Out now: the summer issue!
track & trace tech tO keep plastic scrap in
Chemical giant BASF has signed a binding agreement with Security
Matters to jointly develop solutions for plastics traceability.
Plastics have unique characteristics and, when handled properly, can con-
tribute to a more sustainable and resource efficient future. But recycled
plastic loses mechanical performance properties due to polymer degrada-
tion and residual impurities.
The partnership between BASF and Security Matters is said to hold the
answer to this issue. Security Matters will contribute its technology to
enable physical and digital tracking of closed loop recycling. Its track-and-
trace solution marks polymers with a unique and permanent chemical-based
barcode and links them to a digital twin.
The barcode withstands manufacturing and recycling processes, without
altering the appearance or performance of the object. Using proprietary
technology, the barcode captures a wide variety of information embedded
in the plastic and can be used to authenticate sustainability claims and
greatly enhance sorting accuracy.
The collaboration leverages BASF’s extensive experience in plastic addi-
tives, regulatory know-how and understanding of the plastics value chain.
Under the agreement, both companies will also combine their research &
development capabilities and share required resources.
uae bans expOrts Of ferrOus
and paper scrap
The United Arab Emirates
has announced a four-
month ban on exports of
ferrous scrap and recov-
According to the directive
from the ministry of econo-
my, the export ban from 15
May is intended to shore
up ‘supplies of raw materials which are required by
the economic operators for their manufacturing
activities due to the coronavirus outbreak’.
The move comes after the UAE government’s tight-
ening of payments in late February of a 250 dirham
(EUR 63) export tariff on ferrous scrap that has
been in place since 2004.
The impact will be felt in India, which relies on the
UAE for about one-fifth of ferrous scrap imports.
Meanwhile, that nation’s national lockdown contin-
ues to have an impact on scrap purchasing. It is
due to end on 17 May but observers expect and
erdwich extends nOn-ferrOus separatiOn
Recycling tech supplier Erdwich has developed a classifier plant for
non-ferrous metals to separate heavy from light materials. This
ensures the recovery of valuable metals.
‘The term “separator” is generally used to describe a device used to
classify solids. By utilising the different sinking speeds of the various
substances in an air stream, these are subdivided and separated accord-
ing to defined criteria such as particle size, density or inertia,’ explains
Florian Boehm-Feigl, chief technical operator at Erdwich. ‘One of our
projects includes a classifier system for non-ferrous metal granulate.’
This enables dust, pure granulate, foils, fluff and other light material
from non-ferrous metal to be separated. ‘It is important to extract
the light material as reliably, easily and maintenance-free as possible
in order to either further separate the non-ferrous metal or sell it,’
Erwich’s solution manages a throughput rate of up to five tonnes per
hour for a wide variety of material mixtures such including non-fer-
rous metals, wood, plastics, fabric or dust. The company notes that
the grain size of the metal must not exceed a diameter of 100 mm.
Metal recyclers can rely on the separating plant – which is 7.146m
high and between 5.616m and 7.461m wide – in combination with an
RM1350 twin-shaft ripper as a pre-shredder for non-ferrous scrap.
Six different, automatic sequences can be monitored and controlled:
the control cabinets for the granulator, magnet technology, non-fer-
rous separation technology and X-ray separation technology as well
as the dust filter system and the RM 1350 pre-shredder.
The classifier system thus enables the expansion of an existing large-
scale plant and is installed directly under the conveyor belt discharge
of a screening drum. ‘By classifying various materials such as alumini-
um, copper or other metallic alloys, the material is de-dusted and
freed of foreign matter and achieves considerably higher prices in
resale,’ Erdwich points out.
vietnamese ferrOus scrap
impOrts in april free-fall
Vietnam’s April ferrous scrap imports shrank by 38%
to 400 000 tonnes compared to the same month last
year because of coronavirus-related restrictions.
Overall, January-April imports rose 20.5% to 1.8 million
tonnes from a year earlier but, during April itself, they
declined by almost 20% on March, reports Argus
Metals Media based on Vietnamese customs data.
Vietnamese mill outlooks turned negative after the
Covid-19 outbreak spread globally, making scrap pro-
curement more cautious than early February. More mills
ran at lower capacity in response to weakened demand
during the pandemic.
Imports from Japan in April fell 9% from March but
were up 56% on a year earlier. Japan’s market share of
Vietnam’s imports surged to 60% in January-April from
38% during the same period last year. Imports from the
US fell by 65% on the month.
Vietnamese buyers are minimising risk by buying small-
er bulk vessel cargoes from Japan and Hong Kong.
Imports from Australia soared from a small base, up by
3.7% but down 57% from a year earlier.
Vietnam’s reduced scrap imports were in line with the
trend of other major Asian buyers, which reduced scrap
imports in April as Covid-19 continued to rampage the
global economy. Taiwan’s imports fell by 10% from
March and by 8.7% on the year, while South Korea’s
imports fell by 10.6% from March and by 22% from a
swiss car shredders ‘wOrking Overtime’
been hit hard
by the corona-
virus crisis, sur-
in the sector
to the pandem-
Like in Switzerland, where shredders have been ‘fully booked’ since the lock-
down, says Roger Burri of electronics and automotive shredder residue (ASR)
recycler Air Mercury.
The explanation for this, according to Burri, lies in the fact that end of life vehi-
cles in Switzerland could not be deregistered for export, and therefore were not
allowed to leave the country. In addition, there has been a lack of transboundary
transportation capacity. ‘Normally, per year on average out of 300 000 discard-
ed cars in Switzerland 50% is exported. Due to coronavirus measures all car
wrecks are now scrapped locally, with shredders working overtime,’ Burri
explains to Recycling International. ‘As a result, our company has seen bigger
ASR volumes coming in’, he adds.
Another trend spotted by the entrepreneur: since the pandemic outbreak there
is spectacular growth of e-scrap volumes in Switzerland. ‘Als probably else-
where, the Swiss are cleaning up their cellars and premises and decide to finally
get rid of devices some of which have been stored there for a long time.’
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