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Luxus to Promote Environmentally Positive Polymers at the WRAP Cymru Event

Technical plastics compounder Luxus will be promoting the benefits environmentally positive polymers can deliver to Welsh manufacturers at a WRAP Cymru event on the 17th November 2017 at the Swalec Stadium, Cardiff.

The event, ‘Forming the Link: A Resilient Supply Chain for Plastics Manufacturing in Wales’, will be chaired by WRAP director, Peter Maddox and will also feature presentations from its sector specialist, Bernard Chase along with Luxus managing director, Peter Atterby.

“Luxus is delighted to be invited to speak at this event, the Welsh auto component industry has enjoyed sustained growth in recent years. It will provide a great opportunity therefore, for Luxus and fellow industry experts to dispel the myth regarding the perceived quality of recycled content polymers compared to prime alternatives.

“We will focus on the critical role environmentally positive polymers now play in supporting global auto interior component design, to deliver greater fuel efficiency and lower CO2 emissions while also satisfying automakers’ need to reduce the carbon footprint of vehicles.

“The adoption of our advanced lightweight polymer range Hycolene™ with up to 60% recycled content for example, can lead to a 12g weight saving on a single component in one model. This would mean CO2 emissions reducing by more than a 1000 tonnes, over the course of the model’s life-time.

“But most importantly, its use will also increase the volume of recyclate that can be used by the automakers, which means a reduction in the amount of virgin polymer manufactured – therefore preserving limited natural resources.” Said Peter Atterby, managing director, Luxus.

In March this year Luxus also announced it had acquired South Wales based additive and masterbatch specialist, Colour Tone. The company is known for its pioneering work with WRAP to address the problem of black food packaging waste.

Black plastic packaging contains carbon black pigments which absorb infra-red light and cannot therefore, be optically sorted by equipment with near infra-red (NIR) detection technology used by recycling depots. Colour Tone responded to this challenge by developing an alternative detectable infra-red detectable (IRR) colourant that enabled black plastics to be visible for NIR sorting.

Luxus has since as part of a new consortium with industry partners Polykemi and One51 gained a £1.29m investment from the EU Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme to advance further the development of this novel IRR colourant for both black and coloured plastics waste. 

The commercialisation project known as NIRSort, will develop a range of IRR colourants that will be tested in numerous applications beyond black food packaging, these include automotive plastics components and consumer durables such as home appliances.

The aim is that the IRR colourants will be specified by manufacturers for new products, but at the ‘end of life’ these same products can be easily separated into individual plastic polymer streams via automatic NIR sorting for the first time.

Peter Atterby, managing director, Luxus continues: “This project is significant as we believe capturing these valuable plastics waste streams and diverting them into efficient recovery processing is now recognised as key to saving costs and reducing environmental impacts by manufacturers today.”

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