The decade of the circular economy
Today, 1.6 planet Earths would be needed to cope with the world’s consumption and to absorb all of the waste. And the number of people able to consume is growing – the size of the “global middle class” will rise from 3.2 billion in 2020 to 4.9 billion in 2030. To mitigate the impact, the focus on the entire product life cycle must be increased. This includes not only the properties of the product but also the raw materials, supply source and production methods – and the kinds and types of waste generated in the process.
At the same time, system pressures are increasing. Consumer behavior is changing and new, more sustainable solutions are increasingly in demand. Various global and state laws are also driving change by, for example, extending producer responsibility. HEXPOL TPE, with operations in the UK, Germany, Sweden, the US and China, has long worked with sustainability and materials offering customers new alternatives. Their latest addition is a series of thermoplastic elastomers (TPE) with recycled content, marketed under the name Dryflex Circular.
To clearly mark the origins of the TPE, the Dryflex Circular series is divided into different groups based on the recyclate source. These include content from Post Consumer Recyclate (PCR) and Post Industrial Recyclate (PIR) sources. Dryflex Circular TPEs are available in a range of hardnesses and with recycled content up to around 80 percent by weight.
Target applications include vehicle exterior applications, such as mudguards, door sills and wheel arch liners. Or outdoor equipment, such as parts for lawn mowers. The new series also includes grades in a natural color, offering additional design possibilities, these qualities can be used for consumer goods, sports equipment, shoes, and household and vehicle applications. Increasing the use of recycled and renewable materials will help support the move to a circular economy model, by lowering demand on finite fossil-based virgin materials. Dryflex Circular broadens the opportunities for HEXPOL TPE’s customers, facilitating the evolution of the plastics industry.