Overview: Hot Topics

Brave new world – how design makes the plastics industry more sustainable


When the first plastic was developed 150 years ago, it was a miracle for people at the time. Around 1950, the material contributed significantly to the economic miracle of the post-war period. Today, in view of the climate crisis, little is left of this image. In its exhibition "Plastic. Remaking Our World", the Vitra Design Museum wants to show how plastic can contribute to solving problems.
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Cost-effective, material-saving, local – Ultrathin Coating enables sustainable production of medical protective clothing


We all remember the beginning of the Corona pandemic: the demand for medical protective clothing increased rapidly, leading to supply bottlenecks. Although the situation has calmed down again, the dependence of companies on global supply chains was exposed. Reifenhäuser is now specifically addressing this problem with its new Ultrathin Coating process.
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ERDE Recycling: recovery and recycling systems for agricultural plastics


ERDE is a recovery and recycling system focused on the return of silage sheets and covers and agricultural stretch films in Europe. The company has big goals, such as a recycling rate of 65 percent in 2022, but also faces challenges, such as the cross-border transport of agricultural plastics.
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App, AI, data glasses: digital toolbox for the plastics industry is well filled


We live in a world in which processes are becoming increasingly complex. This also applies to the plastics industry. One way to support people in production with their demanding tasks is through digital tools – and not only on site at the plant, but also remotely. The increasing amount of data also contributes to predictive maintenance of machines.
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Digital watermarks: sort post-consumer waste more intelligently


How can plastic packaging become intelligent? By providing them with digital watermarks that can be read by sorting systems and thus simplify the sorting process. The fact that this technology works was proven in the pioneering HolyGrail 1.0 project with a proof of concept.
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"We are plastics" – an initiative for the conscious use of resources


"There is a lot of talk about the plastics industry, but too little talk with it," says the website of the German "Wir sind Kunststoff" initiative, which was launched in May 2021. It sees itself as a dialog platform for the industry on socially relevant aspects relating to plastics. To this end, eight associations pool their expertise and approach the public together as the faces of the industry.
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AlgX: from green algae to green plastic


With AlgX, the French industrial project Eranova has developed a product that responds to two global problems: Plastic pollution and algae pollution. It is a technology patented in 30 countries that allows the production of bio-based, recyclable, biodegradable and compostable plastics from green algae in the spirit of upcycling.
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Special concrete additive made in Costa Rica


The Center for Regenerative Design and Collaboration (CRDC) in Costa Rica aims to turn plastic waste into a valuable resource for the construction industry.
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Digital marketplace for recyclates: cirplus networks entire value chain


Sometimes you have to see a problem with your own eyes – or feel it with your own feet – to want to do something about it. At least that's how it was for Christian Schiller, who launched cirplus, a digital marketplace for recyclates.
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