The drive towards a circular economy has brought Post-Consumer Resin (PCR) to the forefront of the plastics industry. Though it offers an environmentally conscious alternative, PCR has its own challenges. Enter Asaclean. This article delves into the unique hurdles PCR poses and illuminates how Asaclean facilitates a smoother processing journey.
Post-consumer resin (PCR) is the plastic waste consumers generate. Once these plastics serve their initial purpose (like water bottles or packaging), they are collected, recycled, and reprocessed into new products. While PCR is an eco-friendly approach, it has its complications.
Challenges with PCR
- Variability in Quality: Unlike PIR, which originates directly from manufacturing processes and boasts consistency, companies source PCR from various post-consumer products. Multiple scrap streams can lead to inconsistency in the resin's quality.
- Contamination Concerns: PCR often encounters contaminants, such as food residues or non-plastic materials. These can negatively influence the mechanical properties of the recycled resin and pose challenges during processing.
- Degradation: PCR undergoes processing several times, leading to potential degradation of the material. Over time, this can reduce the resin's strength and performance capabilities.
- Complex Processing Needs: Owing to its varied nature and potential contaminants, PCR demands sophisticated sorting and processing techniques. This sorting process can complicate the manufacturing process and lead to increased costs.
Asaclean’s Solutions for PCR Processing
- Effective Contaminant Removal: One of Asaclean's standout benefits is its ability to purge contaminants. Given the inherent contamination concerns with PCR, Asaclean ensures that processing machinery remains uncontaminated, leading to a higher-quality end product.
- Minimized Degradation: Asaclean reduces the time and heat exposure required for changeovers, meaning PCR undergoes less degradation during processing. This preserves the resin's integrity and ensures a more consistent product.
- Reduced Equipment Wear and Tear: PCR, with its potential contaminants, can be harsh on processing machinery. Asaclean cleans the machinery and provides a protective layer, reducing wear and tear and ensuring equipment longevity.
- Economic Efficiency: With Asaclean ensuring smoother processing of PCR, there are fewer shutdowns, reduced maintenance requirements, and lower scrap rates. All these factors culminate in significant economic savings.
While Post-Consumer Resin (PCR) is a cornerstone of the sustainability movement within the plastics industry, it undeniably brings its own set of challenges to the table. Fortunately, with tools like Asaclean, processors can navigate these challenges more easily, ensuring that PCR remains an environmentally sound and economically viable choice.
Ready to reduce your production downtime to protect your profits? Request a Free Sample of Asaclean today.
Tom Hanvey is the Product Manager for Sustainability for Asahi Kasei Plastics North America. Before joining APNA, he worked as the Senior Marketing Manager for Asaclean Purging Compounds. He's worked in the plastics industry for over 8 years and focuses on recyclable resins and on the inbound marketing side, providing easy-to-digest content to processors looking for an edge on their competition.