Romanian firm ramps up recycling

A family-owned company in Romania has installed a Starlinger recycling line for post-consumer film at its facility in Satu Nou de Jos.

CALEX SRL, which also operates a recycling site in Austria, now has seven lines from the Austrian machinery maker. The company, which recycles about 600-700 tonnes of plastics waste a month, has installed a recoSTAR dynamic 105 C -VAC.

While the Romanian site processes post-consumer waste such as films and PE/PP pipes, the Austrian site recycles mainly industrial waste from plastics production, such as rejects or production scrap. In addition, the Austrian site intends to focus on big-bag recycling with a new washing line. 

In Austria, the lines need to be highly flexible to cope with the diversity of input materials; in Romania, the setup can be tailored to the fairly homogeneous material streams. 

CALEX operates two Starlinger recoSTAR dynamic 105 C-VAC recycling lines: one processes big bags, the other recycles coloured, transparent and highly printed LDPE packaging films. 

During extrusion, the high ink content and the residual moisture after the washing process on the upstream lines can lead to the increased formation of gases. With the setup consisting of SMART feeder, continuous melt filter and C-VAC degassing module, both lines are well prepared for these challenges. Through densification and homogenisation of the material and the resulting friction, the SMART feeder has a drying effect, and after removal of the residual contamination by the melt filter, the melt surface is increased by 300 per cent in the C-VAC module, thereby allowing for the efficient extraction of gases. 

Purchasers of the recycled material are mainly converters such as injection and blow moulders.

“We installed a second Starlinger ‘dynamic’ in July because the first line has proven its excellent suitability for post-consumer recycling,” said managing director Gheorghe Campan. “The lines are equipped with different filter systems, which gives us flexibility when processing material with contaminants such as aluminium, sand, and paper.” 

Despite the current recycling boom, the quantities recycled at CALEX remain largely constant. As factors that could contribute to an increase in input quantities, Campan identifies the focus of manufacturers on the recyclability of their products (design for recycling) and EU requirements for a minimum proportion of recycled material in new products. Moreover, an increase in the currently fairly low prices for virgin plastics would favour the use of recycled materials. 

More information from Starlinger & Company, Sonnenuhrgasse 4, 1060 Vienna, Austria. Tel: 43 1 599 55 0. Email: Web: