Verified sustainability with Fortum Circo recyclates

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Recycled plastics do make a difference for the environment

Implementing circular economy actions and reducing climate change are goals that most companies have in today’s world. The best way to save resources and reduce the carbon footprint of a plastic product is to use recycled plastics instead of virgin plastics as an input material when possible.

Bio-based and biodegradable materials are also often recognised as an environmentally friendly alternative to plastics, but it should be noted that they are not necessarily environmentally superior to plastics. The most valuable materials are the ones that hold value and can be used more than just one time.

 

Recycled plastics vs. bioplastics in terms of sustainability

Biodegrable & bio-based plastics - what they are all about?

Biodegradability of plastics in single-use products is sometimes considered as a solution to the littering problem caused by plastics. Bio-degradable plastics are plastics degraded by microorganisms under specified conditions. However, these plastics do not degrade easily under all conditions but degrade into harmfull micro-plastics. In terms of littering problem, it is to be noted too that more than 96% of waste is collected in Europe. Therefore we find it important to find the solutions for recyclable materials holding the value rather that degrading fast.

Another newcomer on the plastic materials are bio-based plastics that are derived from biomass such as corn, sugarcane, cellulose or other renewable biological resources. It is sometimes stated that bio-based plastics save fossil resources and reduce a product’s carbon footprint, but yet another angle is the use of potential food crops, such as corn and sugar cane, as a raw material in a world where we still have malnutrition. Bio-based plastics are also produced from industrial waste streams that are more sustainable alternative than virgin plastic. However, bio-based plastics do not always have the identical chemical and mechanical characteristics as the fossil-based alternative, which can cause problems for the recycling of the material and yet revoke the sustainability angle when not holding the value in material.

In all, bio- and biodegradable plastics are interesting developments, but it is important that conventional fossil-based plastics are not replaced by environmentally poorer materials with respect to the whole life-cycle or by plastics which limit the possibilities for recycling of conventional plastics.

In truly circular economy, materials that hold value and can be recycled are better than single-use materials. The environmental impact of different materials should be counted through the whole lifecycle.  Some bio-based plastic products have a bigger carbon footprint compared to fossil ones , when the whole manufacturing chain and life-cycle is covered by calculations. Therefore it is wise to recycle all plastics that already exist and save the CO2 included in them, and only after that take virgin resources, both fossil and bio, into use.

Fortum Circo’s transparent production process adds to your sustainability

The origin of feedstock material and the processing of plastic waste play a key role in the sustainability of production. By having the whole recycling process in our own hands, we can ensure the sustainability of Fortum Circo’s production at every stage of the process. We handle all waste at our own state-of-the-art plants, carefully monitoring the sorting process, so we can ensure that no questionable labour practices or environmental damage are involved in processing the waste plastic.

The material handling and the whole recycling process are protected to prevent the leakage of micro-plastics. Our recycling process complies with ISO 9001 and ISO 14001 standards and has low CO2 emissions.

Sustainability as a key in Fortum Circo’s production

Sustainability is an important topic in today’s world. Needless to say, it is at the foundation of our operations. Transparency throughout the production process leaves no doubt as to the sustainability of Fortum Circo recyclates. With the Fortum Circo trademark on their products, our customers are communicating their commitment to sustainability.