Recent study confirms recycling relieves the burden on the climate

Earth Overshoot Day: ALBA Group demands a strengthening of the circular economy instead of the consumption of more resources.

We are clearly living beyond our means: according to calculations of the Global Footprint Network, by tomorrow, 29th July 2021, the world’s population will already have used up all of its natural resources for this year. “Earth Overshoot Day should be a wake-up call to us all,” explains Dr Axel Schweitzer, CEO of the recycling specialist and raw materials provider ALBA Group. “To conserve the basis of life for future generations, a change of course is imperative – away from the current linear economic approach and towards a circular economy that conserves natural resources and reduces the burden on the climate.” In this respect, the technical conditions and the know-how for closing raw material loops are available at a sophisticated level in Germany. “With primary resources running out, it is imperative that we incorporate the idea of sustainability into every stage of production, starting with ‘Design for Recycling’. We also need to strengthen both the use of recyclates and the demand for products which use recyclates. This is an area in which the world of politics needs to take action: we require uniform industry standards and a minimum statutory quota for the use of recyclates. This is the only way in which we can realise the full potential of recycling.”

It is also very important to raise awareness among those responsible in the manufacturing industry for the use of recycled materials. The use of recycled raw materials offers significant advantages – from both an ecological and an economic point of view. Example of plastic recyclates: these offer businesses a practical answer to the ever-increasing demands of an efficient management of raw materials and an ambitious sustainability balance.

A recent study by the Fraunhofer Institute UMSICHT on behalf of the ALBA Group subsidiary INTERSEROH Dienstleistungs GmbH has demonstrated the extent to which the use of recycled plastics relieves the burden on our planet: according to this study, the use of the recycled plastic Procyclen, which is manufactured by Interseroh, saves an average of 1,002 kg of greenhouse gases per tonne in comparison with primary plastics made from crude oil. That is equivalent to 56 percent fewer climate-damaging emissions. At the same time, the consumption of primary energy per tonne is reduced by an average of 21,199 kWh – equivalent to using a washing machine 14,133 times. In the case of the recycled plastic Recythen, the savings total as much as 1,100 kg of greenhouse gases and 22,254 kWh of primary energy per tonne.

The environmental services provider Interseroh, which is part of the ALBA Group, manufactures the high-quality recycled plastics Procyclen and Recythen from used packaging which has been disposed of in the Yellow bag/Yellow bin. Supported by the innovative “Recycled-Resource” process, both the quality of the recyclates and their environmental balance has been improved continuously over the course of recent years. The individually modifiable recycling raw materials are now being used in several industrial and everyday products.

Whether it is plastics, steel and metal, waste electrical equipment, wood, paper or glass: the more consistently recyclable materials are kept in circulation, the more effectively our climate and material resources can be protected: in 2019 alone ALBA Group saved 4.2 million tonnes of greenhouse gases compared to primary production and at the same time 32.3 million tonnes of primary raw materials through its recycling activities.

Further information on ALBA Group can be found at www.albagroup.com.

Written by Dom Thorby

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