The recycling of bioplastics is not necessarily easier than the recycling of conventional polymers. Antje Lieske is conducting research at the Fraunhofer IAP on the recycling of raw materials contained in granulate materials. The goal is to use the recycled materials to produce new products. In order to do this, the granulate materials have to be broken down into their original components—as efficiently and effectively as possible. The additives that chemically alter the properties of the plastic pose a particular difficulty.
In addition to the chemical difficulties it is also necessary to master the logistics: “Polylactic acid, for example, which is a bioplastic, is only worth separating in large quantities. This is why we recycle only six to seven percent of the utilised plastic, even though we actually collect everything in our recycling system,” said Lieske.
The foundations, however, have been created—Lieske can produce new products from residual materials. The video shows you how it works in detail.