand for recycled polystyrene used in the building and construction industries, and predicts that this is likely to develop into the biggest end-market during the next reporting period. Bricks made with recycled polystyrene increasingly valued by construction industry “Towards the end of 2019, recyclers such as Envirolite Concrete began expanding their operations around the country. Owing to the fact that they are able to use post-consumer EPS and HIPS in every colour or grade, and thanks to the convenient locations of their factories, we were able to direct more materials to them with shorter lead-times,” Adri says. These lightweight concrete bricks are made from recycled polystyrene coated with a special cement mixture. Incredibly strong, waterproof, fireproof and offering excellent insulation properties, these bricks are increasingly being recognised by architects, property developers and building contractors as alternative green building materials that are environmentally safe and suitable for a variety of different building applications – ranging from low-cost housing projects to designer homes and even shopping malls. It takes 20kg of recycled polystyrene to produce one cube in volume (1000 x 1000 x 1000mm). Lightweight cement factories require seven people to produce 10 cubes of bricks per day.

These lightweight concrete bricks are made from recycled polystyrene coated with a special cement mixture.

It only takes one day to build a 42m² home, compared to three days when using conventional bricks. “We are very proud of our latest recycling figures as they bear testimony to the fact that our industry is truly committed to developing a sustainable, circular economy. We believe that polystyrene recycling is able to deliver a trifecta of solutions that address our country’s most pressing socioeconomic problems, i.e. the need for housing, the need for employment and addressing the issue of plastic waste in the environment. South Africa has a unique set of challenges that require unique solutions. We have developed a mechanism for polystyrene collection and recycling that is unlike anything else in the world. With the buy-in and support from government, citizens and the rest of the industry, it has the potential to become a blueprint for other countries to follow,” Adri concludes. www.polystyrenesa.co.za DEC 2020 / JAN 2021 37


Roto material consumption It’s back to business as usual but competition erodes prices

PRODUCTION volumes in the rotational moulding sector showed a slight recovery for the current year over 2019, meaning that the SA roto sector has recommenced its steady expansion. According to roto sector analyst Clive Robertson, of material manufacturer ACD Rotoflo of Johannesburg, the consumption for the last year suggests that a total of 37,350 tons was processed in the 12-month period (from March 2019 to end-February 2020). That would be 6,7% more than for the year to end-Feb 2019, when an estimated 35,000 tpa was used. Just prior to that, however, was the record year of 2018, which had shown a massive 28,7% increase in consumption to an estimated 47,000tpa due to the spike in water tank

Pioneer’s Wiid is new global roto group chairman WAYNE Wiid of Pioneer Plastics, the roto moulding business in Rosslyn near Pretoria, has been elected chairman of the global roto association, ARMO (Association of Rotational Moulding Organisations), which is a little bit of a shot in the arm for the roto community in southern Africa. ARMO is a voluntary group of organisations servicing the global rotomoulding industry whose Wayne Wiid has been elected chairman of ARMO, the ‘vision is to work co-operatively global rotational moulders on various projects for the association benefit of all members’. It has members from across Europe (and Iceland), North America, India, Korea, Australia … and Africa (SA). Wayne has been chairman of ARMSA for the past eight years during which time the local association has presented annual conferences and training events and even succeeded in implementing a standards protocol for roto moulded water tanks. ARMSA’s participation within the ARMO group has also presented opportunities for local roto companies to network with global peers, which has generated new product and technology ideas. 38

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sales as a result of a drought in the Western Cape. That peak was then followed by a collapse by an almost equal amount (25,5%) in 2019. “The 2019 figure is still about 20% below that of 2018, when the Cape Town ‘tank boom’ saw a huge increase in water tank sales,” said Robertson, “but it’s 2,3% ahead of 2017.” Reviewing the stats for the current year, Robertson said the “market is still resilient and showing positive growth even during the ‘lockdown period’”. “The business confidence level was low with the tank market showing reduced demand, and competition in the tank market continues – with prices still being eroded,” summarised market analyst Robertson.

Rotocon expands into Asia ROTOCON has expanded its brand with the official registration of its subsidiary Rotocon Asia. The new company will offer the Rotocon ecoline range of finishing equipment to printers and converters throughout Asia and provide local service. Established in 2008 in South Africa, Rotocon is a family-owned business led by German-born Michael Aengenvoort and his sons, Pascal and Patrick. Rotocon has proven to be a reliable provider of high-quality printing equipment to the South African narrow web industry. In 2018, Rotocon established Rotocon Europe to represent the Ecoline product range, as part of Rotocon’s own line of finishing equipment initially launched in South Africa in 2017. The Ecoline economy line of finishing equipment meets the technology investment needs of smaller labelling operations and start-up ventures, which must carefully balance the highest possible specifications with competitive pricing. Various models are offered providing roll-to-roll inspection and slitting (vertical and horizontal designs), offline die cutting, booklet inspection, in-mould labelling, and digital finishing with embellishments. Each Ecoline model has a compact footprint, easy-touse control panel and open machine design to maximize operator friendliness. “Our entry into Asia is an exciting milestone for Rotocon,” said Michael Aengenvoort, Rotocon director and co-owner. “We are actively recruiting local distributors to represent the Ecoline brand and expand our presence in this growing and dynamic market.” www.Rotocon.world

2020/11/26 11:02


resumes steady increase

DEC 2020 / JAN 2021

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ACD RotoFlo ad '019 39 10.indd 78 ROTO NEWS-.indd


The roto industry’s growth in South Africa over the past two decades-plus is evidenced by annual material consumption increasing from about 8000 tons per annum in ‘96 to the expected over 37,000 tpa for the current year March 2019 to February 2020. The standout year was that of 2018, when material use jumped by over 10,000 tons due to demand for tanks in the then drought inflicted Western Cape

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Mold In Graphic Systems® www.moldingraphics.com


2019/10/01 2020/11/26 09:23 11:02


Gift Lubele scoops the BRICS Young Innovator Award

40 DEC 2020 / JAN 2021

South African crowned BRICS young innovator SOUTH African innovator Gift Lubele has scooped the top prize at this year’s BRICS Young Innovator Prize competition, walking away with $25 000 in prize money. The BRICS Young Innovator Prize, which forms part of the BRICS Young Scientists Forum, recognises and rewards quality research and innovation, including the use of artificial intelligence, in environmental protection and materials science. Held under the theme ‘BRICS partnership of young scientists and innovators for science progress and innovative growth’, this year’s event took place virtually because of the coronavirus. The competition saw 20 competitors, four from each BRICS country, vying for the top prize, with Lubele taking the first prize for his waste management digital platform, Kudoti. Kudoti, which is Zulu for ‘in the trash’, was founded with the aim to help waste management and recycling companies optimise their operations through the use of data collection tools. Lubele describes Kudoti as the ‘Uber for waste recycling’, noting that waste companies of all sizes can improve their operations by using the cloud-based platform, which digitises and automates waste management operations from start to finish through SMS interactions and Web-based interfaces. “Our digital platform provides an endto-end solution, replacing manual and


paper-based work with a platform provides simple-to-use, effective end-to-end solution, digital solution,” he says. replacing manual The platform also helps companies to and paper-based companies on the improve their client work with a continent, and how management by simple-to-use, technology can help. enabling them to keep effective digital One of these is a track of and communicate solution. plastic recycling centre directly with clients. in Uganda, a project of Describing his journey, the the Global Livingston Institute, young innovator says he had the which has recycled over 75 000kg of opportunity to speak to informal waste plastic since 2018. workers, including a woman who was Kudoti is also looking to expand putting her two children through school by its offering to enable users to make collecting recyclable waste, and grew to recyclable waste transactions, and to appreciate the value they were providing grow this into a marketplace for recyclable to society. materials. “This sparked an interest in learning “Our goal is to create technology tools more about the waste industry and that empower companies, individuals and the opportunity that it represented governments to better manage waste for development. Through extensive and recycle more, utilising the capacities research, I realised that technology that are in place for waste collection and could significantly improve how waste recycling,” states Lubele. is managed, and saw that it was In March 2020, Fast Company South underutilised in the waste industry. From Africa named Kudoti one of the 25 Most there on, I began my journey with Kudoti, Innovative Companies in the country. In to find value in waste recycling through 2019, Lubele was listed as one of Fast technology.” Company SA’s top 20 entrepreneurs One of Kudoti’s clients is Distell, a under the age of 30. He has also won global business with South African roots, recognition from the United Nations and which produces and markets a diverse the president of Mauritius. portfolio of alcoholic brands. Kudoti is also currently engaging www.kudoti.com with a number of companies and organisations in other African nations to better understand the challenges facing

Accolades to IOM3 student Bianca Geavers, the IOM3 Southern African representative at the Young Persons’ World Lecture Competition, came second in this year’s global competition. Bianca is a PhD student from the University of Pretoria and her presentation was titled: Engineering photo-active materials for renewable energy generation. The winner of this year’s competition is from the UK and 3rd place went to Australia.

Jannie Huyshamen (1954-2020)

Karen Seidel’s photography impresses SPECIALISED Engineering Services’ (SES) may be a leader in supplying converting equipment from across the globe and locally, but its owners have talents of their own too. Karen Seidel, wife to owner, Karl Seidel, is an accomplished photographer, especially of wildlife. So much so that a photo of hers was published on the cover of the November/December 2020 issue of ‘African Birdlife’, as well as some of her other photos inside the publication. Congratulations, Karen!

Farewell to blow moulding, ISBM visionary Eric Smith (1935-2020) ERIC Smith, one of the pioneers of the blow moulding business in South Africa, passed away in October. He was 85. Smith had an admirable record which included the set-up of three blow moulding companies and the creation of a culture which many of these businesses’ employees benefitted from in terms of growth of technical, design and management capabilities. If you worked for E ric Smith, some said, you learned about everything to do with plastic moulding. After starting out in fairly regular fashion when he joined Swiss Tools, one of the first European plastics converting businesses to open in South Africa, in 1970, Smith progressed to the point where he became a production manager at the company’s Joburg plant, surely one of the best positons from which to learn about plastics processing at the time. The skills gained empowered the man to go on his own and his first stop was the start-up of Uvex, also in Joburg, a blown container manufacturer which, not surprisingly, also made its own caps. Thereafter he started SA Blown Containers which, as it’s name suggests, was a blow moulding operation too. The company was duly purchased by Consol and Smith continued with the corporate

glass making group for a time. But the bug bit again and, along with brother Bob, he started Lapack in 1981, proceeding in the same sector. Lapack was one of the first to introduce PET containers in South Africa, which became increasingly popular in the 80s due to the high clarity achieved and increased production speeds. It partnered with a Dutch business, PET Power, a leader in the sector, and then established Crystal Power, also operating from the company’s premises in Tunney, from which it rolled out its PET container solutions. It was an exciting time, with Smith and his team increasingly beginning to design Lapack and Crystal Power’s own containers, including jars, and long hours were spent in design, working with the, at the time, new design packages. Such was the design fever that the ponytailed Smith virtually “created markets for his clients”. The train came to a halt in 2013, however, when Lapack was purchased by Boxmore group. Eric took the opportunity and left and retired, enabling him to spend the last seven years enjoying freedom and spending time with his family.

JANNIE Huyshamen, a blow moulding specialist who passed away recently, had a reputation for calm and selflessness which made him one of the most respected production managers in the converting industry in South Africa over many years. He was 66 and may have been on the brink of quitting and, for a change, taking it easy for a while. Jannie hailed from the West Coast and spoke fondly of his father who was a fisherman. He was a natural sportsman, playing rugby into his senior years, even then showing an impressive turn of speed, and also excelled at golf. At the pub, no-one could touch him on the pool table or dart board. Trained as a fitter-andturner, he joined Xactics in Epping in the Cape in the early 80s, having previously been at Prima Toys. He had a successful career at Xactics and was factory manager when the Epping operation closed (1999) and amalgamated with Elvinco in Atlantis. Jannie did not move across and instead headed north to Joburg and joined Cinqplast. Following Cinqplast’s acquisition by the-then Astrapak group (2012), he began consulting, with Toyota in Durban being among his clients, and then joined up with Alpla in Kempton Park as a production manager. He was married to Irene and had two daughters.

DEC 2020 / JAN 2021 41


Husky releases award-winning

nozzle for small parts Allows for direct gating in locations not achievable with larger nozzles HUSKY Injection Moulding Systems, a leading industrial technology provider to the plastics processing community, has released the newest addition to the Ultra Helix™ Valve Gate nozzle lineup, the Ultra Helix™ 250 T2. The advanced design of Ultra Helix nozzles minimizes wear, providing industry leading gate quality and longevity. The award-winning Ultra Helix 250 T2 was specifically developed to extend the benefits of the Ultra Helix technology for small part weights with difficult to access gate locations. With a 12mm nozzle bore, the Ultra Helix 250 T2 allows for direct gating in locations not achievable with larger nozzles. The pitch spacing down to 15mm enables the highest cavitation density and smallest mould footprint.

The Ultra Helix 250 T2’s extended maintenance interval PX actuation is designed for applications with leakage prone resins like TPE and PE. The addition of a stem seal paired with enhanced thermal management heater technology improves performance and significantly optimizes maintenance requirements. This results in lower risk and cost of ownership. The Individual Pneumatic option offers pitch spacing down to 25.4mm, providing ease of access for maintenance with the ability to individually access valve stems without removing the backing plate. Both the plate actuated UltraSync®-P or servo driven UltraSync®-E options can achieve 15mm pitch spacing.


