THE SECOND LIFE OF PLASTIC

02-12-2019

Plastic is a relatively recent material, obtained in 1907 by the Belgian chemist Leo Baekeland and become through time an integral part of our own daily life. Its use has increased exponentially over the decades: the world production has passed in fact from 1,5 million tons in 1950 to 322 million tons in 2015 and it is expected to double in the next 20 years. The success of plastic can be traced back to its resistance, lightness and durability as well as its excellent chemical, thermal and electrical properties, all intrinsic characteristics that have allowed this material to acquire an increasingly important role in our economy.

 

The model to pursue

The improvement in production has led to a natural increase in plastic waste: Europe alone produces annually approximately 25.8 million tones, less than 30% of which is recycled, the remainder is incinerated or disposed of in landfills or, in the worst scenario, it ends dispersed into the environment. At a time when environmental protection is an unavoidable global requirement, turning waste into resources becomes a priority: a circular economy can help in achieving this goal. It allows the product life cycle to be extended to reduce waste to a minimum. Unlike the linear economic model based on the scheme “extract, produce, use, discard”, the desired production and consumption model implies the recycling of materials with the aim to reintroduce them, where possible, in the economic cycle as a raw material to be used for the production of goods and manufactured products.

Plastic recycling has undoubted advantages in terms of reducing environmental impact, so it is essential to adopt policies in this direction. Compared to the past, we have nowadays the means and the knowledge to make conscious choices for the protection of the environment: the promotion of sustainable development is a common duty.

plastic second life
Cleaning that helps the environment

Designing and implementing the best cleaning systems, setting quality and innovation as the core of every project, respecting the environment in which we live. This is the concept that since the early ‘70s has inspired and guided Filmop International, the first Italian company in the cleaning equipment field that has obtained the Plastic Second Life certification (PSV) of the Institute for the Promotion of Recycling Plastics (IPPR)

PSV is the first European trademark dedicated to recycled plastic materials: a product’s environmental certification created to guarantee, highlight and make more easily identifiable all products manufactured by using recycled plastics. Nowadays this is the single European certification that really enhances the products made with recycled plastic: unlike many other awards with generic attention to environmental protection, this is a structured system that can verify and ensure the quality and traceability of the used material. The commitment of Filmop International in the development of sustainable solutions has been translated over time into a wide range of products with PSV certified components, specially designed to minimize environmental impact without sacrificing the high quality standard. The achievement of the Certification Plastic Second Life attests the adoption by the company of the circular economy system: the used PSV polypropylene becomes part of the virtuous cycle of recycling. To achieve this important result the company had to guide and reprogram the production: the components of the PSV range are produced by injection molding, using a recycled propylene compound derived from industrial waste and separate collection.

However, not all recycled plastic has suitable characteristics for the production of Filmop International products: the first step taken by the company has been the search for a plastic deriving from recycling with technical parameters, which could guarantee the same robustness and reliability over time as well as the same colors and design lines. This initial process led the company to identify a recycled plastic of the highest quality, which was able to maintain the high quality and performance of the range of Filmop International products. Technical, functional and qualitative characteristics do not change: the Plastic Second Life certification guarantees the same quality, robustness, reliability over time and coloring of products that were previously made with first use materials.

The path taken by Filmop International was not easy: the company had to carry out a series of tests and attempts to get to the desired product, not only with an important economic investment but also with an investment in terms of timing and involved staff. Moreover, the achieved certification requires a constant commitment through time: Filmop International constantly monitors the production processes and submits annually to the planned inspections.

Choosing to invest in professional cleaning products with PSV marked components is the result of the company’s conviction that it is possible to achieve premium and efficient solutions and meantime respectful of the environment in which we live.

The commitment of Filmop International concretely contributes to reducing the environmental impact: the company not only works in favor of the reuse of waste as raw materials but also the recycling of materials at the end of life, as all products made of plastic are in fact 100% recyclable.