igus initiates first recycling program worldwide for energy chains
Recycling used chains is good for the environment
What happens when a plastic energy chain reaches its maximum service life? Usually, it is simply disposed of and incinerated with other plastic waste. With its “igus green chainge recycling program”, the motion plastics specialist igus is now doing something completely new: users can send their plastic chains to igus for recycling – completely irrespective of the manufacturer. They can eliminate disposal costs and also receive a voucher for making purchases from igus. Customers and the environment both profit from this.
Only around 16 per cent of the plastic waste produced in Germany is reused for new products, according to the Plastikatlas 2019. Even though a long-lasting plastic energy chain is not comparable with daily throwaway products such as plastic packaging, the question of how to dispose of it still arises at the end of its service life. Normally, the chain is disposed of together with other plastic waste.
Recycling rarely occurs as the cost of separating the different materials in a product and recycling them to make usable granulate (grinding) is too high. In most factories, the usual procedure is therefore to remove energy chains from their machines and throw them into industrial waste skips.
In most cases, the plastics are then incinerated. igus is now offering an environmentally friendly alternative in the form of the “igus green chainge recycling program”.
Recycling made easy
The aim of the program is to recycle the plastic from energy chains and reuse it for new products. To this end, users can send their old out-of-use plastic energy chains to igus after cleaning them – completely irrespective of the chain’s actual manufacturer.
The plastics are then sorted, cleaned, shredded and packed. After this, they can be reused by igus or other companies for the production of high-quality technical products. In return, the customer receives a voucher amounting to 0.78 euros per kilogram.
“igus takes on this responsibility and, with its igus chainge recycling program, is aiming to make a contribution towards a reduction of plastic waste and an improvement of the recycling process”, says Frank Blase, CEO of igus GmbH, adding: “This is not something new for us. As the world’s biggest manufacturer of plastic energy chains, we already recycle 99 per cent of the plastic waste occurring in production in order to reuse it as re-granulate.
The chainge program is now the next important step in the direction of sustainable business operations.” The igus green chainge recycling program will be rolled out worldwide in the coming weeks. First, igus is starting the program in Germany and it will soon be implemented locally in many other markets such as China, the USA, Japan, Taiwan and Korea.