We have seen many regulations and goals being set for more efficient and safer waste recycling. In the EU, the Packaging Waste Directive sets targets of a minimum of 60% recovery rate (including waste incineration) and between 55% and 80% of packaging waste is to be recycled. A 60% rate is required for paper and cardboard. The waste import ban in China is affecting the recycling industry globally. Thus, companies are operating in the constantly changing business environment, heavily affected by the regulations.
There are good reasons for the demands to recycle cardboard. The fiber can be reused up to 7 times before it is worn to the point where the size, strength and quality are not enough for further use. It is also estimated that recycling cardboard uses 35% less energy than making new cardboard. While the only truly sustainable option is to consume less, we continue to do the opposite. What we consume, therefore, we should reuse efficiently.
Making the most out of cardboard recycling
When looking for efficiency in material recycling, our focus is also on process efficiency in production. Recyclable cardboard is collected from many places: it can be household waste, or then packaging waste from companies or large factories. There is a mixture of different fibers and in many cases, unwanted materials such as plastic or metals. These need to be sorted out so that the pulping (separation of fibers) process runs smoothly. With our pre-shredders, incoming material is shredded into equally sized particles thus creating a faster solution process. Magnets can then be used to easily separate metals, and plastics are more precisely removed for further use, such as being gasified into electrical and heat energy.
Without the preshredding, pulp and paper mills would be more likely to experience lower production capacity, which translates into a waste of resources, namely energy and money.
Metso shredders, for example The M&J PreShred 6000, are robust by design, so they can handle any material. In addition, the life cycle of the pre-shredder’s blades and the consumable parts of the feed table can be increased through hardfacing. It extends their service life and ensures a homogenous production, capacity and grain size. With adequate maintenance and digital tools like Metso Metrics, the investment is likely to last long.
Watch the video above for more about the benefits of having a preshredder in a waste processing plant.