DEC 2020 / JAN 2021

Evonik _ 3D-printable TPE EVONIK and HP have developed a 3D-printable thermoplastic elastomer to enable breakthrough applications for HP’s Multi Jet Fusion technology. Evonik and HP’s new cobranded elastomer is a flexible high-performance specialty powder based on a thermoplastic amide grade (TPA) for 3D printing. The new ready-to-use material has been developed thanks to a long-standing industry partnership between the two companies and it is optimized for the HP’s industry leading Multi Jet

Fusion™ technology. Evonik and HP’s new TPA powder is a flexible, lightweightconstruction material distinguished by its very low density of 1.01 g/ cm³ and a Shore A hardness of 91. The high-performance powder is excellently suited for production of functional high-tech 3D plastic parts – prototypes as well as series products – that call for high extensibility and energy return, such as sports equipment or automobile components. The powder enables fast, highquality parts to be produced using HP’s Jet Fusion 4200 series of 3D printers, resulting in an efficient, reliable experience similar to that of HP’s branded PA12 polyamide. Furthermore, Evonik’s new TPA powder makes it possible for clients

With a 12mm nozzle bore, the Ultra Helix 250 T2 allows for direct gating in locations not achievable with larger nozzles

Producing part weights of less than 0.1g Husky’s customers are already taking advantage of the Ultra Helix 250 T2’s performance to make high quality precision parts from medical barrier closures and flow regulation valves to personal care products, food and beverage packaging and flip top closures. The part weights being produced range from less than 0.1g to over 4g and are being made from resins that are prone to leakage like PP, HDPE, LDPE, TPE and TPV, in both single injection and multimaterial applications. www.husky.co

“The combination of production quality material properties like high wear resistance, energy return, longevity and light weight continues to impress at every application,” says Jesse Lea, president & CEO at GoProto

to 3D print real, usable prototype through production of elastomer parts fast, no tooling – straight to parts. Customers, including USbased rapid manufacturing partner GoProto, are already developing new innovative applications.


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2020/11/26 11:03

Going further with Experience. More than 70 years of experience speaks for itself. As a long-standing partner of local and global businesses alike, ENGEL delivers reliable solutions worldwide. Thirty years ago, our experience and passion for our work inspired us to make one of the most groundbreaking developments in our company’s history. At that time, we began to eliminate the use of tie bars, a move that represented a milestone in our industry. Tie-bar-less technology ensures an accessible mould area, even greater precision and excellent mould protection. The concept has allowed us to give our customers long-lasting success – from 1989 until the present.

We take service to the next level! ENGEL ensures long-term availability, flexibility and efficiency for your injection moulding production. We support you both on site and online, whenever you need help. You can also benefit from a comprehensive range of training courses that are easily available in person and on the web! Furthermore we offer you our free customer portal e-connect, qualified remote maintenance via e-connect.24 and the monitoring of process-critical components during operation by e-connect.monitor.


Telephone Number: +27 (011) 595 8320

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2020/01/23 12:40 2020/07/28 13:21


Polyco celebrates progress in recycling sector in SA THE Polyolefin Responsibility Organisation (Polyco) has expanded their Packa-Ching business, and launched the ‘Million Plus Plastic Recycling Revolution’ to encourage South Africans to recycle their used plastic packaging. Established in 2011, Polyco is a nonprofit organisation which represents the largest plastic polymer group in South Africa. Polyco is voluntarily funded by their member organisations and their work over the years has seen over R58-million made available for project funding and has created over 7 500 jobs. The collection projects they have invested in have collected over 63 000 tons of polyolefin plastic and the recycling projects that they have invested in have recycled over 23 000 tons of polyolefins. Packa-Ching pays out over R1 million Polyco’s mobile separation-at-source collection business, Packa-Ching, has

and Packa-Ching has been created recently reached the milestone of having to benefit all three spheres. It offers paid out a total of over R1 million to it’s people an additional income source, users across South Africa and collected helps to change behaviour towards over 1 400 tons of recyclable packaging used packaging and also helps to material. keep South Africa clean,” says Packa-Ching collects used Mandy Naudé, Polyco’s recyclable packaging Polyco is CEO. material from the public in voluntarily funded low income and informal by their member Launches ‘Million areas, areas that are organisations and their Plus Plastic often overlooked with work over the years Recycling regard to recycling has seen over R58-million Revolution’ education, recycling made available for To further engage infrastructure and project funding and with South African recycling services, and consumers, Polyco pays them for it. Each has created over launched the ‘Million kilogram of recyclable 7 500 jobs. Plus Plastic Recycling material brought to a PackaRevolution’. Ching unit is weighed and paid for “Our mission is to grow the collection via a cashless payment system. Only a and recycling of polyolefin plastic standard cellphone is needed to use the packaging in South Africa and to service and receive these funds, making promote the responsible use and re-use it accessible to everyone. of plastic packaging. The Million Plus “South Africa has unique social, was created to encourage South Africans economic and environmental conditions;

SAPPMA stands strong during pandemic SOUTHERN African Plastic Pipe Manufacturers Association (SAPPMA) members have managed to survive the pandemic so far, says SAPPMA chief executive officer, Jan Venter. He was speaking at the association’s 16th Annual General Meeting on 7 October which was held virtually. “We ended the 2019/2020 financial year in the midst of the strangest situation ever, with many businesses closed. We are very grateful that all our members are back in operation and that we did not lose anyone during this time. Although the depressed economy and difficult trading conditions have forced many businesses

44 DEC 2020 / JAN 2021

to close their doors permanently, we are fortunate to have seen an increase in membership during the last few months,” he said. The plastics pipes standards body represents almost all pipe manufacturers of significance in South Africa and has grown to 51 members this past year, consisting of pipe and flange manufacturers, installers and fabricators, polymer producers, suppliers and certification bodies. “Pipelines are at the heart of water distribution and sewage removal. Plastic pipes play a vital role in terms of the quality of the water that is delivered to our

country’s citizens. The industry succeeds when we succeed, and it is therefore SAPPMA’s role to ensure consistent product quality and the long term sustainability of our industry,” Venter said. Because it is critically important to ensure uniformity in terms of interpretation and application of the national product standards, SAPPMA continues to work closely wit h SANS to evaluate, amend or approve standards. These are usually derivatives or copies of ISO documents. The Association also maintains a permanent presence at TC138/SC at SANS. Regular feedback is given to SAPPMA members during Technical

the plastic to commit to recycling and it draws on the power of networks. If each new recycling revolutionary that signs up recruits and educates one more person as their ‘plus one’, the commitment to recycling in South Africa will spread from a small minority of people to mass action,” explains Nicola Rowe, Polyco’s Brand Manager. Since its launch in October 2019 over 26 000 people follow the social media accounts of the Million+, but more people are needed to spur real change in recycling behaviour in South Africa. www.polyco.co.za www.packaching.co.za www.millionplusrecyclers.co.za

Meetings to ensure that everybody remains updated on the latest developments and product testing procedures. “We have come a long way over the past five years. For the first time in decades we have access to SANAS accredited testing and certification,” Venter reported, adding that SAPPMA is also proud to have welcomed four accredited certification bodies as members. In order to assess the ability and performance of member pipe manufacturers, SAPPMA continues to conduct regular announced and unannounced factory audits. Common findings at these audits are brought to the attention of the body’s Technical Manager as pointers towards areas in the industry that might require attention. These issues are often used as topics of discussion

at SAPPMA’s regular Technical Workshops, which have proven to address a big need in the industry and are very well attended. Appointment of new directors Mark Berry (Safripol) and Renier Viljoen (Rare) stepped down as directors, and Chakrapani (CP) Bandaru of Flotek was voted back onto the SAPPMA Board of Directors, joining Don Coleman (Sizabantu Piping Systems), Lizl du Preez (Pipeflo), Trevor Woolward (Pipe-tech), Terence Hobson (Sun Ace SA) and Jan Venter (CEO). “In view of the difficult economic conditions, but also thanks to our good financial results, we are pleased to announce that there will be zero

increase in expenses and 5% reduction in membership fees for the next financial year. Members can remain confident that we will continue to serve to the very best of our ability, working for the common good of the industry in general and our members in particular,” Venter concluded.


Chakrapani (CP) Bandaru of Flotek was voted back onto the SAPPMA Board of Directors

DEC 2020 / JAN 2021 45


SAVA launches new theme for 2020/2021 - building for the future

46 DEC 2020 / JAN 2021

One-day industry conference 9 June 2021 THE Southern African Vinyls Association (SAVA) has adopted ‘Building for the Future’ as its theme for the year. According to SAVA Chairman, George Dimond, this theme will be driving the industry body’s activities and projects for the 2020/2021 financial year. “Polyvinyl chloride, also known as vinyl or simply PVC, is the third-most produced plastic in the world and is often referred to as “the building plastic”. Although it is used in a wide range of different uses and applications, 70% of all PVC produced in Europe goes into materials commonly used in building applications, such as windows, pipes, flooring, roofing membranes and other building products. In South Africa the situation is very much the same, with 50% of all the locally PVC produced going into the pipe industry, followed by cables, custom profiles, conduits and accessories,” George explains. The use of vinyl products in building and construction received a major boost in October 2011 after a Technical Steering Committee of the Green Building Council of South Africa (GBCSA) withdrew the Mat-7 PVC Minimisation credit from the Green Star SA rating system. Acknowledging the progress SAVA and its members made in addressing the historical environmental

concerns and improving the environmental performance of vinyl products used in the construction and decorating industries, this decision effectively gave architects, building contractors and specifiers the thumbs up to use vinyl products in their projects. During the past nine years, George says SAVA has continued to assist its members, relevant authorities and experts to understand, characterize and address

issues associated with the life cycle of vinyl products through its Product Stewardship Commitment (PSC). “As an industry, we continue to work towards ever improving our environmental credentials through the responsible and sustainable use of additives, the implementation of various sustainable recycling programmes and the promotion of a healthy vinyls industry. Awarding

SAVA welcomes Food Packaging Systems as member THE Southern African Vinyls Association (SAVA) has welcomed Premier Attraction 114 cc (trading as Food Packaging Systems) as one of the latest corporates to sign up as member of this Producer Responsibility Organisation representing the local vinyls industry. Founded in 2003, Food Packaging Systems is a Johannesburg-based company that specialises in the manufacturing of different sizes of vinyl clingfilm, which they supply to the food industry. “Vinyl food wrap is the clingfilm of choice used by supermarkets, caterers and the food industry, as it clings to itself and to food containers in

order to form a tight seal. Our product maintains the freshness of the food by preventing air and moisture from coming in that could cause spoilage,” says Unuss Asvat, owner of Food Packaging Systems. On learning about SAVA’s Clingfilm Compliance initiative earlier this year, Unuss was keen to become a member in order to align his company with international standards and norms for health, safety and environmental quality. “As a producer of clingfilm, we are often asked about possible health concerns due to migration levels, use of harmful substances etc. Being part

of SAVA’s Clingfilm Compliance Initiative will allow us to give our customers the peace of mind and guarantee that all the raw materials, intermediates and substances used in the manufacture of our food wraps have been Food Approved. Furthermore, independent testing and audits performed by SAVA will confirm that our company complies with Good Manufacturing Practices and that we use correct and approved labelling codes together with “Intended Use “information,” Unuss explains. Once all the audits are completed, Food Packaging Systems’ clingfilm will be allowed to

our Vinyl-dot Product Label recently to 21 of our members was an important step towards confirming PVC products as being safe, sustainable and responsible,” he says. SAVA will be exploring the theme of ‘Building for the Future’ further when it hosts its one-day industry conference next year on the 9th of June 2021 at Emperors’ Palace, and when it participates in the GBCSA’s annual Green Building Convention in October this year. They have also created a series of new ‘Building for the Future’ posters and social media message aimed at educating the end-market about the versatility of vinyls and how it is relied upon to help protect, heal and improve the quality of modern life. “Whether it is used in blood bags, water pipes, sports equipment or shoes and accessories, vinyl truly has become indispensable for our modern life thanks to its versatility, unique technical properties, recyclability and affordability. We anticipate that infrastructure development in southern Africa and the rest of the African continent will continue to push the demand for PVC to well above the world average. SAVA wants to ensure that we are building and positioning our local industry in such a way that

we will be able to meet the needs of these markets in the years to come and make the most of every opportunity that is afforded to us,” George concludes.

www.savinyls.co.za DEC 2020 / JAN 2021 47

display SAVA’s Vinyl. Product Label as well as the Association’s Food Contact Approved stamp. Asked what other benefits he hopes to get from his SAVA membership, Unuss says that he is excited about the networking opportunities with other members and that he looks forward to being exposed to diverse players in the local vinyls industry. “It is also encouraging to know that, from now on, we will enjoy the full backing and support of an industry Association when we need it!” he concludes.

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2019/11/21 10:54


Novel 3D

printing approach for

large vessel moulds

48 DEC 2020 / JAN 2021

Printed, trimmed 3-metre section from 15.5-metre-long yacht hull mould AMERICAN CNC machinery manufacturer Thermwood Corporation has printed several sections of a 15.5-metre-long yacht hull mould to demonstrate how only a single mould may be needed for the manufacture of larger vessels, such as yachts. The printed sections of this test mould were made from Techmer PM carbon fibre-reinforced ABS due to its physical properties and – compared to other reinforced thermoplastics – its relatively low-cost. Thermwood reports that it has already 3D printed a full size pleasure boat master pattern which has been used to produce multiple production boat hull moulds. While this demonstrated the value of AM for small boat tooling, says the company, much larger vessels – like yachts, for example

– need only a single mould, and it is desirable to print the mould itself rather than print a plug or pattern from which multiple production moulds can be made. To demonstrate this concept, Thermwood says it printed and trimmed a 3-metre section from a 15.5-metre-long yacht hull mould using its 10 x 10 LSAM MT vertical layer printer. The mould was reportedly printed in 1.5-metre-tall sections, which were then bound together both chemically and mechanically using high-strength polymer cables into two mould halves. The two mould halves were then bolted together to form a complete female mould for the yacht hull. The entire mould section, made of four printed pieces, weighs 1 820kg and required 65.5 hours to print.

