What role does digitalization play in this?
Schiller: Of course, digitalization and AI also play a crucial role at cirplus. We are digitizing the procurement process. Costs can be saved at every stage of the value chain: cirplus helps to find new suppliers or customers, offers integrated material testing, and optimizes logistics right through to payment processing and complaints management.
On the other hand, cirplus increases transparency and security of supply. Thanks to worldwide networking, comparability and the ability to conclude contracts, every plastics processor can see from which material stream a supplier has produced a recyclate. The platform thus anticipates regulatory dynamics and already integrates the idea of digital product passports, as recently demanded by the European Parliament.
You have initiated a standard for recycled plastics at the German Institute for Standardization (DIN). What is that all about?
Schiller: With the so-called DIN SPEC 91446, both buyers and sellers can be provided with standards for high-quality plastic applications in the future. This has not existed before. The next step now is to establish these standards in the market and ensure that recycled material is tested regularly. By bringing standards and transparency to demand and to offers, we are virtually a digital catalyst in the entire recycling process.
How do you think the plastics industry needs to develop in the future?
Schiller: In the future, a path must be found in which bioplastics lead away from plastic production from fossil sources. By then, plastic that has been used as packaging, for example, can be recycled up to ten times before it ends up in an incineration plant. That's the only way plastic will have a sustainable future. I mean, we fly to Mars and can't manage to run plastic in circles. That's absurd, and for me it's also a failure on the part of policymakers.