In 2016, environmental services provider Interseroh, a member of the Alba group, opened a centre of competence for plastics recycling in Maribor, Slovenia.
Since that time, the facility has steadily gained increasing recognition for the research and innovation work carried out there.
In 2017, the environmental services provider was awarded the Slovenian Environmental Prize for the development of its Recycled-Resource upcycling process. This process involves the production of plastic recyclates from used packaging with a high enough quality to offer a sustainable alternative to primary material.
The centre has now achieved a new milestone: in March, it was awarded official accreditation according to laboratory standard ISO/IEC 17025:2017, becoming the only recognised research institution in the EU to be specialised in the development and analysis of recycled plastics. The standard sets the general requirements regarding the competence, impartiality and operation of laboratories.
This accreditation is an important step forward, said Manica Ulcnik-Krump, head of the business unit Recycled-Resource at Interseroh Dienstleistungs GmbH. It will help to create transparency in the market regarding the quality of the recycled raw materials available.
“The accreditation is a seal of quality for our work – as well as being the 'licence to test' from the leading authority. It allows us to offer the independent and standard-compliant quality testing of recyclates as a service on the market," she explained.
The standardised test procedures serve to improve the long-term stability of the mechanical and thermal characteristics of the material – and therefore its suitability for sophisticated applications. These may range boxes and pallets that feature good low-temperature resistance and tensile strength to the scratch resistance of furniture. In this respect, assured global standards for processes, analytics and quality control are essential.
As an accredited centre, Interseroh fulfils the international requirements regarding the mechanical and physical analyses of plastics. "This offers genuine added value both to our customers and all interested companies," said Ulcnik-Krump.