What happens when a plastic energy chain reaches its maximum service life? Usually, it is disposed of and incinerated with other plastic waste. With its ‘igus green chainge recycling program’, igus is now doing something completely new: users can send their plastic chains to igus for recycling – 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.
In the UK, for example, over 5 million tonnes of plastic is consumed each year — and yet only a quarter of it is recycled. Even though a long-lasting plastic energy chain is not comparable with single-use plastics, such as plastic packaging, the question of how to dispose of it at the end of its service life still arises. Normally, the energy 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 for incineration. igus is now offering an environmentally friendly alternative in the form of the ‘igus green chainge recycling program’.
The aim of the program is to recycle the plastic from energy chains and reuse it for new products. To this end, after cleaning them, users can send their old out-of-use plastic energy chains to igus – irrespective of the chain's original 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 £0.25 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. “This is not something new for us. As the world's biggest manufacturer of plastic energy chains, we already recycle 99 percent of the plastic waste occurring in production. 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 the UK and Germany, and it will soon be implemented across Europe and in many other markets such as China, the USA, Japan, Taiwan and Korea.