Rejuvenating plastic waste. Suez and Samsonite launch a new sustainable suitcase made of recycled plastic
Half of the world's plastics are discarded after only one use, and only 9% of plastics are recycled every year. How can we reduce plastic waste pollution? On April 22, World Earth Day, at the China Environmental Protection Expo held in Shanghai, the global solid waste management giant Suez Group, together with Samsonite and Regent Basel, launched a new series of suitcases made of recycled plastic --- ---Sustainable suitcase, giving plastic waste a second life.
Samsonite suitcases are known for their excellent quality and durability. The Magnum Eco series of suitcases that are made of recycled plastics this time are made of domestic plastic waste such as mineral water bottles and yogurt cups collected from the Netherlands and Belgium. The environmentally friendly recycled materials used in the large suitcase are equivalent to 483 yogurt cups and 14 mineral water bottles. It uses the innovative Recyclex recycling technology for environmentally friendly materials. The outer shell is made of recycled plastic, and the inner material comes from 100% recycled PET bottles. These recycled materials are produced by a cooperative company between Suez and LyondellBasel.
According to Furuyama, Director of Solid Waste Infrastructure and New Services Business of Suez Asia, Suez is responsible for the collection and classification of plastic waste in Europe. There are many factories that separate and process different types of plastic waste. For recycled plastics, they have very strict production standards. Starting from the upstream, they carry out mechanized sorting of waste plastic recycling. In the sorting process, it will be made into different types of plastic, this step depends on what quality and what type of plastic raw materials the customer needs. After that, it enters the mechanical processing link, where it is crushed, washed, dried, melted and then pelletized to produce high-quality post-consumer recyclable plastic (PCR). Then, quality control of the product is carried out, and some samples are sent to the laboratory for testing. At the same time, the samples are sent to the testing partners for verification and confirmation, including the quality control of physical and chemical properties. Every step in this process has very strict requirements, and only products that meet the requirements will be sold to customers. The produced high-quality recycled plastics are comparable to virgin plastics while significantly reducing the carbon footprint.
In addition to Samsonite, Suez is also developing other products that use recycled plastic. For example, it cooperated with Procter & Gamble to launch Head & Shoulders shampoo bottle products, 25% of which are PP materials; and partner TerraCycle jointly produced a beach mat made of 100% recycled plastic, half of which comes from plastic waste in the ocean, and the other Half of it comes from plastic products recycled on the beach, and each beach mat is made from 11 recycled plastic bottles.
Gu Shan said frankly that the plastic recycling business is a relatively new business, and the industry is not long. From the upstream and downstream supply chain, we can see some of the challenges encountered by this industry. There are challenges such as the collection and classification of plastic waste in the upstream; downstream, we must also think about how to further recycle some valuable plastic waste in a suitable location, so that the quality can meet the needs of downstream customers for the raw materials of this product.