Sustainability and Life Cycle Analysis
Leaving the energy of all the energy-intensive process steps to produce and create the polymers chains of the virgin polymers in the material and re-using the original polymer chains to become the final PCR tech-polymers, clearly is the most efficient production process, in terms of energy, CO2 and water consumption.
MGG Polymers is producing Post-Consumer Recycled tech-polymers with approximately 10 % of the energy used to produce the same virgin polymers. During this high-tech recycling process MGG Polymers also uses renewable energy sources, amongst which from a major Photovoltaic Energy plant on the roof of the recycling facility.
Compared to virgin plastics MGG Polymers reduces the CO2 emissions by over 4 MT per ton tech-polymers produced.
Using PCR tech plastics is by far the environmentally friendly way in terms of energy and carbon footprint and these PCR tech-polymers are therefore increasingly sought after materials for the Circular Economy.
A Life Cycle Analyses was performed to compare the environmental aspects of producing virgin materials with the production of PCR plastics produced in the facility of MGG Polymers, both laid out below.
The production of virgin tech-polymers
The original and basic raw material for polymers are produced from fossil fuels which are extracted from the earth and transported to refineries. In the refineries appropriate fractions are separated from the fossil fuels and these fractions are knitted together in large polymerization to become polymer chains. These polymers chains are then extruded and compounded to become the virgin tech-polymers that we know as plastics. This production process is hugely energy intensive.
- Oil is extracted
- Transported to refineries
- Non-renewable resource
- Depending on imports
- Huge refineries produce fractions
- Polymerisation plants for polymers
- Huge amount of energy needed
- Some 100gJoule per MT
- Virgin plastics
- Produced in large quantities
- Volatile prices
- Global market
The production of PCR tech-polymers
The MGG Polymers production method is that WEEE (E-Waste) plastics separated from the Electronic and Electric Appliances are sourced within the EU. In a first step this plastics mix is cleaned from any non-plastics materials and subsequently size reduced to a standard flake size. These flakes undergo a series of intelligent separation steps to become purified polymer flakes, which are quality controlled before being homogenized and extruded and/or compounded to become the final PCR plastic that MGG Polymers are selling.
- WEEE (E-Waste) plastics
- Growing supply
- Produced by WEEE recyclers
- All from EU sources
- Mechanical 'mining' process
- Innovative technologies
- < 10% of energy
- Save about 3-4 tons CO2/ton PCR
- 100% PCR tech-polymers
- Virgin-like quality
- Stable prices
- For "green" sustainable products
The detailed Life Cycle Analysis by EMPA compares not only virgin polymers compared to MGG Polymers’ PCR polymers, but also against the incineration of these WEEE plastics. From an environmental point of view the mechanical recycling processes of MGG Polymers is by far the preferred option of the three options compared (view document).