Since 2021, the loop has been closed by another piece – a plastics recycling facility (PRF) from Lindner has been processing post-consumer containers, which are then used to produce new drums and containers. As these products are also destined for the hazardous and food industries, high-quality recyclate is crucial, as are optimally coordinated recycling processes.
The AST Group, in particular the parent company AST Kunststoffverarbeitung GmbH in Erndtebrück, Germany, has been focusing on the circular economy and recycling for some time. Family-run, AST Group is one of Europe’s market leaders when it comes to producing plastic containers for the chemical and food sectors—industries in which high-quality plastic containers and bottles are crucial. From the beginning, the focus was on creating the optimum production loop that would make it possible to increase the recyclate quota for the company’s own products and also use the products made of recyclate in the hazardous and food industries. The stakes were unquestionably high. Nevertheless, a short while later, the first centre of competence for plastics was established and a complete plastics recycling line was installed to process post-industrial and post-consumer HDPE (high density polyethylene). This solution not only significantly contributes to the circular economy; it also ensures the internal supply of raw materials.
When it came to the recycling facility, the decision was made in favour of Lindner. ‘It was important to us that the facility could process all kinds of materials, from hollow objects to regrind,’ explains Hauke Grabau, Head of the Recycling Division at AST Kunststoffverarbeitung GmbH. ‘When designing the facility, we focused closely on energy-efficient technology that conserves resources. Shredders, mills, various washing steps – including the hot-wash system, which we can switch on depending on the required intensity – are perfectly matched to our requirements,’ says Grabau. Harald Hoffmann, Managing Director of Lindner Washtech, Lindner’s subsidiary specialising in plastic recycling, elaborates: ‘The focus during planning was on efficiency and high quality. Thanks to our modular system, the individual components can be ideally adapted to the input material and the degree of contamination. The efficient design with an optimal bypass solution also makes it possible to process several material streams.’
The output material is characterised by a particularly high level of homogeneity and purity, which is perfect for subsequent extrusion. As one of only a few recycling specialists, Lindner offers complete solutions, optimally matching the individual process steps of shredding, sorting, washing, and drying. ‘We are very pleased and will choose Lindner’s recycling facilities every time. A great team with highly motivated employees, with whom we enjoy a close working relationship,’ says Hauke Grabau.