The TeraPlast Group, the largest PVC processor in Romania and one of the leading manufacturers of building and installation materials, has invested EUR 3.5 million in the transformation of a raw material storage facility into a plastic collection and recycling section. The department is equipped with the most modern cleaning and sorting technologies purchased by European market leaders. Thus, the TeraPlast Group is positioned in the top 10 rigid PVC recyclers in Europe, after the processing capacity.
The decision to open a rigid PVC waste recycling line comes after a two-year study of the international market and technologies and strengthens the mission to provide effective solutions for people and the environment. At the same time, it is also one of the group’s initiatives to align with the major trends in the plastics industry worldwide, but especially in the direction of becoming accountable to the Romanian society, where the company has been working for more than 120 years.
“In the context of the environmental problems and the need for recycling at the national level, due to the fact that Romania is the last in the EU in the recycling chapter, TeraPlast Group comes with a solution for the Romanian industry in regarding the efficient management of rigid PVC waste. There are countries in Europe where the recycling of recycled material has become mandatory in some proportions. The major challenge is the use of a high-purity recycle that gives the same properties to the finished product as virgin material, and this is done using advanced sorting and cleaning technologies for raw waste. TeraPlast is a mature, experienced manufacturer, aware of the scale of such an initiative, as evidence of the size of our investment and the technologies we have,” said Alexandru Stanean, deputy general manager TeraPlast Group.
Recycling capacity of 12,000 tons per year
The recycling section has a production capacity of 12,000 tons / year, which places the company in top 10 recyclers in Europe, while at national level it is the largest rigid PVC recycler. The EUR 3.5 million investment includes recycling lines, production facilities, related buildings and storage facilities as well as other specific facilities.
The operation of the line influences TeraPlast’s activity both at the product’s sustainability level and in terms of reducing raw material costs while preserving the quality of the finished product. Among the materials that can be recycled by TeraPlast are PVC joinery profiles (profiles and bars), technical profiles such as wall panels, blinds and other types of profiles (troughs, grooves, curtain walls, curtain rails, etc.), post-industrial waste, but also PVC pipes and fittings. TeraPlast collects post-industrial waste from Romania and collects both post-industrial waste and post-consumer waste from Europe.
The company has advanced expertise in this complex market segment, being a regular consumer of recycled PVC, but also the largest recycler in Romania.
European rigid PVC waste market
According to TeraPlast representatives, in Europe the rigid PVC waste market amounted to about 343,000 tonnes / year at 2016 and 420,000 tonnes annually in 2017. The largest recycling companies at European level are in Germany, the UK and France, with a combined market share of 65 percent. At the same time, the top 10 recyclers in Europe process about 56 percent of the waste in this geographical area.
Altogether, there are over 100 recyclers at European level, with an installed capacity of about 700,000 tonnes, and 640,000 tonnes recycled in 2017 in Europe. Also, over 60 percent of installed capacities are for rigid PVC, a growing segment, while the remaining 40 percent for plasticized PVC is decreasing.
The Importance of PVC Recycling PVC, also known as vinyl, is an extremely durable thermoplastic material, and products made from it have an average life span of 60 years. Recycling it is therefore an essential process for protecting the environment.
By recycling we can directly contribute to the conservation of natural resources by reducing greenhouse gas emissions and energy consumption. For example, for every kg of recycled PVC, 2 kg of CO2 can be saved. At the same time, we can reduce high volumes of PVC waste, as this material can be recycled up to 7 times. So, in order to protect natural resources and make consumption more efficient, taking part in enhancing the most sustainable environment, it is essential that producers increase the amount of recycled materials in the creation of new PVC products.