Arkema wins Pierre Potier Prize for Ease of implementation with short hardening times at room temperature ARKEMA (Colombes, France) was awarded the 2020 Pierre Potier Prize for its Elium liquid thermoplastic resin, an innovation that enables the manufacture of 100% recyclable wind turbine blades. Following a depolymerization, purification and reformulation process, the resulting Elium thermoplastic resin is said to enable the manufacture of 100% recyclable wind turbine blades. Created in 2006 by the Ministry for the Economy, Finance and Industry and now sponsored by the Maison de la Chimie Foundation and France Chimie, the

Pierre Potier Prize highlights and rewards initiatives in the field of chemistry that promote sustainable development as well as the development of eco-responsible approaches in the sector. Awarded by a jury of research, industry and ministry experts, this award has become an important reference for business support organizations. This year’s winning development, Elium liquid thermoplastic resin, was developed in Arkema’s research centre in southwestern France, and is said to be the first resin that enables the manufacture of fully recyclable wind turbine blades. During the process,

Important design aspects Thermwood points out important design aspects, including each mould section’s moulded-in rocker, which act as natural rests that enable the mould to be rolled over or tilted 45 degrees to either side during the layup process. Another design feature is the set of moulded wedges clamped to the rockers to hold the mould in the desired position. Once the hull has been laid up and fully cured, the mould is rolled to level and the printed wedges are clamped to both sides. The two mould sides can be unbolted and slid apart to release the finished boat hull. While the test mould used carbon fibre-reinforced ABS, the company notes that certain thermosets will work directly on the ABS moulded surface using just traditional mould release practices, while other, solvent-based thermoset materials could chemically attack the ABS polymer. To prevent this, Thermwood ran a series of experiments with several protective coatings, including traditional mould gel coats. Regardless of the results, while it appears that this approach will work today for certain thermosets, Thermwood notes that it would be ideal to develop a low-cost polymer that is chemically-resistant to the other thermoset solvents and eliminate the need for a protective coating altogether. www.thermwood.com

Elium thermoplastic resin blade parts are first ground and then heated to depolymerize the resin so that it can be separated from the fibre filler. After purification and reformulation, says Arkema, a new liquid thermoplastic resin is obtained with the same characteristics as the virgin resin. The prize corresponds with Arkema’s partnership with the ZEBRA (Zero wastE Blade ReseArch) consortium led by IRT Jules Verne, which aims to create the first 100% recyclable wind turbine blade and to contribute to the development of environmentally friendly and sustainable solutions for wind power. Beyond the wind power market, Elium resin

is said to enable the production of a wide variety of glass fibre or carbon fibrereinforced thermoplastic parts of all sizes and with complex shapes. Its economic benefit comes from two major characteristics: its ease of implementation with short hardening times at room temperature and its compatibility with the numerous technologies for processing existing thermosetting resins, thus limiting investments for fabricators already equipped with these machines and opening up a vast range of developments in many sectors such as transportation, construction and the boating industry.

INEOS Styrolution’s carbon composite convinces with acoustic properties INEOS Styrolution’s StyLight® composite has been selected by Dr Kurt Müller GmbH & Co KG (DKM) for the company’s latest loudspeaker cone assembly. DKM selected INEOS Styrolution’s composite StyLight as the material for new acoustic membranes for cones, domes and dust-caps in automotive as well as in high-end speakers. The StyLight® Aesthetic S C245 carbon sheet is based on a modified SAN matrix ensuring an aesthetic surface and extremely high mechanical performances. The composite is a material of choice for demanding automotive interior and exterior applications. It also made inroads into other industries including electronics, sports/ leisure industry – and now for the first time into home entertainment. www.ineos-styrolution.com

JEC World postponed to June 2021 FOLLOWING the rescheduling of JEC World to March 2021, concerns raised over the longevity of the pandemic have postponed it to 1-3 June 2021, at the Paris Nord Villepinte Exhibition centre, in halls 5A and 6. According to the statement, organizers admitted that “even if everything was ready to organize the event in March, we have received multiple calls and emails from exhibitors over the past few weeks expressing their concern about the evolution of the coronavirus pandemic, and the lack of visibility on potential travel restrictions in March, notwithstanding the lockdown measures taken most recently by many governments, among others, in Europe.” DEC 2020 / JAN 2021 49


Nanoparticles alert to composite failure THE strength and light weight of carbon fibres make impressive composites when mixed with polymers ideal for use in aerospace and automotive applications, wind turbine blades, and sporting goods. But carbon fibre polymer matrix composites can fail suddenly and catastrophically without warning. Researchers from Oak Ridge National Laboratory and Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University believe that the simple addition of nanoparticles to the mix could provide an early warning of failure [Rankin et al., Composites Science & Technology 201 (2020) 108491, https://doi.org/10.1016/j. compscitech.2020.108491].

Space rocket features CF structures ITALIAN composite company Bercella has installed a carbon fibre reinforced plastic dispenser structure aboard the European Space Agency’s Vega rocket, which has been successfully launched. The company also made one of the structural parts for the 50 microsatellites on the space vehicle. According to Bercella, the Small Spacecraft Mission Service (SSMS) dispenser consists of a modular architecture, aimed at hosting multiple combinations of small satellites at once; a hexagonal lower section, with two deployers for nanosatellites on each side, for a total amount of 12 deployers and 46 Cubesats in total; and an upper section capable of hosting various configurations of micro, nano and mini satellites. It is made from several large sandwich panels produced with high modulus carbon fibre prepreg.

50 DEC 2020 / JAN 2021

First commercial, highvolume thermoplastic tape line Uses standard polymers to create high-grade thermoplastic prepregs BRITISH machine builder and fibre converting specialist Cygnet Texkimp has unveiled a production-ready thermoplastic line to manufacture thermoplastic tapes in large volumes. Cygnet Texkimp says its Direct Melt Impregnation Thermoplastic Line (DMITL) is believed to be the world’s first commercially available thermoplastic manufacturing line capable of using standard polymers, from polypropylene to polyetheretherketone (PEEK), to create high-grade thermoplastic prepregs on an industrial scale. Andy Whitham, technical manager at Cygnet Texkimp, says the DMITL, as currently configured, can operate at speeds up to 20 metres/minute producing tape in widths ranging from a single tow (towpreg) up to 600mm. Further, he says, the system can be configured to produce tapes wider than 600mm. Whitham adds that Cygnet Texkimp, to date, has worked primarily with UD carbon fibre on the DMITL, but Cygnet Texkimp’s Direct Melt Impregnation Thermoplastic Line is designed to produce thermpolastic tapes for automotive, industrial and aerospace applications.

expects similar results with glass fibre, based on limited trialing performed with that fibre type. Although Cygnet Texkimp has only processed PP and PEEK on the DMITL, Whitham says the company expects the system can process any thermoplastic with a melt temperature of 200-400°C, with the caveat that the viscosity of the melt does affect the ability of the polymer to impregnate the fibre bundle Fibre volume fraction (FVF) control and tolerancing, says Whitham, can be held at or near 60%. Further, he notes, “Other challenges are even distribution of polymer throughout the filaments, and void content. Getting the right amount of polymer on the sheet is relatively straightforward. One of the aspects we are most pleased with is proper impregnation with reasonable FVFs.”

‘World’s first’ 3D-printed unibody carbon fibre bike than any traditional carbon fibre frame on the market today. The use of thermoplastic materials not only make the bikes stronger and more impact resistant but also lightweight with the Superstrata Terra weighing in at just 1.27kg while the e-bike Ion version weighs 10.98kg, depending on size. While 3D printing can be a more costly process, Superstrata says it makes for a more bespoke design and will appeal to people willing to

1 Boon Leat Terrace, #08-03, Harbourside Building 1, Singapore 119843 TEL : 65-6778-4633 FAX : 65-6778-9440 E-Mail : sales@nisseiasb.com.sg

pay extra for a custom fit. Customers can send in their measurements, and Superstrata will 3D-print the bike down to the spokes. Each frame takes about 10 hours to create, and the company claims it can create up to 250 000 unique combinations. • The bikes are available for pre-order on Indegogo and are scheduled to ship in Q1 and Q2 of 2021 with special early bird pricing starting at $1,299 for the Terra and $1,799 for the Ion.

Unit 2 The Shields, 33 Victoria Link, Route 21 Corporate Park, Nelmapius Drive, Irene Ext.30, 0062, 0157, South Africa TEL : 27(12) 345 4924 E-Mail : sales@nisseiasb.co.za

DEC 2020 / JAN 2021 51

SILICON Valley-based company Arevo has unveiled the Superstrata which it claims has the “world’s first 3D-printed unibody electric bike frame”. The company has announced two models, the Superstrata Terra is a lightweight analogue bike, and the Superstrata Ion is a Class 1 e-bike. The bike’s unibody frame is made by 3D-printing one single continuous piece of carbon-fibre thermoplastic, which the company says is stronger


Bridging the gap between CFRP and CMC

52 DEC 2020 / JAN 2021

(Photo Credit: Pyromeral)

Novel composites offer performance up to 1000°C with faster processing MATERIALS that enable highperformance structures at service temperatures above 500°F/230°C are limited. The options are basically metals such as titanium and alloys like Inconel, polyimides (PI) or ceramic matrix composites (CMC). All of these are significantly more costly than conventional carbon fibrereinforced polymer (CFRP) composites, but CMC have been gaining interest due to their low density – roughly onethird that of Inconel and one-half that of titanium. The downside of CMC has been the long processing times required to make parts – just short of 30 days, according to an article in the American Ceramic Society Bulletin. However, Pyromeral (Barbery, France) has developed a family of products that bridge this gap, offering performance up to 1 500°C with processing that is more akin to CFRP, producing parts in roughly one week. The company offers PyroKarb, PyroSic and PyroXide materials reinforced with high modulus carbon, silicon carbide and aluminum oxide fibres, respectively, typically in the form of two-by-two twill fabrics, resulting in composites with a fibre volume fraction (FVF) of 50%.

Thermal performance factors Pyromeral’s sales and marketing director Guillaume Jandin, explains that while all three Pyromeral materials can perform above 1 000°C for less than 1 hour, PyroKarb offers longterm (less than 1 000 hours) service at 200°C, and up to 100 hours at 500°C. PyroSic offers long-term service at 500°C and up to 100 hours at 800°C. PyroXide offers short service up to 1,500°C, very close to the performance of Ox-Ox CMC, but at a lower cost. “Thermal performance in actual parts depends on many factors,” says Jandin. “These include the type of heat (radiative, convective), whether there is air flow to help cool down some areas of the part and also what structural properties are required. Whether the materials work at continuous high temperature or in short-duration flashes is also critical,” he adds. “PyroSic and PyroKarb work well with the latter, such as repeated cycles of 1000°C for one-tenth of a second, cool down and then repeat. Their low coefficient of thermal expansion (CTE)

Engine exhaust structures made with PyroXide (left) and PyroSic (right) materials. PyroXide uses 3M Nextel aluminum oxide fibres, resulting in a composite very similar to Ox-Ox CMCs in a conformable prepreg that does not require darting and pleating to make complex shapes.

of roughly 3.10-6 µm/m/K is a benefit compared to metals, which tend toward a CTE greater than 10.10-6 µm/m/K. These types of metals incur stress to accommodate rapid, high-temperature thermal cycling and degrade due to fatigue, while our materials do not.” “We invented our matrix materials to be liquid at room temperature and use impregnation machines to create prepreg,” notes Jandin. The prepregs are laid onto CF/epoxy tools. “The next step is autoclave densification at 100°C and 6 bar for roughly 12 hours.” Parts are demoulded and then proceed, free-standing, through a two-stage thermal process at 500-1,000°C which, completes ceramization of the matrix, resulting in structural components.

Famous filmmaker’s museum will feature FRP façade DIRECTOR, producer and writer George Lucas, has built a career on innovation, transforming the movie industry. Now, in the design and construction of the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art in Los Angeles, the filmmaker has provided the vision that’s leading a team of innovators to push the boundaries on what’s possible in architecture. That vision is clad in 1,500 GFRP panels – each one a unique shape. Global design firm Stantec serves as the architect of record for the museum, which will include exhibitions featuring illustrations, paintings, comic art, photography and an in-depth exploration of filmmaking arts. When completed, the museum – designed by Ma Yansong of MAD Architects – will resemble a cloudlike sculpture that stretches 213 metres long and 82 metres wide over portions of an 4.5ha site in LA’s Exposition Park. Its sleek, futuristic exterior will be achieved with a rainscreen made of GFRP panels, each one averaging 2.5m x 9m.

Flying car designed with composites ready to hit the road including a rigorous and extensive drive test programme carried out on test tracks verifying performance in high-speed ovals, in brake and emission tests and in noise pollution. Once the PAL-V is outfitted with a license plate, it is now ready to hit the road. The PAL-V Liberty has been also going through aviation certification with EASA (European Aviation Safety

Agency) since 2015 and finalization is expected in 2022. The PAL-V Liberty is a two-seater with a maximum take-off weight of 910kg. On the ground, the maximum speed is 160km/hour and engine power of 100hp. In the air, the PAL-V Liberty can attain a maximum speed of 180km/hour with engine power of 200hp. The maximum operating altitude is 3 500m.




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PAL-V started flying and driving its flying car test prototypes back in 2012. That testing led to PAL-V designing its first flying car to be available commercially, the Liberty. The PAL-V’s hybrid composite chassis is made of carbon fibre body composites which work in tandem with air-hardened, heat-treated steel tubing. The Liberty recently passed the European road admission tests


L2D joins SA Plastics Pact First landlord to support implementation

PRECINCT-focused, retail-centred REIT, Liberty Two Degrees (L2D), has become a supporting member of the SA Plastics Pact and the first participating landlord to work towards a common vision for a circular economy for plastics. Through its ‘Good Spaces’ strategic building block, the company aims to create spaces that are agile, adaptable and aligned to the global sustainable development goals, remaining committed to actively transform the retail landscape in a responsible and sustainable way and ensuring its impact on the natural environment is reduced. This includes tackling plastics waste and pollution at its source, with improved economic, environmental, and societal outcomes overall. “We have made bold commitments and continue to implement initiatives to ensure that our malls reset, co-create and redefine customer experience responsibly. We are therefore pleased to be a member of the SA Plastics Pact as we further commit to engage in more sustainable methods that encourage the transformation of mounting plastic waste

to other useful forms that enable our positive impact on the natural environment,” comments L2D chief executive, Amelia Beattie. To tackle plastic waste and pollution, in January 2020, L2D implemented a policy across all its malls to encourage tenants to eliminate the sale of single-use plastic bags. A separate marketing campaign was conducted to educate shoppers around the use of plastics and encourage shoppers to purchase and use re-usable shopping bags. “As a member of the SA Plastics Pact, L2D supports the initiative with an emphasis on the ‘reduce’ pillar of the ‘reduce-re-use and recycle’ mantra that has become synonymous with sustainability. The plastics economy needs to fundamentally re-think the way plastic is produced, used, and re-used. The SA Plastic Pact aims to guide a circular economy for the plastics industry,” says Beattie. Brian Unsted, asset management executive at L2D and chair-elect of the GBCSA for 2021, who is responsible for sustainability, concludes: “The concept of reduce, reuse,


DEC 2020 / JAN 2021

Alpla unveils world’s first carbon-neutral rPET AUSTRIAN plastic packaging manufacturer Alpla has unveiled carbon-neutral recycled polyethylene terephthalate (recycled PET or rPET), which is claimed to be the first of its kind in the world. The company’s PET recycling teams at Wöllersdorf of Austria and Radomsko of Poland use a mix of electricity from renewable sources to manufacture carbon-neutral rPET. Alpla recycling head Georg Lässer said: “This step has already had a big impact on the carbon footprint of our food-grade regranulate – according to the calculations, emissions are cut by up to 90% compared with virgin material. The feedback from the market regarding this further development has been very good.” Based on life cycle assessments, packaging types with a high proportion of recycled material have a minimised impact on the climate. Based on the purchase of certificates, the company is currently providing carbon-neutral rPET to its customers. Alpla has selected specific projects with the support of the climate neutrality alliance Klimaneutralitätsbündnis 2025 and the NGO Helioz to reduce the impact on the environment. In May this year, Alpla expanded the production capacity of the PET recycling facility in Radomsko, Poland. The company has installed a new rPET extrusion system at the recycling plant PET Recycling Team in Radomsko.


