Progress update (August 2020)
Valuable insights gained from an ambitious first trial
One tonne of material, comprised of 50% crop cover (made from LDPE) and 50% silage wrap (made from LLDPE), was pre-washed to reduce contamination levels and then reprocessed. Despite technical challenges with milling different grades of recycled polymer, the LDPE / LLDPE blend was successfully transformed into an 800 µm powder of suitable quality for use in the rotational moulding process.
Our environmental assessment revealed that the estimated carbon emissions associated with this recycled material stand at just 20% compared to virgin polymer. Whilst an economic assessment showed that recycled polymers could provide a cost-effective alternative.
The powder was used to manufacture a product made of 100% recycled content. However, its surface was rough and pitted with ‘pin holes’. The reason is believed to be the low Melt Flow Index (MFI) of the molten polyethylene (PE) – it was too viscous to flow evenly into the mould.