Speaker insights from APK

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About Chemical Recycling 

Ahead of the Chemical Recycling conference we took the opportunity to gather industry insights from our speakers.

We spoke to them about the lessons learned through chemical recycling, EU legislation, challenges, common misconceptions and what they will be speaking about at the Chemical Recycling conference in September.  

27 -28  September 2021

Düsseldorf, Germany


Klaus Wohnig

AMI’s Chemical Recycling 2021 Conference will address the various challenges and opportunities in the chemical recycling market and bring together experts from across the supply chain to discuss the latest trends and developments in this dynamic market.

Key areas of focus include global market trends, the variety of technologies, outputs and processes available, and how the industry can work together to integrate chemical recycling into the waste hierarchy as a viable process on an industrial scale. This conference will be a fantastic opportunity to engage with key industry players at an event that encourages discussion, debate and ideas sharing.

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Klaus Wohnig


Dissolution recycling – innovation hybrid merging recyclate quality and sustainability 

What is the most important lesson you have learned through your work on chemical recycling? 

That not everything that looks like chemical recycling indeed is chemical recycling. APK is providing a physical solvent-based approach – Newcycling. It is important to accurately describe all the recycling technologies – physical or chemical - out there and to stress their advantages and contributions to a circular economy for plastics. With Newcycling we contribute to product to product recycling for a number of packaging applications – even in the delicate cosmetic sector. And of course a certain complementarity of mechanical, physical solvent-based and chemical recycling needs to be considered. Physical recycling can provide side-streams of material that can be interesting input for chemical recycling plants.

How does EU legislation support or hinder the development of chemical recycling technologies? 

Today’s regulatory initiatives foremost reflect standard-mechanical perspectives. This is of course valid as they carry the major share of recycling and will so for a long time. Still R&D and scale up of innovative technologies should not be prevented by rules set for today’s standard.

What challenges remain to developing chemical recycling at scale?

On the regulatory side: An integrated vision of an efficient recycling infrastructure mix for 2030 and beyond is needed. It the Commission does not see which feedstock streams can be valorised (re-designed products or not), which quality levels of recyclates are demanded by different products/end markets and independently analysis which contribution each recycling technology can have under these conditions, investors will be undecisive and scale will be hampered. Indeed this is not only a challenge for chemical recycling but also for advanced physical solvent-based recycling such as Newcycling. Room for innovation needs to be considered at EU level. 

What common misconceptions do people have about advanced / chemical recycling? How can these be addressed?

That not every advanced recycling is chemical. The major line of distinction needs to be the question: are molecular structures of the polymer broken or not? Yes – it is chemical recycling, no – it is physical recycling. Physical recycling also called material recycling comprises standard mechanical practice and innovative solvent-based technology. This extends the quality of recyclates feasible in this category. Chemical recycling breaks polymers up back into monomers which offers many opportunities but also poses certain challenges.

You will be speaking at the Chemical Recycling Conference 2021, could you give us a little preview on what you will be talking about?

APK will of course present its patented Newcycling technology. Even though it does not represent a chemical recycling process it is often falsely allocated in this section. It is very important to us to inform people about our process and what our recyclates offer to our clients – quality and emissions savings wise. We provide an advanced (physical) recycling technology that is – together with standard mechanical practice and innovative chemical processes – an important part of an efficient plastics recycling infrastructure of the future.