Millad 8000 MILLIKEN’S Millad NX® 8000 technology is fully compatible with polypropylene (PP) recycling processes in Europe and poses no recyclability issues, according to RecyClass, a cross-industry initiative that

Millad® NX® 8000 for PP certified by RecyClass for plastic packaging recycling in Europe

2020/11/26 11:05

Ineos Styrolution publishes 2019 sustainability report

Amelia Beattie. CEO of Liberty Two Degrees

for PP certified for plastic packaging recycling in Europe works to advance plastic packaging recyclability on the continent. RecyClass approval applies to the technology itself, while the packaging using the technology must adhere to certain conditions to be considered fully compatible with the PP recycling stream. These include the maximum content of the technology of 0.4% compared to the overall packaging weight. Millad NX 8000, including its variants Millad NX 8000E, for PP blow moulding applications, and Millad NX 8000 ECO, a sustainable clarifying agent for PP, is used by more resin producers than any other, making it the number one clarifier for PP in the world. Millad NX 8000 not only transforms PP into a crystal clear alternative to glass, PET, PVC and PC, but boosts sustainability. Compared to previous generation clarifier technologies, it offers faster production rates and average energy savings of 10% in the production of injection molded clarified polypropylene parts. www.milliken.com

Scott Bader joins bio-based project

SCOTT Bader has joined a research project which aims to replace conventional polymers with bio-based polymers in coatings, textiles, homecare and structural adhesive applications. The Circular High-performance Aza-Michael Polymers as Innovative materials Originating from Nature (CHAMPION) project will run for three and a half years. It was awarded Horizon 2020 funding and includes 14 partners from six European countries, coordinated by the University of York in the UK, according to Scott Bader. The project will also focus on recovery, reuse and recycling (with the option of controlled energy recovery) as end-of-life options, while all products will be evaluated for sustainability via Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) and TechnoEconomic Analysis (TEA).

www.recyclass.eu DEC 2020 / JAN 2021



recycle is an important part of sustainable living as it helps cut down on the amount of waste, however this alone will not solve the issue. It is imperative that we play an active role in tackling the issue at its source. Our partnership with SA Plastics Pact will see us drive this objective in the retail space”.

INEOS Styrolution’s fifth sustainability report provides a comprehensive review of the company’s environmental, social and governance (ESG) performance over the past year. The report highlights INEOS Styrolution’s strong focus on circular solutions with its expanding ECO family of sustainable products. The Styrolution ECO portfolio comprises styrenics products made from post-consumer recycled material as well as products made using renewable feedstock. The report covers topics that are important to the company such as reduced carbon footprint, marine litter and pellet loss, health & safety, sustainable procurement, and fair business practices. It also contains special sections addressing the company’s actions to combat the COVID-19 pandemic. The report can be read on www.ineos-styrolution.com/portal/ sustainability


2020/11/26 11:06


ZenWtr on track to rescue 70 million water bottles from the ocean ZenWtr founder, Lance Collins

WHAT do beverage brands Body Armor, Fuze, and Core have in common? They were all started by founder Lance Collins and the last was ultimately sold to Keurig Dr Pepper for $525 million. Three successes later, Collins has started a new bottled water brand, ZenWTR. ZenWTR features a 100% post-consumer recycled bottle, made with ocean bound plastic. And it’s currently on track to rescue 70 million ocean bound bottles in 2020, according to the company. ZenWTR is in all Whole Foods locations in the United States and in over 4,000 stores nationwide. Even still, the company has largely stayed quiet. While ZenWTR bottles feature recycled plastic, it’s quite different from the industry standard. “rPET incurs a premium for materials of about 15-20% over virgin plastic,” says Collins. “And the production process when using recycled plastic takes more time, adding complexity to operations (even more so when using ocean-bound plastic),” he adds.

Despite the extra operational work, Collins believes the benefits of 100% recycled bottles are evident, especially from a sustainability perspective. He says ZenWTR uses 75% less energy and produces 71% fewer greenhouse gas emissions versus using virgin plastic. The plastic resin is sourced from CarbonLITE, a California company that specializes in processing used bottles into bottle-grade PET pellets that can be used to manufacture new beverage bottles and other products. Regarding the network of accredited supply partners employed to collect the ocean-bound material, as well as the manufacturer of the bottle, Collins says the information is proprietary. Also confidential is the technology used to remove the haziness that results from the use of 100% recycled PET. While PET is widely recycled, the labels, ink, and adhesives used for beverage bottle decoration often result in lower-grade recyclate that can’t be used for food applications. With this in mind, ZenWTR created a proprietary label material that it says is more easily and widely recyclable than current industry offerings. The bottle is topped with a recyclable cap, as well. “ZenWTR’s 100% recyclable labels are APR-approved for their PET-only material and washable ink system, making the recycling process significantly easier than standard PETG labels,” added Crowley. www.zenwtr.com


DEC 2020 / JAN 2021

Bottle caps made from recycled HDPE _ a beverage industry first COCA-Cola North America is bringing a new twist to sustainable packaging by using caps made from recycled HDPE – a beverage industry first – on Dasani bottles. Reyes Coca-Cola Bottling recently piloted and commercialized the resealable closures, which include 30% recycled content, on 20-oz., half-litre and 1-litre PET bottles of Dasani throughout California. The pioneering innovation supports The Coca-Cola Company’s ‘World Without Waste’ vision to collect and recycle the equivalent of a bottle or can for


everyone it sells globally by 2030; to make all packaging fully recyclable by 2025; and to make bottles and cans with 50% recycled material by 2030. The innovation has since launched in markets throughout the Midwest and Northeast, and will roll out nationwide over the next year. The process of producing plastic closures like twist-off caps is challenging from both a manufacturing and regulatory standpoint. Threading

inside an FDA-approved cap must fit perfectly with threading on the neck of the bottle to ensure an air-tight seal. The breakthrough development won the coveted Plastics News’ 2020 Plastics Caps & Closures Innovation Award for being the first beverage closure made from post-consumer recycled content. The California pilot also included a monolayer label for Dasani bottles with 40% less plastic than existing labels. These new labels separate more easily in the recycling stream.

2020/11/26 11:06

Classifieds Oct/Nov'2020.indd 96

2020/09/29 10:02

SUSTAINABILITY With a clear focus on sustainable film innovation, Dow’s Pack Studios Tarragona centre is using a number of lab and industrial-scale blown and cast film lines to test films


sets packaging industry up for State-of the-art innovation spaces for designing packaging for recyclability and more

DOW Packaging and Specialty Plastics has introduced Pack Studios in Tarragona, Spain, the 10th in a global network of Pack Studios sites helping customers address packaging sustainability by providing a testing platform to shorten development cycles for new formats and load stability innovation. “Designed to serve the packaging industry by accelerating innovation and supporting the industry’s sustainability goals,

our Pack Studios in Tarragona is the result of several years of development,” said Felip Vidiella, EMEA Senior R&D Director at Dow Packaging & Specialty Plastics. “Pack Studios Tarragona is equipped with state-of-the-art film production and testing capabilities for primary and secondary packaging applications in food and industrial packaging, health and hygiene materials, as well as adhesive innovation in labels.” With a clear focus on sustainable film innovation, Pack

Sustainable eyewear with Eastman’s acetate Marchon Eyewear first to produce, sell eyewear made with Eastman’s sustainable acetate Acetate Renew, produced via Eastman’s innovative carbon renewal technology, is made from bio-based and certified* recycled materials and provides three key benefits to Marchon Eyewear. Sustainable material with lower carbon footprint in addition to having approximately 40% certified recycled content and 60% bio-based content, Acetate Renew reduces greenhouse gas emissions and fossil fuel usage compared to traditional acetate. Less landfill waste typically, 80% of material used in sheet acetate frame production is scrap. Instead of being landfilled, the scrap will now be returned to Eastman and recycled by Eastman into new material, creating a circular production process. Identical performance unlike other sustainable alternatives, Acetate Renew is indistinguishable from classic acetate, assuring wearers of the high quality Scrap and mixed waste and premium styles they expect from Marchon acetate is sent to Eastman, Eyewear. which is then recycled Eastman’s Acetate Renew is a cellulose through Eastman’s innovative diacetate composed of 60% biobased and 40% carbon renewal process. The end result is a new acetate, certified recycled content. Beginning in 2021, allowing Marchon to create Marchon will begin to produce acetate sunglasses high-quality eyewear frames and ophthalmic frames by using Eastman’s Renew for its collection of premium, materials, further asserting Marchon’s commitment lifestyle and performance brands to social responsibility and bringing more sustainable practices to the eyewear industry.

MARCHON Eyewear, one of the world’s largest manufacturers and distributors of quality eyewear and sunwear, has entered into an industry-first partnership with Eastman, the global specialty materials company. Marchon will be the first eyewear company to produce and sell frames using Eastman Acetate Renew, a fully sustainable. Eastman will use their innovative carbon renewal technology, a process which is capable of recycling some of the most complex plastic waste, including non-polyester plastics and mixed plastics that cannot be recycled with conventional recycling technologies. Through Eastman’s innovative recycling technology, the scrap from Marchon’s manufacturing of acetate frames can be diverted from landfills and used to produce new sustainable acetate for premium eyewear.



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Pack Studios sustainable success

Studios Tarragona offers a broad range of lab- and industrial-scale blown and cast lines, from 5- to 9-layer extrusion, to enable production and testing of different films from industrial to barrier food packaging. As part of Dow’s approach to designing packaging for recyclability, these modern facilities help customers evaluate

packaging film performance according to evolving recyclability standards while enabling the assessment of multi-layer films production with recycled contents. Responding to current travel limitations, Dow is offering customers the opportunity to trial their innovations in Pack Studios Tarragona remotely. www.dowpackstudios.com

SABIC has worked with The Estée Lauder Companies and beauty packaging manufacturer Albéa for the upcoming 2021 market debut of an advanced beauty tube pack for Origins. Origins will be the first prestige beauty brand to use certified circular polyolefins from SABIC’s Trucircle™ portfolio to launch a tube pack format. The cap of the new packaging will be made from certified circular PP, while the tube structure is made from certified circular PE. SABIC’s advanced recycling technology regenerates hard-to-recycle plastics by breaking them down to produce purified chemical products, which are then used as a feedstock to recreate highperformance plastics akin to a virgin material – in this case, PE and PP.

URTHPACT, a world leader in compostable bioplastic manufacturing, is now shipping their new line of home compostable drinking straws. The straws are engineered in partnership with Danimer Scientific, another world leader and developer of compostable bioplastic materials. With capacity in the billions for their first year, UrthPact will reduce the environmental impact of the single-use plastics industry, and put a dent in the 142 billion plastic straws used yearly in the United States alone. The innovative straws are made with Danimer’s Scientific’s signature biopolymer Nodax PHA, which has been certified home compostable.

AIMPLAS gives back AS a decisive leader in European projects, AIMPLAS closed 2019 with €13.3 million in revenue, a 14% increase over 2018. Its commitment to social and environmental sustainability was highlighted by a report verified by GRI. Furthermore, according to the calculation of the centre’s social return on investment, for every euro invested, AIMPLAS gave back €7.20 to society. Construction also started in 2019 on a new building for working on chemical process to obtain polymeric materials, use CO2 as a renewable raw material, perform chemical recycling, and research in the health sector. This 1 500m2 building was the first laboratory in Spain to achieve BREEAM sustainable construction certification. DEC 2020 / JAN 2021



First premium brand packaging tube made with certified circular polyolefins

UrthPact helps reduce environmental impact of single-use plastics


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Holland Colours’

biobased colour concentrates used in sunglasses For the plastic frame of the sunglasses, Holland Colours delivered a biobased colour concentrate to colour the captured ocean plastics. Specifically, The Ocean Cleanup was looking for two different shades of blue that could be dosed simultaneously to create a swirl pattern that would mimic the ocean. Holland Colour’s technology product benefits include lower pigment dosing and better pigment distribution, which together reduce the amount of pigment required. Crucially and uniquely, the carrier used can be either naturally sourced product, recycled material or biobased material. Thanks to ongoing innovation, the company’s product range today covers a full palette of customized colour concentrates and functional solutions. The transparent, opaque, metallic, and frost effects can be combined with functional additives to create a 1-pack solution. www.hollandcolours.com

Perstorp introduces world´s first renewable Oxo products

Biodegradable apparel tag fastener

PERSTORP is pioneering the Oxo-market by launching the first partly renewable carboxylic acids 2-Ethylhexanoic Acid Pro and Valeric Acid Pro. 2-EHA Pro is based on 25% renewable raw materials, and Valeric Acid Pro contains 20% renewable content. The renewable material consists of biogas, and replaces natural gas using the mass balance concept. Users can expect the same quality as the existing 2-EHA and Valeric acid, with the additional benefit of a lower carbon footprint. The renewable oxo portfolio will also include oxo aldehydes and alcohols. “As customers wish to reduce their environmental impact, and develop more sustainable products, the interest in chemical products with renewable raw materials is increasing. We are proud to be the first to offer two new partly renewable oxo acids that will help customers reduce their carbon footprint and support the sustainable sourcing of renewable raw material. Our ambition is also to offer 100% renewable grades in soon future”, says Sam Chia, product manager at Perstorp. In the last few years, Perstorp has expanded its portfolio of proenvironment products, produced from renewable and/or recycled raw materials, to cover both base polyols, specialty products, deicer, plasticizer and now acids, aldehydes and alcohols. All proenvironment products are ISCC PLUS certified, meaning that all its sustainable raw materials are certified in all parts of the value chain back to the point of origin.

