Post consumer film
In terms of volumes, one of the largest sections in film recycling is certainly composed by post-consumer film waste.
Post-consumer film quality can significantly vary according to the market conditions and mainly depends on the type of collecting and pre-sorting systems which are employed by the recyclers. The material collected may present different degrees of humidity and contamination. In addition, waste film is often in very different printing conditions and shapes.
The main contaminations to be treated in post-consumer film are represented by the high quantity of organics as well as different polymers (such as multi-layers and PP). For example, multi-layer films are composed of a variety of materials, and often even contain metallic components. For these films to be treated, a preliminary sorting section should be foresen.
PE film is used abundantly in the packaging industry, meaning that it reaches most households as a container for many items of daily use. PE films may serve as wraps to preserve food, garbage bags, grocery bags, and goods packgaing. PP films are also widely used as food wraps.
In the SOREMA film recycling lines, it is possible to properly separate – throughout different automatic detection systems – the fractions of PP and multi-layers which could contaminate the input materials. The presence of this material could decrease the quality of the final product.
SOREMA has installed over 300 film recycling lines around the world, developing a deep know-how of the process. We can assure a precise and efficient decontamination of the post-consumer film with both cold and hot washing systems, adopting the most efficient recycling technologies. The final target of post-consumer film recycling is to obtain the highest valorization of a very poor starting product, deriving mostly from waste collection.
SOREMA can properly treat any contaminated post consumer film and bring the final output washed flakes back to be reused (alone or blended with other materials) even in new film blowing applications.
The first step in film recycling is generating a stable flow of the incoming waste through a shredder. Prewash de-contamination then takes place, initially by agitation and decontamination, and subsequently in float-sink tanks to remove heavier contaminants. This operation reduces machinery wear in the remaining part of the line.
Precleaned Film is sent to a wet granulator followed by a centrifuge for the removal of water and pulp. A stirring and separation tank follow, for further decontamination. additional centrifugation steps follow to remove fine contaminants and water. Specially designed thermal drying with hot air allow to remove efficiently final moisture.
All SOREMA recycling system is offered with a centralized controlled system to allow system management. Complete water treatment facilities can be provided. The best product quality, coupled with low costs can be achieved by SOREMA.
In the U.S. in 2013 the amount of post-consumer bags and film recovered for recycling was estimated to be around 1.14 billion pounds, corresponding to 500 million kg. This quantity corresponds to an increase of about 1.7 times compared to the amount of waste recovered in 2005. Approximately 42% of the recovered waste was recycled in the U.S. and Canada. The remaining portion was exported.