‘First’ Scientific Tests Show HDPE Can be Reused 10 Times

How often HDPE can be processed, ground and reprocessed in injection molding processes without fundamentally changing its  structure and characteristics?

A new scientific study addresses this question. The somewhat eye-opening answer? 10 times comes according to ESE World of The Netherlands, leader in the use of recycled plastics for the manufacture of containers for wastes and recyclables for over 30 years. The company’s advanced procedures and processes in the cleaning, additives and processing of the material enable it to make products from recycled plastics that boast the same quality as those made of virgin material.

ESE established a controlled experimental model at its production facility that enabled virgin HDPE to be reused 10 times. After each step, the material was analyzed in cooperation with external research institutions using state-of the-art methods.

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Led by ESE’s specialist and scientist Jeanett Kohn, the experiment demonstrated for the first time that the injection molding process and shredding of the plastics, in principle, have no property-altering effects on the material over this entire period of reuse. With the service life of containers of between 10 and 20 years, this result means that the availability of materials for sustainable production from the same recycled plastics is secured for at least 100 to 200 years.

Said ESE director of product development & marketing Udo Frohlingsdorf, “Decades of developments under production conditions have put us in the position to process and treat recycled material in such a way that the quality of the products is on par with virgin material. The findings of this series of experiments now allow us to engage in more targeted research and to develop further future-oriented methods.”