AVERY Dennison has introduced the Ecotach bio-PP Fastener, a clothing apparel tag fastener made from a blend of polypropylene materials, using biodegradable soil organisms so the label degrades within a year when in contact with soil. And most importantly: without leaving behind microplastics, which are harmful substances for the environment! Avery Dennison is a global leader in material science and manufacturing. You will find the products such as clothing labels, apparel branding labels, tags, tickets, specialty adhesive tapes, RFID, medical tapes, sensors and wound dressings all in major industries all around the globe. While Avery Dennison develops the structure of the new biodegradable apparel tag fastener label and does the research in their labs, manufacturing on a large scale is being done by Rompa. These plastic fasteners attached to the label might sound small, but with an environment friendly solution it will have a big impact globally by reducing microplastics. Let us give you an idea of how big the impact is: there are 80 billion garments produced per year, and all of them have one or even more labels. This amount can be compared to 761 million single-use, half litre PET water bottles. Changing the plastic label fastener to an Ecotach bio-PP fastener makes it possible to switch the recycling responsibility to the producer instead of the consumer.


DEC 2020 / JAN 2021

HOLLAND Colours has played a part in the development of The Ocean Cleanup’s first product to be made with certified ocean plastic from the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. The Ocean Cleanup, a groundbreaking plastic cleanup organization founded by Dutch inventor Boyan Slat, in 2013, is a non-profit organization developing advanced technologies to rid the world’s oceans of plastic, seeks longterm partnerships with companies that want to help to solve one of the biggest environmental problems of our times. Holland Colours has worked closely with The Ocean Cleanup team to tailor its sustainable colour concentrates in a biobased carrier (biobased colour concentrates) to the requirements of the organization’s first product made with certified ocean plastic Sunglasses. 100% of proceeds go back to The Ocean Cleanup to fund the continuation of the cleanup.


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2019/09/11 12:37


‘We’re doing our best’

not good enough Plastic pipe has gone from strength to strength, literally!


IF you want your industry to prosper, you must ensure its relevance, with appropriate quality products that ensure customer satisfaction. These requirements generate further requirements which include staff competence, business integrity, competitive trade, scrupulous honesty, and continual improvement. Who better to be the custodian of an industry than the people who have the expertise, experience, commitment, and vested interest in the sustainability of that industry? They ensure its longevity, relevance, reputation, customer satisfaction, competitiveness, quality, and technological advancement. Why? Because it is in their interests to do so. “But what about quality?” I hear some people say. “If an industry association ‘polices’ its own members, the product quality will decline to maximise profit.” This belief is counter intuitive. If an industry is to be not only sustainable but grow, its products must be of impeccable quality and deliver benefits, both technical and commercial, greater than those of competitive products. Furthermore, if the members of an association are to receive a return on their investment, the markets must be sustained to provide the necessary pay-back time. Globally there are many thermoplastic pipe associations. In South Africa, SAPPMA (Southern African Plastic Pipe Manufacturers Association) creates absolute customer confidence in the plastic pipe industry and ensures the long-term sustainability of the industry, with top quality piping systems, whose objectives are likewise quality, standards, information, marketing, and education. It was formed in 2004 by people of integrity, motivated by self-interest, in the thermoplastic pipe industry to prevent the then deteriorating quality of some products

being supplied by some manufacturers threatening the long-term sustainability of the Southern African thermoplastic pipe market. Much hard work has been done by the association and its members over the intervening 16 years to achieve SAPPMA’s stated purpose. SABS (The South African Bureau of Standards), once a world class institution, is a dysfunctional shadow of its former self. A national standards organisation’s fundamental reason to exist rests on two pillars of ability: to test a product accurately and independently to a given standard and certify the compliance of that product to that standard. With reference to thermoplastic pipes and fittings, SABS, as advised by a senior official at an industry meeting they hosted on 29 July 2015, do not have the laboratory equipment necessary to perform the tests or the staff with the necessary competences to perform the tests – and the situation has not changed. If the bureau is unable to fulfil these two fundamental requirements, then it must surely be considered dysfunctional. I believe it is undoubtedly time for SAPPMA to assume the role of the custodian of the industry’s standards, both documented and produced, in an advisory capacity to SABS. SABS should recognise SAPPMA as the highest available expertise of thermoplastic piping systems in South Africa and action the advice flowing from them. This will ensure the quality of the products, satisfaction of customers and longevity of the industry through the suitability and quality of products supplied by their members. If we do not act, we fall victim to one or both of the following: “Bad men succeed when good men do nothing”, and “There will always by someone who will produce something poorer and cheaper – the fool is this man’s rightful prey.”

SABS should recognise SAPPMA as the highest available expertise of thermoplastic piping systems in South Africa and action the advice flowing from them



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Demand for PPE provides welcome boost to Middle East PP fibre producers Over 10 000 tons’ polypropylene now processed per day to produce masks BY NIALL MARSHALL

ACCORDING to the Chinese horoscope, 2020 is the Year such market was for personal protective equipment (PPE). Most PPE masks are made using polypropylene of the Rat. The Chinese consider the attributes of the rat non-woven fabric. Demand for face masks (and other to be quick witted, resourceful and versatile, but for many protective fabrics such as gowns) has provided a welcome people the year has been filled with other characteristics boost to PP fibre producers and, in turn, to polypropylene often associated with rats: desolation and disease. producers. In 2019 there were approximately 20 million The disease and desolation aspects of 2020 are easy to masks produced daily in China; in February 2020 that identify – there have been over 2 million positive cases of had increased to 150 million units! Based on a conversion COVID-19 identified in the Middle East (including the badly rate of 250 000 N95 masks per ton of PP, that demand affected Iran), borders have been closed, lock-downs required 600 tons of fibre-grade PP each day. imposed and unfortunately, many jobs lost. But N95 masks are made from multiple layers As the demand for oil decreased as the global of PP nonwoven, the fine middle-layer is economy slowed due to COVID, the price of In 2019 melt-blown made from an ultra-high MFI oil dropped from over $50/barrel to under grade. Initially there were insufficient there were $30/barrel. The major global oil producing melt-blown lines in China to meet the countries could not agree on a way approximately demand, but with some ingenuity forward and failing to agree, both Russia 20 million masks machinery manufacturers were able and Saudi Arabia ramped up production produced daily in China; to modify standard nonwoven lines to which resulted in low oil prices (briefly produce melt-blown fabric. This has in February 2020 that dropping below $10/barrel) and increased PPE production capacity in negatively affecting their economies. had increased to China (which was necessary as more The effect on Saudi Arabia was significant 150 million countries imposed mask-wearing in public enough that they were forced to increase units! as part of their battle against COVID) and VAT by 10%! it is reported that more than 10 000 tons of Even before the pandemic the global polypropylene are now processed per day to produce automotive market was showing signs of slow-down masks! This has benefited polypropylene producers who compared to 2019. The transportation sector is an have switched from producing injection moulding grades important market for polymers, accounting for between 5% (with lower demand) to non-woven and BOPP fibre grades. and 10% of the global polymer market, and developments Polyethylene demand, especially LLDPE and LDPE, in the lightweighting of vehicles to achieve better fuel has also been quite resilient compared to other polymers efficiency as well as the development of electric and hybrid such as polystyrene, PC and PVC. Single-use items such vehicles is increasing the demand. Approximately 8% as disposable plates and cutlery as well as gloves that a of all polypropylene produced each year is used by the few months earlier were under pressure for environmental automotive industry in large components such as bumpers reasons suddenly became seen as indispensable in the and interior panels. In April, car sales dropped by as fight against transmission. On-line shopping has required much as 60% compared to January 2020 and this had a increased secondary packaging, much of it polyethylene. dramatic effect on polymer demand. As we reach the end of the Year of the Rat we can look Versatile and resourceful! forward to the Year of the Ox. Oxen are associated with Rats are also seen as being versatile and resourceful, diligence, dependability, strength and determination – all characteristics that are important to navigate a tumultuous characteristics that the polymer industry will need as it year like 2020, and as demand for polypropylene decreased emerges from this challenging year. Characteristics that in certain markets, new opportunities presented themselves. we will all benefit from having as we move forward in the New Year. Fortunately for Middle East polypropylene producers, one DEC 2020 / JAN 2021



2020/11/26 11:14



Empathy the BIG game-changer that will inspire all future products and processes

“Focused observation can be a powerful source of innovation. As you observe people in their natural settings, THE biggest single trend globally that can be observed you should not only look for nuances of human behaviour but amongst progressive organisations is the acknowledgement also strive to infer motivation and emotion. Good, insightful of innovation at the centre of corporate strategies and observation combines careful watching with occasional initiatives. Innovation has risen from the bottom to well-chosen ‘why?’ questions to get at the underlying the top of the list in ensuing years. It’s hard psychology of a person’s interactions with products not to spot emerging trends unless you and services.” (Kelley, 2001, p. 37) Focused are sleeping at the wheel. Once your team has been out in the In the last edition of this column, observation can field and had the authentic experience of I introduced the beginning of the taking pictures, making notes, writing be a powerful source of design process starting at the down impressions and quotes and innovation. As you observe Inspiration stage. Now we stories, it’s time to make sense of the move on to Empathy. people in their natural huge amount of information collected. Empathy is the BIG gameDownloading these learnings settings, you should not only changer that will inspire all becomes a group effort and listening future products and processes. look for nuances of human to team member sharing their stories, Now how do we apply this learnings and hunches enriches your behaviour but also strive in design thinking? Well, for own information. This is the stage at to infer motivation starters - where does your team which individual learnings becomes group conduct the so-called ‘operation’? and emotion knowledge. Is the surgical procedure happening in The framework below by Stanford shows the the boardroom or the operating theatre? five-steps in the design thinking process which I will Focus groups and brainstorming sessions focus on in my next few columns. are great and traditional market research is informative, but it’s not enough and at the best of times not ‘real’ or accurate. If what it teaches us about is ‘why a new product or innovation is not a good idea’ and your whole focus group or brainstorming session is spent convincing people EMPATHIZE IDEATE as to why this session is necessary, then it’s clear that it’s time for a different approach…one that is more hands-on! DEFINE PROTOTYPE Go to the source and not the ‘experts’ in the organisation, but rather the actual people who use the product or something similar to what you would like to develop. TEST Human-centred designers believe in the power of tangibility and are doers, crafters, tinkerers and builders. Image by Stanford d.school The Empathy phase of the design process is about better understanding the people for whom you are I leave you with this quote as food for thought until next designing the product or process. Whether it’s technology, time: ‘But innovation is more than a new method. It is a new science, business or art, inspiration often comes from view of the universe, as one of risk rather than of chance or being close to or part of the action. You will observe their of certainty. It is a new view of man’s role in the universe; lives, hear their hopes and desires and become smart he creates order by taking risks. And this means that about your challenge. New ideas come from seeing, innovation, rather than being an assertion of human power, smelling, hearing – being there! This is the where you is an acceptance of human responsibility.’ Peter Drucker will sharpen your observation skills, make bug lists and • To learn more about how you could use design thinking in ask a lot of why? /why not? questions. This sensory your organisation or if you wish to arrange an introductory immersion in the origin of the information and experience talk for your team, please contact: Kirtida Bhana at is irreplaceable. If you’re not in the jungles of Bengal, you Plastics|SA, email: Kirtida.bhana@plasticssa.co.za or will never know the Bengal tiger. mobile: 0823220117 BY KIRTIDA BHANA, TRAINING EXECUTIVE, PLASTICS|SA

The framework


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Aluminas Antimony Products Blowings Agents Carbon Blacks Flame Retardents Hydrocarbon Resins Magnesium Oxide Masterbatches MC & PE Waxes Mineral Fillers Peroxides Process Aids Rubber Chemicals Silanes Silica Sulfur Zinc Oxide

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2019/09/12 2019/04/11 12:50 12:21

WORLD NEWS ALPLA acquires facility of Amcor in India

ALPLA Group, a global specialist for packaging solutions and recycling, is acquiring a facility in Western India for the production of preforms for PET bottles from the packaging company Amcor. The Group has taken over a plant for rigid plastics in India from the global packaging specialist Amcor. The plant manufactures preforms for the production of PET bottles for the beverage industry. Customers include Coca-Cola and the Indian dairy company Amul. www.alpla.com

Ineos Styrolution and Ferrero explore advanced recycling

INEOS Styrolution will work with Ferrero to explore the feasibility of using its advanced recycling concepts such as depolymerisation for future packaging solutions. The aim of INEOS Styrolution is to develop a process to convert complex plastic waste back to fully recyclable materials that comply with food contact regulations. The Ineos Styrolution recycling concept aims at contributing to a circular economy, based on the depolymerisation process that converts post-consumer complex plastic waste back to its monomers. The new material created through this process would also comply with food contact regulations.

