Covestro supports development of Chinese standards for recycled plastics

  • Covestro a member of the drafting committee of China’s Guobiao (GB) standards on recycled polycarbonates
  • Unified quality specifications for recycled polycarbonates from post-consumer and post-industrial waste
Covestro supports development of Chinese standards for recycled plastics ©Covestro
Covestro supported a consortium of recycling value chain partners in China in the recent development of national standards for recycled polycarbonate – a durable and versatile engineering plastic. © Covestro
Covestro, a leading global polymer manufacturer, is focusing on innovative recycling as one of the key levers to achieve a circular economy. China is one of the most important producing countries for plastics in the world and is taking various measures to promote domestic plastics recycling while banning or restricting single-use plastics. Working with a consortium of partners from the recycling value chain in China, Covestro contributed to the recent development of national standards for recycled polycarbonate, a highly durable and versatile engineering plastic with high recycled value.

For use from July 13, 2021, specifications on the quality and property requirements for recycled polycarbonates from post-consumer and post-industrial waste have been developed in the Guobiao (GB) standards. In addition, standards for testing methods, packaging, transportation and storage of these recycled materials will be introduced to ensure proper handling throughout the value chain.

"Creating uniform standards is essential to improve the polycarbonate recycling value chain while promoting the use of these recycled materials in downstream applications," said Kayla Wu, global program manager of mechanical recycling, Covestro's Engineering Plastics segment. "As a global leader in polycarbonate sustainability solutions, Covestro is proud to contribute our expertise to the development of the national standards while living up to our vision of full circularity."

Improving quality and traceability in recycling

To turn polycarbonate waste into high-quality recyclates, the materials need to go through many quality control steps and specifications and require close collaboration along the value chain. End-of-life polycarbonate products are first collected, sorted, shredded and cleaned before being reprocessed into pellets by recycling companies. Covestro then blends these recyclates with virgin polycarbonates to produce high-quality post-consumer recycled materials to be used again in new products like laptops, copiers, printers and other electronic devices.

In its collaboration with Chinese beverage producer Nongfu Spring and recycling company Ausell, Covestro has gone one step further in closing the material loop with new business models. Through this collaboration, the companies have further optimized the recycling efficiency of Nongfu Spring's 19-liter polycarbonate barrels and improved the traceability and quality of recycled materials. Building on this success, Covestro plans to further look into other waste streams such as e-waste to help the electrical and electronics industry build a circular economy.

"Improving the quality and standardization of recycled plastics is key to the transition to a Circular Economy. The Chinese GB standards for polycarbonate recyclates will create even more transparency regarding the quality of recycled polycarbonates, thus boosting market demand," says Daner Xue, product technology expert of Covestro's Engineering Plastics segment.

About Covestro:

With 2020 sales of EUR 10.7 billion, Covestro is among the world’s leading polymer companies. Business activities are focused on the manufacture of high-tech polymer materials and the development of innovative, sustainable solutions for products used in many areas of daily life. In doing so, Covestro is fully committed to the circular economy. The main industries served are the automotive and transportation industries, construction, furniture and wood processing, as well as electrical, electronics, and household appliances industries. Other sectors include sports and leisure, cosmetics, health and the chemical industry itself. At the end of 2020, Covestro has 33 production sites worldwide and employs approximately 16,500 people (calculated as full-time equivalents).

Forward-looking statements
This news release may contain forward-looking statements based on current assumptions and forecasts made by Covestro AG. Various known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors could lead to material differences between the actual future results, financial situation, development or performance of the company and the estimates given here. These factors include those discussed in Covestro’s public reports which are available at www.covestro.com. The company assumes no liability whatsoever to update these forward-looking statements or to conform them to future events or developments.