International waste recycling company Renewi is partnering with Refill for a novel new filament production technique. Both companies are developing high quality filaments with the use of old refrigerators. The recycled fridges provide a high-strength and unique abilities to the resulting HIPS filament spool.
Coolrec, a subsidiary of Renewi, produces the filament in the Netherlands. They create two sizes of the HIPS filament in a neutral color, although the company also want to expand into other shades. HIPS is a great material to produce, offering both high durability and the ability to paint and glue over it easily. Additionally, Coolrec also optimise the filament for 3D printing by eliminating warping and shrinkage.
Arjen Wittekoek, Director of Coolrec, states “this collaboration is a good example of two companies at the forefront of plastic recycling working together in their own field of expertise. Discarded appliances are made from and still contain many valuable materials. Using innovative techniques, we are able to recover the plastics and reuse it in the manufacturing of new products, such as 3d filament.”
“Developing HIPS and the collaboration with Refil is another way to protect the world against pollution, preserve finite resources and enable our partners to achieve their sustainability targets. We are therefore very proud to be involved in this circular collaboration.” Wittekoek says.
Using old fridges provides them with a strong base material. Coolrec is entirely about recycling electrical and electronic equipment, while Refill transforms plastics into filament. It’s easy to see why the two companies formed this beneficial partnership. While recycling filament is easy, getting a steady supply chain and ensuring consistent quality across batches can be tough. The companies model is also sustainable in its delivery methods. They ship out the filaments in recyclable cardboard.
As for the future, the companies have certain plans of expanding their filament range. For now, they want to produce a black filament using old televisions and other electronics. Recyclable filaments are not just interesting, they are becoming a necessity due to waste production. Ideas such as these are providing a path forward for cheaper and sustainable solutions.
Featured image courtesy of Renewi & Refill, retrieved via CIWM-Journal website.