Cradle To Cradle - Sorting & Recovery
PLA wastes are divided into 3 different categories. Depending on their origins, the sorting and recovery management will be different.
It consists in the out-of-specification material or objects produced during the trial runs. The fluxes are generally very clean and don’t need a specific sorting.
|SHORT-LOOP waste are locally generated and often during a defined and short period (cups during a music-festival, carpets during an exhibition, catering in the airplanes, etc). The recovery of the used PLA is a bit more difficult. Indeed, the flux of wastes generally contains other materials. A creative effort has to be realized in order optimize the process and efficiently sort PLA from other materials.|
The process for “POST-CONSUMER” wastes is the most
complex. It involves collecting and separating PLA from PET, often mixed
together. It is crucial to sort out PLA from PET to avoid affecting the
recycling of PET (yield and quality) and also recovering a single stream
on PLA in order to recycle it. There are technical solutions including
NIR (near-infrared) installations able to effectively separate PLA and
PET from a mixed waste.
Even if the PET stream is still lightly contaminated by PLA, Galactic has proven its ability to eliminate the residual biopolymer with an accuracy of nearly 100% and has crossed a major step toward greater sustainability.