Freeformers in sizes 200-3X and 300-3X process plastic granulates, as also used in injection moulding

In the AKF process, original absorbable material can be processed. The company Samaplast, for example, manufactures bone-like plate implants, which are gradually replaced by the body’s own tissue

Covestro expands production capacity for raw materials in Thailand

COVESTRO has started construction of a new production plant for VulkollanÂŽ raw materials in the Map Ta Phut industrial zone in Thailand. With the new plant, the company aims to satisfy the growing demand for high-performance elastomers and to serve the ever wider range of applications of the product. The investment is in the high mid doubledigit million euro range. Production at the new plant is scheduled to start at the end of 2022. It will employ a staff of more than 25 people. 66

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Arburg Freeformer

in its element with AM parts Predestined for medical technology, soft materials and PP WHEN it comes to demanding AM parts, the Arburg Freeformer is in its element. The Arburg Plastic Freeforming (APF) process with the Freeformer is predestined for medical technology, the processing of soft materials and PP, as well as for the additive manufacturing of multi-component parts. High-temperature plastics can also be processed using the open system. The Freeformer, in sizes 200-3X and 300-3X, process plastic granulates for injection moulding. This makes the open systems very economical and also enables a big variety of materials to be used. This also makes it possible to process bio-compatible, absorbable and sterilisable as well as FDA-approved original materials. “In medical technology, we can also accomplish very demanding applications with the AKF process that other

processes simply cannot handle”, explains Lukas Pawelczyk, head of Freeformer sales at Arburg. As well as Resomer Composite LR 706 S ß-TCP, a product similar to human bone that promotes bone formation, the Freeformer was recently used to process another innovative material from Evonik (polymer from the Resomer-C family was used in the soft tissue sector). With the additive AKF process, it is possible to produce parts from soft materials in virtually all Shore hardnesses. In relation to mechanical load-bearing capacity, recoil characteristics, UV stability and endurance strength, these parts share almost the same properties as injection moulded parts. With the slicing parameters, various material densities can be achieved within a part. www.arburg.com

Ampacet introduces Earthy Mattes for a sophisticated frosted effect AMPACET, a global masterbatch leader, has introduced Earthy Mattes™, a collection that provides an organic presence through mineralized hues. This unique palette imparts a tactile frosted effect without the added expense of a secondary process or mould change. Ideal for PET bottles in applications such as personal care, cosmetics and premium beverages, Earthy Mattes colours currently include peridot, aquamarine, bronzite and diffused jasper. This collection www.ampacet.com

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of non-gender specific colours can be customised for any colour pathway to accurately reflect the targeted brand message. “The quiet aesthetic of this palette reflects the human desire for a symbiotic relationship with nature, especially during times of challenge,” says Linda Carroll, Ampacet director of global insight and innovation. “The frosted translucency projects a sophisticated presence while economically appealing to consumer products and packaging positioned at all levels.” DEC 2020 / JAN 2021


2020/11/26 11:16


Borealis agreement with sustainable energy supplier Eneco

Next gen forming set technology offers superior performance for flexible packagers

BOREALIS has signed a long-term power purchase agreement (PPA) with Eneco to source renewable electricity from Mermaid. The agreement entails the purchase and supply of over 1 000 gigawatt hours (GWh) of wind power over the next decade, with delivery to begin in January 2021. By increasing the share of renewable power in its overall energy consumption at its Belgian production facilities, Borealis moves closer to its stated aim of sourcing at least 50% of its electricity consumption from renewable sources for its Polyolefins and Hydrocarbon & Energy business areas by 2030. The renewable electricity generated within the framework of this agreement will reduce Borealis’ indirect carbon dioxide emissions (defined as Scope 2 emissions by the Greenhouse Gas Protocol) at its Belgian operations by approximately 20 000 ton/year. www.borealiseverminds.com

US company, BW Flexible Systems’ design and engineering teams have introduced TruFORM, the next generation of forming set technology for the flexible packaging market. Re-engineered from the ground up, TruFORM is both lighter and more adept at handling various films, offering users a superior performance. The forming set is an integral part of flexible packaging equipment. The machine wraps film around the set to form it into bags, while simultaneously delivering product through the set into the newly formed bags. With updates to packaging machinery and new film materials in the marketplace, the forming set was due for an upgrade. Because forming sets are handled frequently in many locations to meet increasing changeover requirements, TruFORM leverages the strength and durability of previous BW Flexible Systems designs, but it is approximately 30% lighter. Also part of its revolutionary design, TruFORM’s re-engineered former is the product of extensive research in forming set wing geometry. The updated technology improves film handling, allowing users to reduce wasted film, effort and time during packaging operations. www.bwflexiblesystems.com

Ineos Styrolution receives funding to research plastics recycling

A giant blanket to keep a glacier cool!

INEOS Styrolution will be contributing to the research project ‘Remove2Reclaim – Recycling of plastics and titanium dioxide via advanced dissolution and separation techniques for plastic additive removal’. Working together with leading European research institutes in the project will allow the company to build up expertise related to recycling via dissolution. The ‘Remove2Reclaim’ project aims at developing innovative solvent-based extraction routes to remove additives, such as titanium dioxide, from different polymer matrices and to reuse both titanium dioxide and polymer in new products. Targeted polymers in the project include polystyrene, HIPS (high impact polystyrene) and ABS (acrylonitrile butadiene styrene). www.ineos-styrolution.com 68

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Non-woven fabric made of 100% polypropylene filaments FACED with global warming and the melting of glaciers, the US company TenCate Geosynthetics, has developed a specific textile tarpaulin to cover and thus slow down the melting of the Italian Presena glacier. The chosen solution, a huge, almost invisible white canvas to cover the glacier surface, was designed and manufactured by TenCate Geosynthetics, a world leader in geosynthetic textiles, which developed a non-woven fabric made of 100% polypropylene filaments. Rot-proof, water and air permeable, UV-stabilized and with low thermal conductivity, the TenCate Toptex® GLS 340 fights against ice melting, limits snow-slides and thus reduces the risk of avalanche, without impacting the very sensitive flora and fauna of the alpine regions. 30,000m2 of the fabric was laid on the snow in the first year, as soon as the ski season ended at the end of spring 2008. In 2020, an impressive 100,000 m2 of white reflective sheet made up of 70m x 5m strips that unfold to between 2,700 and 3,000 metres, was deployed to protect the glacier. Although the system is easy to set up, it nevertheless took six weeks to stretch out, sew and assemble the long strips on the mountainside to prevent them from slipping down the slope or splitting apart over time. Thanks to their optimal tensile strength and UV resistance, the same strips can be reused for several seasons. www.tencategeo.com

2020/11/26 11:18

What cookies, pasta and plastics (now) have in common Special polymer stabilizer able to substantially boost he rate of scrap reused in polyolefin films FOR many of us it was our first childhood lesson in culinary circularity: Seeing how, when the cookie baking season was finally here again, scraps of leftover dough from cutting were re-rolled and added to fresh dough to make a new batch. Doing the same with homemade pasta is a bit more tricky, which is why smart Italian grandmothers invented maltagliati, but with a little water, olive oil and effort it is certainly possible. When making the plastic films used for keeping cookies, pasta and many other products fresh and clean, things are less easy. The process generates a lot of similar scrap, but as a team of experts from Clariant’s Business Unit Additives learned when working with a global film manufacturer, only a fraction can be reused for production. To change this, they created AddWorks® PKG 906 Circle – a special polymer stabilizer able to substantially boost the rate of scrap reused in polyolefin films.

Most plastic films are made by melting down pellets of PE or PP resin and casting or blowing them into large sheets and tubes, or using a special process to make biaxially oriented PP, or BOPP, films. The global film maker was already grinding up and reusing some of this scrap – both for the sake of sustainability and costs. Yet even particularly picky cookie and pasta makers warn that rerolling dough affects texture and quality. And when making plastic films, these issues are even more severe. The problem is that the leftovers have already been ‘baked’ during production, which degrades the polymer chains and networks they consist of. Add too much of this post-manufacturing waste to virgin resin, and the mixture will no longer flow properly. It can also develop gel streaks, black spots or break at high line speeds, and have a yellow tinge in the final product.

AddWorks PKG 906 Circle minimizes these effects. Building on an existing solution from the AddWorks range, Clariant’s additive experts created a polymer stabilizer that allows reintroducing reground scrap at a rate of 20% and higher into virgin PP and PE resins without notable loss in quality or process efficiency. The stabilizer additive consists of free-flowing white granules that are approved for food contact – and virtually as simple to add to scrap as a sprinkle of flour to re-rolled dough. While being particularly suited for BOPP films, AddWorks PKG 906 Circle also works with cast and blown film, and can easily be dosed to fit different scrap rates and resin qualities. It allows film makers to not only substantially reduce waste and use of virgin resin, but also to cut costs without compromising quality. www.clariant.com

TenCate Geosynthetics developed a non-woven fabric made of 100% polypropylene filaments DEC 2020 / JAN 2021

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2020/11/26 11:18

WORLD NEWS The new Starlinger circular loom RX 8.1

Headlight concept using only one plastic material Covestro develops innovative design for future vehicle lighting AN innovative headlamp concept from Covestro for the vehicle lighting of the future requires significantly fewer individual parts than conventional solutions and reduces assembly steps, space requirements, costs and weight. Covestro has developed an innovative automotive headlight concept for the vehicle lighting of tomorrow. The visionary approach is based on different types of the polycarbonate Makrolon® and addresses the high demands in terms of functionality and aesthetics. Compared with conventional solutions, the new modular design makes do with fewer individual components and reduces assembly steps, space requirements and costs. In total, the headlight prototype may drop over 1.5kg of weight, which contributes to reduced emissions and greater vehicle range. Thanks to the modular design of the headlight and a focus on a single plastic material type, the amount of work required for separating, sorting and storing materials in recycling streams is reduced. Apart from pure polycarbonate and a

blend with acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS), the headlight uses only a scratch-resistant coating for the outer lens cover and metalization on the reflectors. While traditional automotive headlights have a complex design and usually consist of dozens of components and screws, the design of this modular concept is reduced to a reflector with housing, a collimator lens, a bezel and an outer lens cover. The LED modules for low and high beam and the corresponding reflectors are made of the thermally conductive polycarbonate Makrolon TC8030 and the dimensionally stable type Makrolon DS801, respectively. The production process combines multi-component injection moulding with mouldin-place design. Thanks to these materials and the efficient production technology, the manufacturer can eliminate the additional cost and weight of heat sinks, attachments and other components. www.covestro.com

BASF makes the best of two worlds Combines the advantages of ether and ester TPU in one new product A NOVEL TPU plastic with food contact (FC) approval that combines the highly effective hydrolysis and microbial resistance of ether-based thermoplastic polyurethanes with the excellent mechanical properties of ester TPU. Elastollan® 1598 A 10 FC is an aromatic thermoplastic polyether polyurethane that BASF has developed specifically to meet its customers’ requirements for pneumatic hose applications. “With Elastollan® 1598 A 10 FC, our customers can benefit from the advantages of two TPU worlds in one product,” says Mark Ottens, segment manager of extrusion TPU at BASF. “This expands the area of application within the target application of pneumatic hoses and the development of new fields of application. Due to the better burst pressure behaviour in relation to temperature, the Elastollan 1598 A 10 FC can be used to achieve a higher operating temperature of pneumatic hoses 70

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compared to conventional ether TPUs.” The main advantages of Elastollan 1598 A 10 FC are its outstanding product performance, especially at higher operating temperatures, characterized by significantly reduced creep behaviour, increased bursting pressure and the bursting behaviour itself.


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Tenter frame BOPE packaging films PE-based films enable downgauging and alternative to BOPP and BOPET DOW Packaging and Specialty Plastics, a business unit of Dow has developed a wide range of tenter frame, biaxiallyoriented polyethylene (TF-BOPE) for linear low, medium and high density packaging films. This offering has been developed through a joint value chain effort, combining Dow’s Innate TF80 technology with the production know-how and experience of Plastchim-T and Ticinoplast, leading producers in PE and BOPP, and the processing knowledge of machine manufacturer Brückner Maschinenbau. These solutions enable customers to use printable, tough, stiff and visually appealing BOPE films to produce resource-efficient, mono-material packaging that is designed for recyclability. “Building on our global experience with BOPE to design packaging for recyclability, the positive reaction of converters and brand owners in Asia has given us confidence to commercialize these solutions throughout Europe, Middle

East, and Africa,” said Jaroslaw Jelinek, global marketing manager for oriented PE technologies, Dow Packaging and Specialty Plastics. ”Our global teams have been working through Pack Studios to bring the success of this LLDPE based solution to other regions and to broaden the offering for the growing BOPE market.” Customers of Plastchim-T and Ticinoplast can now work with a range of tested TF-BOPE films suitable for flexo- and roto-gravure printing, including: • tough, high-clarity films for downgauging, • co-extruded films and laminates, • sealable, medium stiffness films for high-speed flow-wrap applications, • increased density TF-BOPE films with remarkable stiffness and improved thermal resistance, used as a substrate for barrier deposition and as an outer film in PE-based laminates. www.dowpackaging.com

USB socket protection cover

Nordson die plate production line reduces lead times



NORDSON has built a dedicated production line for BKG die plates used in underwater pelletizing, enabling the company to deliver a new electrically heated die plate in only three weeks after order placement, including order entry, engineering, and production. By creating a database of standard designs, Nordson has eliminated upstream engineering processes that had contributed to longer lead times. To reduce manufacturing time, Nordson has dedicated a complete production line to die plates. While the dedicated line produces only two-piece, electrically heated die plates in the BKG A, AH, Compact, and AHD190 families, these standard designs constitute the largest share of Nordson’s die plate output. At the same time, the company continues to produce die plates based on custom designs, as well as oil-heated die plates.

DEC 2020 / JAN 2021

IN collaboration with Kraiburg TPE, medical components specialist Nextis (France) has developed an articulated cover designed to protect the USB port on respiratory devices against dust and splash water. The part is moulded in a Thermolast® compound that delivers a balance of high mechanical properties and aesthetics, ease of injection moulding, and reliable resistance. The cover is clipped to the device housing and has a hinged closure that ensures the sealing of the USB socket, when not in use, against the entry of dust particles, splash water, and foreign objects. The TPE compound selected for the articulated cover has proven to be a fit in many other soft-touch aesthetic and functional components. It offers excellent mechanical properties, such as high elongation at break and high tear resistance, as well as long-term dimensional stability, thanks to its low compression set.


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DIARY Wire and Tube shows delayed to 2022

THE popular wire and Tube trade fairs, which were scheduled in Düsseldorf, Germany, for December (2020) have, on account of the current Covid-19 infection developments, been delayed and will now take place in December 2022, which means they will continue to run in accordance with their cycle again from then in 2022. The other events planned by Messe Düsseldorf for 2021 are not affected by this decision.

