countries for plastics in the world, the country is now taking various measures, both to promote domestic plastics recycling and to ban or restrict single-use plastics.
From July 13, 2021, national Guobiao (GB) standards for recycled polycarbonate will be in place containing specifications on the quality and property requirements for recycled polycarbonates from post-consumer and post-industrial waste. Guobiao standards are the Chinese national standards issued by the Standardisation Administration of China
As a major producer of polycarbonate, Covestro was one of the parties, together with a consortium of partners from the recycling value chain in China, who contributed to the development of these specifications.
"Improving the quality and standardization of recycled plastics is key to the transition to a Circular Economy. The Chinese GB standards for polycarbonate recyclates will create even more transparency regarding the quality of recycled polycarbonates, thus boosting market demand," says Daner Xue, product technology expert of Covestro's Engineering Plastics segment.
Standards for testing methods, packaging, transportation and storage of these recycled materials will also be introduced to ensure proper handling throughout the value chain.
"Creating uniform standards is essential to improve the polycarbonate recycling value chain while promoting the use of these recycled materials in downstream applications," said Kayla Wu, global program manager of mechanical recycling, Covestro's Engineering Plastics segment.
Processing polycarbonate waste into high-quality recyclate requires numerous quality control steps and specifications. Close collaboration along the value chain is essential.
End-of-life polycarbonate products are first collected, sorted, shredded and cleaned before being reprocessed into pellets by recycling companies. At Covestro, these recyclates are blended with virgin polycarbonates to produce high-quality post-consumer waste-based recycled polycarbonate resin, suitable for applications such as laptops, copiers, printers and other electronic devices.
Covestro has taken this a step further towards closing the material loop in the collaboration the company has established with Chinese beverage producer Nongfu Spring and recycling company Ausell. This collaboration has addressed the recycling efficiency of Nongfu Spring's 19-litre polycarbonate barrels and improved the traceability and quality of recycled materials. Building on this success, Covestro next plans to look into other waste streams such as e-waste to help the electrical and electronics industry build a circular economy.