Coming up

drupa 2021

STARTING in October, the online platform drupa preview offers exhibitors and visitors a digital channel to get in touch with the industry. Take advantage of this opportunity and present your innovations, products, and technologies to the global drupe community. Take part in discussions about future business models and technologies of the future, and offer your new and existing customers a platform for exchanging ideas. Open up new areas of coverage! This event takes place in Dusseldorf, Germany from 20-28 April. www.drupa.com

Interpack 2021 – still on course to take place

INTERPACK is to proceed with its 2021 show, from 25 February-3 March in Düsseldorf, Germany. Interpack is held every four years, with the last edition of the show in 2017 attracting 170 899 visitors and 2 866 exhibitors. Due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic and fears of lower number of visitors, all participating companies will receive discounted participation conditions. In addition, there is a temporary special right of termination for all exhibitors who cannot or do not want to participate. “We fully understand the reservations and concerns of our exhibitors in the current situation. On the other hand, we have also received feedback on how important personal exchange is for our customers and what significance interpack has for the processing & packaging industry. In this respect, we believe that with our offer we can best protect the interests of all parties involved,” said Interpack project director Thomas Dohse. www.interpack.com 72

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A new family of high-performance, unidirectional (UD) composite tapes – H-poly-Stallone-CF7000_PEI – made with continuous carbon fibre and SABIC’s ULTEM 1000F3SP powder

High-performance UD composite tapes at China Composites Expo 2020 JIANGSU Hansu New Material Co introduced its new family of highperformance, unidirectional (UD) composite tapes at China Composites Expo 2020. The new H-poly-StalloneCF7000_PEI, is made with continuous carbon fibre and SABIC’s ULTEM 1000F3SP powder. Jiangsu Hansu, a leading thermoplastic composites manufacturer based in Suzhou City, Jiangsu Province, worked with SABIC to develop the new UD tapes for potential use in high-performance aerospace applications such as seat frames and luggage compartments. As a possible replacement for metal, these UD tapes provide opportunities to reduce weight, improve fuel efficiency and support sustainability - key goals for the aircraft industry. SABIC’s ULTEM powder, a special form of advanced polyetherimide (PEI), elevates the

performance of tapes by supplying inherent flame retardance, long-term heat stability, outstanding strength and stiffness, and dimensional stability. The easy dispersion of ULTEM 1000F3SP powder in water makes it possible to create a homogeneous slurry that is uniformly distributed among the carbon fibres. The resulting composite tape has highly consistent properties, which are critical for demanding aerospace applications. SABIC also produces ULTEM™ resin in injection moulding grades. Injection moulded components can then be thermoformed with UD composite tape and over-moulded with functional elements – all with the same polymer. The advantages of this approach include the potential for recyclability and a high level of design flexibility. www.h-poly.com

Virtual Manufacturing Indaba 2020 Join the Manufacturing Conversation: revitalising and growing manufacturing THE virtual Manufacturing Indaba Conference will discuss key issues critical to supporting the development of manufacturers. The conversation will take place at the upcoming Manufacturing Indaba taking place on 9–10 December. The conference aims to focus on the growth prospective of the Department of Trade Industry and Competition’s (the dtic’s) focused industry sectors as mentioned in the IPAP and explore challenges and solutions to lead progression in each sector. Well-versed industry specialists will impart their knowledge on emerging opportunities and how to manage threats while proactively investigating strategies to fortify their competitive advantage and boost profits through the digitalisation of manufacturing operations. The conference is set to explore growth opportunities, the latest manufacturing incentives and trends as well as to network and collaborate with relevant contacts vested in the sector. This virtual event is being hosted to empower members of Sub-Saharan Africa’s promising manufacturing community to identify global trends; keep abreast with global competition; embrace digital transformation; cultivate a skilled workforce; enable black

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3D printing

This shoe insole was printed by selective laser sintering from a partially bio-based thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) by Covestro

on the path to circular economy New products made from recycled plastics and alternative raw materials

industrialist collaboration and acquire insight into what incentives are available to better empower their businesses. These discussions will pave the way for a more equitable, competitive and successful manufacturing industry and economy as a whole. The Conference programme offers a stage for dynamic discussion and debate on the shifting complexity of the manufacturing landscape which deems acquiring constant access to emergent markets essential. Managing these changes requires a thorough understanding of future trends that will have a significant impact on manufacturers. Such discussions will cover a new approach to manufacturing innovation with regards to robotics and the future of African manufacturing; the future of trade – a perspective on the decade ahead, growing an African marketplace along with expanding exports.

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to address pressing topics

Equally promising as building blocks for sustainable 3D printing products are polyols of the cardyon® brand, in which CO2 replaces some of the petrochemical raw materials previously used. These can for example be used to produce thermoplastic polyurethanes (TPU), which can be used as powders or filaments in additive manufacturing. In addition, Covestro is currently developing partially bio-based products for 3D printing, in which almost 50% of the carbon content is derived from biomass. One such material has already been used to print a shoe insole using selective laser sintering (SLS). TPUs generally contribute to increased sustainability in powder-based 3D printing processes, as up to 100 percent of the non-sintered powder can be reused in the process due to the low build room temperature.

DEC 2020 / JAN 2021

COVESTRO’S presence at the virtual trade fair Formnext Connect 2020 is entirely dedicated to the Circular Economy. The company will be presenting products made from alternative raw materials, such as recycled plastics and CO2-based cardyon® brand products which will contribute to the development of the 3D printing industry to become more circular. This adds yet another sustainability aspect to the wellknown ecological benefits of additive manufacturing – decentralized production, demand-driven manufacturing and lower waste. Covestro will also provide an outlook to a versatile range of Addigy® materials for common 3D printing processes at Formnext Connect. Covestro want to boost the circularity of its products while preserving their excellent properties. That’s why it is currently developing new, more sustainable products which are already in the testing phase. These include, for example, pellets and filaments made of partially recycled plastics. Some of the raw materials for the recycled plastics are post-industrial waste from Covestro’s manufacturing facilities and can be used as filaments for 3D printing after reworking. One of the products developed from recycled plastic is a polycarbonate blend and, like other polycarbonate-based materials, is suitable for applications that require a high temperature resistance.


• Official Distributor in Southern Africa for BASF

on TPU Elastollan® Thermoplastic Polyurethane

• Official Distributor in Southern Africa for Elastron on TPE, TPV Elastron® SEBS and EPDM/PP

• Official Distributor in Southern Africa for CGFSE on FSE® Fluoroelastomers and Perfluoroelastomers

• Distributor for Weifang on Weipren CPE • Suppliers of EPS, Various Grades • Engineering Polymers • Polyolefins • Reworked and Repaletised Materials • Official distributor for Politem on PA6, PA66 ®

unfilled and filled compounds

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New 3D printing solutions with more than ten medical-grade polymers Expanded portfolio of polymers allows 3D printing of medical devices KUMOVIS, developer of the world’s first FLM 3D printer built for medical production, is presenting new high-performance polymers at the leading trade fairs in medical technology and additive manufacturing. At virtual.COMPAMED and Formnext Connect, visitors learnt all about Kumovis R1 and the medical applications for which the industry-specific 3D printer is suited. Talk and discussion formats as well as the virtual Kumovis booth provided opportunities for personal exchange. Since its foundation in 2017, Kumovis has been developing 3D printing solutions for highly regulated infrastructures, healthcare in particular. To enable medical technology companies and hospitals to manufacture products in a resource-efficient way and ensure outstanding patient care, the Munich start-up has once more expanded its range of polymers that fit in with medical requirements. Implantable examples include PEEK, PEKK and PPSU. Their biocompatibility and

Coming up

food & drink technology (fdt) Africa 2021 food & drink technology (fdt) Africa presents food and drink manufacturing solutions from innovative developments for resource conservation to raw materials, through to processing, filling and packaging machines. In 2021, the trade show’s high-level Forum will focus on a broad range of top of mind issues in the sector. The presentations will include a topical look at ‘the new normal’ in the industry, the importance of traceability and food safety, risk analysis in the food industry, grain cleaning for mycotoxin management, the importance of agriculture and agro processing, the rise of women in the brewing industry, yeast and hops interaction, plastics in the environment, and a look at ‘snackification’ – the changing tend that’s catching up. This event is from 13-15 July in Midrand. www.fdt-africa.com


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Cranioplasty, 3D-printed on Kumovis R1 with (a) First row (left to right): PEKK, PPSU (smooth surface) (b) Second row (left to right): PEKK, PPSU (surface with structure) and PEEK (smooth surface)

resistance to common sterilization methods are the most important features for being usable in medtech, as well as their chemical and mechanical properties. The company supports both medical device manufacturers and hospitals in developing products and qualifying plants (IQ, OQ, PQ), as well as validating processes. To do this, Kumovis draws on interdisciplinary expert knowledge in mechanical engineering, medtech and polymers technology, as well as experiences with regard to funding programs. Applications implemented using the Kumovis R1 3D printer have already passed first ASTM testing. An example is the successful completion of worst-case load tests for spinal cages according to ASTM F2077. Another possible application of Kumovis technologies is the additive manufacturing of individualized implants for maxillofacial surgery and neurosurgery. www.kumovis.com

2020 Wire and Tube 2020 7-11 December Düsseldorf Fairgrounds, Germany www.wire.de Manufacturing Indaba 9-10 December Gallagher Convention Centre, Jhb www.manufacturingindaba.co.za 2021 Interplastica 26-29 January Russia Interpack 2021 Düsseldorf, Germany

Moscow, www.interplastica.de

25 Feb-3 March www.interpack.com

Africa Energy Indaba Exhibition 2-3 March CTICC, Cape Town www.africaenergyindaba.com Int’l Morocco Food & Siema Expo 23-25 March Casablanca, Morocco www.siemamaroc.com ChinaPlas Shenzhen, China IMPC Cape Town

13-16 April www.chinaplasonline.com 18-22 April www.impc2020.com

AMI’s Plastics Recycling Technology 20-21 April Vienna, Austria www.ami.international/events WAITEX Accra, Ghana drupa 2021 Düsseldorf, Germany PLAST 2021 Milan, Italy NPE Orlando, Florida, USA

20-22 April www.waitex.com.gh 20-28 April www.drupa.com 4-7 May www.plastonline.org 17-21 May www.npe.org

The Renewable Materials Conference 18-20 May Cologne and online www.renewable-materials.eu

Propak East Africa 2021 18-20 May Sarit Exhibition Centre, Nairobi, Kenya www.propakeastafrica.com Propak Cape CTICC, Cape Town

8-10 June www.propakcape.co.za

ARBURG Technology Days 2021 9-12 June Lossburg, Germany www.arburg.com No-Dig Live 2021 Peterborough, England

15-17 June www.nodiglive.co.uk

Trenchless Asia 2021 30 June-1 July Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia www.trenchlessasia.com food & drink technology (fdt) Africa 13-15 July Gallagher Covention Centre, Midrand www.fdt-africa.com KZN Industrial Technology Exhibition 21-23 July Durban Exhibition Centre, Durban www.kznindustrial.co.za PU China/UTECH Asia Polyurethanes 28-30 July Shanghai World Expo, China www.puchina.eu UTECH Europe 14-16 September MECC in Maastricht, the Netherlands www.utecheurope.eu Propak West Africa 2021 14-16 September Landmark Centre, Lagos, Nigeria www.propakwestafrica.com Middle East Foam & Polyurethane Expo 26-28 October Dubai, United Arab Emirates www.mefpu.com ArabPlast 2021 Dubai, United Arab Emirates

15-18 November www.arabplast.info

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Propak Cape Connect puts the spotlight on packaging trends INDUSTRY-expert panellists shared their insights around latest packaging trends and technologies at the recent Propak Cape Connect ‘Opportunities in Packaging in the New Normal’ webinar. Kishan Singh, CEO of MetPac–SA and World Packaging Organisation (WPO) Ambassador, gave insight into the challenging environment of the world of packaging and emphasised the need to move away from ‘take, make, use and throw’. Consumers are also becoming increasingly savvy and want traceability

Propak West Africa 2021

CONNECTING, informing, and inspiring the Packaging community, Propak East Africa is the region’s largest B2B trade event. Taking place at the Sarit Centre in Nairobi, Kenya, between 18-20 May 2021, Propak will bring together some of the biggest names in the global packaging supply chain in an unmissable industry event. A unique trade event, Propak East Africa offers industry members the tools they need to drive success in their businesses. From sourcing new suppliers and manufacturers, to networking, to benchmarking and to learning about new technologies and crucial market trends, Propak East Africa 2021 will be a pivotal year for the global packaging industry. Across three exciting days, join over 5,000 industry members and discover innovative products and solutions from more than 150 brands. Connect with Africa’s fastest growing economy, East Africa in 2021 at the region’s leading event for primary, secondary, and protective packaging, contract packaging and fulfilment, plastics, machinery, labelling, printing and industrial packaging solutions. With the impact of the global COVID-19 pandemic, businesses of all sizes have had to reprioritise and rethink strategies. Now more than ever, it is imperative to come together as a community and learn from experiences across the industry, Propak East Africa will do exactly that. With an extended conference programme, enhanced digital options as well as the physical event itself, going above and beyond the legal safety requirements, Propak East Africa 2021 will be an unmissable industry event. Completely free to attend, you can preregister for 2021 at

DISCOVER innovation in packaging, plastics, food processing, labelling and print in West Africa at the region’s largest B2B trade event, Propak West Africa 2021. Taking place from 14-16 September 2021 at the Landmark Centre in Lagos, Nigeria, Propak will lead and set the stage for reconnecting the West African packaging community following an unprecedented year of uncertainty. The perfect platform for you to connect, and network with key local and international industry players with some of the market’s biggest names present and over 200 brands in total exhibiting. Discover the latest technology, products and solutions, source new suppliers, benchmark your business, learn about trends and growth opportunities and network. Join more than 5,000 fellow industry packaging professionals over three exciting days in 2021 and connect with Africa’s largest economy, Nigeria at the region’s leading trade event for primary, secondary, and protective packaging, contract packaging and fulfilment, plastics, machinery, labelling, printing and industrial packaging solutions. With the impact of the global COVID-19 pandemic, businesses of all sizes have had to reprioritise and rethink strategies. Now more than ever, it is imperative to come together as a community and learn from experiences across the industry, Propak West Africa will do exactly that. With an extended conference programme, enhanced digital options as well as the physical event itself, going above and beyond the legal safety requirements, Propak West Africa 2021 will be an unmissable industry event. Completely free to attend, you can preregister for 2021 at

www.propakeastafrica.com/ visiting/pre-register-now

www.propakwestafrica.com/ visiting/register-for-2021


Lab Africa, food & drink technology Africa & IFAT Africa at Gallagher Convention Centre THE co-location of analytica Lab Africa, food & drink technology Africa and IFAT Africa creates South Africa’s largest industry specific co-location, completing the chain from laboratory, analytics, food and beverage processing, packaging, water, and waste management through to recycling. This premier co-location returns to Gallagher Convention Centre, from 13-15 July 2021, promising a stronger and more insightful exhibition, with industry leaders presenting their latest innovations and technologies designed to develop and grow the African market. The three industry trade fairs that bring this co-location to light are: analytica lab Africa is the only trade fair for laboratory technology, analysis, biotechnology and diagnostics in South Africa, providing a comprehensive overview of the entire range of topics that pertain to laboratories in research and industry across a wide range of sectors. www.analytica-africa.com food & drink technology Africa (fdt Africa), presents food & drink manufacturing solutions from innovative developments for resource conservation to raw materials, through to processing, filling and packaging machines. www.fdt-africa.com IFAT Africa is the leading trade fair for water, sewage, refuse and recycling in Southern Africa, featuring solutions from around the world and a high-calibre forum programme addressing trends, challenges and solutions from the water, sewage, refuse and recycling sectors.


Propak East Africa 2021

has also had a significant impact on automation and remote handling of robotics. Manufacturers will be looking at replacing analogue devices with technology that will provide remote access to machine controls and shifting to cloud computing. Propak Cape 2021 is taking place from 8-10 June 2021 at the Cape Town International Convention Centre and will be celebrating its twenty-first year. • The webinar is available on the Propak Cape website

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and supply chain information coupled with ethical and sustainable sourcing when it comes to the food industry. Trends for 2021 include how manufacturers will lean on technology to balance consumer demand with regulatory and quality standards; flexibility and the ability to do more with less; and the processing lines of the future must adapt to quickly change to different products and recipes without impacting the flow of the line from the processing to the final packaging stage. Covid-19


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The University of Washington team shows off some 3D printed Internet of Plastic Things things. (Photo: Mark Stone/University of Washington)

Here comes the ‘Internet of Plastic Things’! Detergent containers and pill bottles could soon order their own refills BY DEXTER JOHNSON

RESEARCHERS at the University of Washington have devised a way of using 3D printed plastic to create objects that communicate with smartphone or other Wi-Fi devices without the need for batteries or electronics. This research builds on previous work at the University of Washington dating back to 2014 in which another research team employed battery-less chips that transmit their bits by either reflecting or not reflecting a Wi-Fi router’s signals. With this kind of backscattering, a device communicates by modulating its reflection of the Wi-Fi signal in the space. The challenge with existing Wi-Fi backscatter systems is that they require multiple electronic components, including RF switches that can toggle between reflective and nonreflective states, digital logic that controls the switch to encode the appropriate data as well as a power source/ harvester that powers all these electronic components. In this latest research, the University of Washington team has been able to leverage this Wi-Fi backscatter technology to 3D geometry and create easy-to-print wireless devices using commodity 3D printers. To achieve this, the researchers have built non-electronic and printable analogues for each of these electronic components

using plastic filaments and integrated them into a single computational design. The researchers are making their CAD models available to 3D printing enthusiasts so that they can create their own IoT objects. The designs include a battery-free slider that controls music volume, a button that automatically orders more cornflakes from an e-commerce website and a water sensor that sends an alarm to your phone when it detects a leak. The researchers, who have been steadily working on the technology since their original paper, have leveraged mechanical motion to provide the power for their objects. For instance, when someone opens a detergent bottle, the mechanical motion of unscrewing the top provides the power for it to communicate data. To ensure that the plastic objects can reflect Wi-Fi signals, the researchers employ composite plastic filament materials with conductive properties. These take the form of plastic with copper and graphene filings. While the researchers are commercializing their technology by making their CAD models available to 3D printing enthusiasts, they envision a fairly broad commercial market for the technology.


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Global digital marketplace launched for manufacturing industry AN evolutionary digital marketplace, www.allsurplus.com backed by one of the world’s largest asset disposal companies, is set to change the way South African manufacturing companies can purchase or dispose of assets to a truly national, regional and International buyer base. The website www.allsurplus.com is an innovation of the global Nasdaq-listed Liquidity Services group. GoIndustry DoveBid South Africa who currently represent Liquidity Services in South Africa have been operating in South Africa since 2004. Sellers are now able to access over 3.5 million registered global buyers who regularly buy assets across the various online platforms within the Liquidity Services stable. “AllSurplus.com is the perfect marketplace for companies to list their assets. It is quick, easy and does not require extensive marketing campaigns to attract buyers to auctions or private treaty sales. The seller hub allows selected clients freedom of access to upload information, pricing, and images themselves, which we simply vet and upload to the portal,” says GoIndustry DoveBid SA managing director, John Cowing.


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Arburg digitalisation experts: Benjamin Franz (left), Manager Digital Solutions, and Stephan Reich, Department Manager IT Applications Development

ArburgXworld _ Arburg’s digital platform

Advantages and perspectives of the customer portal ARBURG has very successfully combined its digital products and services in arburgXworld. The ambitious goal is to enable customers to increase production efficiency and transparency and to produce plastic products as flexibly and reliably as possible and with high quality. The arburgXworld customer portal has been available worldwide in 18 languages since 2019. Arburg experts Stephan Reich, Department Manager IT Applications Development, and Benjamin Franz, Manager Digital Solutions, provide answers to questions on the current status, customer benefits and perspectives of arburgXworld. Benjamin Franz, as a sales expert you are in constant contact with potential and existing users of arburgXworld. How well received is the customer portal in the injection moulding industry? “Customers appreciate the fact that arburgXworld offers genuine added value and many features that allow them to make their daily operations even more efficient – and all this in the basic version without any costs and hence without any risk,” says Benjamin Franz, Manager Digital Solution. “Currently most of the portal’s users are in Germany, which is related to the roll-out strategy that started the market

launch in spring 2019, before the worldwide launch followed in autumn. There is also high demand in the US, in France and Eastern Europe.” “The cloud solution has been very well received by customers. The current top performers are the two free Shop and MachineCenter apps,” says Reich. “Customers can order spare parts in the Shop very conveniently and around the clock. With central access to production-relevant information and documents, the MachineCenter offers transparency regarding the customer’s own machine fleet. But premium services such as SelfService, MachineFinder and the VirtualControl app are also in high demand.” New features for users of arburgXworld include tutorials for the individual apps, which explain the functions and application options. The Shop app can now be connected directly to the ERP systems of customers via an OCI interface (Open Catalog Interface). This allows purchasers to order spare parts as usual via their own ERP system. The order is then automatically transferred to the Shop, saving time and extra effort. www.arburgxworld.com

Meraxis: new digital services for more efficient procurement

automate their orders in the future, the ‘Ordering 4.0’ solution has been developed to allow for automated silo management. Current raw materials levels in silos are measured using sensors and a digital interface, and the data is then transmitted to Meraxis. Raw materials are then automatically reordered as and when required. Intelligent ordering reduces the average inventory of stored raw materials, resulting in lower expenses and capital costs for customers. • The Meraxis Customer Portal is available at


customers access to all orders at a glance, including planned delivery times, contracts, documents and invoices, current price developments and the right contact person.” The portal also shows customers their monthly raw material consumption, as well as the volumes that are still open in the period leading up to the contract end date. The new service is already being used by numerous Meraxis business partners. By the end of next year, 80% of Meraxis customers are to have their own account. For customers who want to

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SWISS trading group Meraxis is digitalizing the procurement process for prime and recycled materials for its customers: the new ‘Customer Portal’ will provide central access to all orders, contracts, deliveries and market information at a glance. Meraxis will also be offering its customers automated silo management with the ‘Ordering 4.0’ solution in the future. “The customer portal creates full transparency for all relevant data,” says Dr. Stefan Girschik, CEO of the Meraxis Group. “The clearly structured user interface gives our


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Deep insight into chemical recycling

Technologies, policy, start-ups, and key players

Presenting innovative ways to deal with post-consumer waste


DEC 2020 / JAN 2021

PET preform machines A new market report, ‘Global PET Preform Making Machines Market Research Report 2015-2020’ has been published by winmarketresearch.com/ The report walks you through the various aspects of the PET preform making machines market, including consumption, sales, revenue, price, cost, gross margin, market size, market share, growth rate, trends, etc. In addition, it provides an analysis of the impact of COVID-19 on the market. Manufacturers covered in the report include Magnum Group, Toshiba Machine Co Ltd, KraussMaffei Group, Husky Injection Molding Systems, Polymechplast Machines Ltd, NetstalMaschinen AG, SIPA, Global Plastech, Sacmi Imola SC, Nissei Asb Machine Co Ltd, Demark (Shanghai) Packaging Technology Co Ltd, Pet All Manufacturing Inc, Powerjet Plastic Machinery, CYPET Technologies, Huayan Americas, Jon Wai Machinery Works • For more details, contact JoJo@ winmarketresearch. com

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implementations, the main actors, start-ups and the political framework in Europe. All currently known chemical recycling technologies are presented comprehensively and in detail. The report describes the suitability of available technologies for specific polymers and waste fractions as well as the implementation of already existing pilot, demonstration or even (semi-) commercial plants. It presents arguments as to which technologies can and should be accepted as recycling and counted in the recycling quotas. The report also includes guidance on which processes already have life cycle assessments (LCA) available. Finally, it discusses where experts see advantages and opportunities and where there might be disadvantages and risks of chemical recycling technologies.

Choosing the right insulation material is a science


NEW market and technology report ‘Chemical Recycling – Status, Trends, and Challenges’ by Nova is addressed to the chemical and plastic industry, brands, technology scouts, investors, and policy makers. On 190 pages the report provides information around chemical recycling, including 21 figures and 10 tables. Chemical recycling technologies are presenting innovative ways to deal with post-consumer waste. They are able to process waste streams that cannot be processed via mechanical recycling and offer a range of options that are not available in current material recycling pathways. Since these new technologies are in early development stages, developers are facing the challenge to prove their potential – in particular in regards to fundamentally changing the life cycle of plastics and increasing the amount of recycled plastics significantly. The technologies also need to operate economically and ecological impacts needs to be evaluated which requires large-scale units. The market and technology report gives a deep insight into the current developments around chemical recycling and helps to take a stance on the current discussion with clear definitions and categorisations, the description of all chemical recycling technologies, the status of investments and

Practical concentrate

INSULATION material should insulate well, be robust and inexpensive, quick to install, but also environmentally friendly, fireproof, durable, and easy to dispose of. Analysts at Ceresana expect global demand to grow to a total of over 617 million cubic metres by 2027. The most important factors in this regard are government regulations on the reduction of climate-damaging greenhouse gases and energy conservation. Mineral wool is currently the most widely used material around the world for minimizing heat loss in cold regions and blocking out the heat in hot climates. The global market share of synthetic polystyrene insulation materials is also high, with a distinction drawn between expandable polystyrene (EPS) and extruded polystyrene (XPS). Rigid foams made of polyurethane (PUR) and polyisocyanurate (PIR) are sold significantly less.

WHY complicate things when you can make them simple? In the production of plastics, masterbatches – granules with a high concentration of colourants, other additives, or fillers – are preferred to powders, pastes, or liquid additives. Premixed concentrates with precisely defined properties facilitate processing and increase process reliability: colour masterbatches contain pigments or dyes; additive masterbatches specifically modify other properties of plastics. A wide variety of additives can be combined, for example stabilizers, antioxidants, antistatics, or flame retardants. Ceresana is now publishing the second, completely revised edition of its market study on masterbatches: the global demand for plastic masterbatches is expected to rise to almost 4.5 million tons by 2027.

www.ceresana.com/en/market-studies/ industry/insulation-material-world/

www.ceresana.com/en/market-studies/ plastics/masterbatches/

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A new level of puncture resistance thanks to Elastollan

Schwalbe and BASF jointly developed novel bicycle tube made entirely of Elastollan®

Bicycle tubes are 100% recyclable WITH the market launch of its new Aerothan bicycle tube in October, Schwalbe presented a new generation of bicycle tubes based on BASF’s thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) Elastollan®. This innovation scores top marks in terms of weight, puncture resistance, handling characteristics, ease of assembly and packing size. Aerothan bicycle tubes are the result of unique developmental work between the market leader for bicycle tyres and tubes in Europe and BASF’s Performance Material Division. The new Aerothan bicycle tubes not only offer good performance, but are also around 40% lighter than the established alternatives on the market. To achieve this, all parts of the new tube, including the valve stem, are made entirely of

Elastollan. The advantage of the reduced weight is not limited to just better handling, but is also evident in the smaller packing size, which makes the Aerothan tube an ideal backup tube. Another advantage of the Aerothan bicycle tubes is their recyclability – they are made entirely of thermoplastic polyurethane. Like all Schwalbe tubes, Aerothan bicycle tubes can be returned to the manufacturer, easily and free of charge, via the tube recycling programme. The material of the old tubes is processed and then reused as sealing or insulating material. www.plastics.basf.com www.schwalbetires.com/aerothan-tubes

Stepping up the game CFR thermoplastic composites enable high-performance components for sports shoes ANTA Sports Products Ltd, a leading sportswear company in China, has launched KT6 – the latest generation of the signature sneaker of NBA all-star, Klay Thompson. This iconic basketball shoe features a variety of material technologies, including a carbon fibre shank made with Covestro’s Maezio® thermoplastic composites for midfoot support and a smooth transition from heel to toe. Maezio is a brand of continuous fibre-reinforced thermoplastic composites that enable high-performance components for the footwear industry. These strong and lightweight materials provide superior stiffness without adding much weight to shoe parts, such as the midsole, toe kick and shank. The shank is a supporting structure in the shoe that runs beneath the arch of the foot. In this latest KT silhouette, the X-shaped shank must be very thin to meet the weight specifications, but also strong enough to fulfill the torsional requirements. Maezio composites offer not only stiffness at low density, but also design freedom. It can be stacked layer by layer at different angles to form sheets that are tailored to specific performance and mechanical criteria. For the design of the Anta shank, the orientation of the carbon fibre has been optimized to provide high stability, while the thickness is limited to just 1mm to achieve a lightweight feel. As thermoplastics, Maezio composites can be thermoformed efficiently at high yield rates and low cycle times, which is associated with cost reductions for millions of parts per year. The principle recyclability of the material, thanks to its thermoplastic matrix, offers added value for footwear brands that want to focus more on sustainability. 80

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Summit Publishing - based in Cape Town, South Africa - launched SA Polymer Technology magazine in 2002 (then know by the title, SA Plastics,...


Summit Publishing - based in Cape Town, South Africa - launched SA Polymer Technology magazine in 2002 (then know by the title, SA Plastics,...

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