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igus launches new “Chainge” recycling platform

Photo by igus GmbH

Don’t throw old energy chains into industrial waste, have them recycled at igus: Customer feedback on the “Chainge” recycling initiative launched in 2019 is so great that igus is now expanding the project. In future, it will be possible to have not only energy chains but also other technical plastic components recycled via a new online platform. At the same time, users will be able to buy already processed material in the form of regrind and regranulate via the platform. Thus, everything comes from a single source at igus. The new platform will be presented at K 2022, the international trade fair for plastics, in Düsseldorf.

At the end of their service life, energy chains often end up in industrial waste and thus in incineration. The problem: the emissions pollute the environment and valuable resources are lost forever. Problems of the linear economy that igus has been countering since 2019 with the “Chainge” recycling programme. Customers send disused energy chains – regardless of the manufacturer – to Cologne. There, igus processes them into regranulate so that the material can be reused. In return for sending in the old chains, customers receive a value voucher. “What began as a small idea has rapidly gained momentum. Since the launch of ‘Chainge’, we have already collected and recycled over 60 tonnes of high-performance plastics. Half of that in 2022 alone,” says Michael Blass, Managing Director e-chain systems at igus. “This gratifying feedback has motivated us to think recycling even bigger. In order to accelerate the transformation to a circular economy, we will also include other components made of engineering plastics in the recycling programme in the future, in addition to energy chains.”

Online platform makes global recycling even easier

To speed up the recycling process, igus is launching its new “Chainge” online platform in October 2022. Owners of old plastic parts – such as semi-finished products or gears – can use it to submit a recycling request, process returns and manage credits for the purchase of new igus products. As part of the expansion of “Chainge”, igus will also include more locations in the programme and further expand its recycling network. “This means that in future we will no longer be able to carry out recycling only at our company headquarters in Cologne, but worldwide. Additional capacities with which we can make an even greater contribution to the circular economy,” says Blass. In addition, the re-granulate, which has so far been used exclusively in the company’s own injection moulding, will be offered for sale on the platform. “This means that customers worldwide can now also easily buy reprocessed material so that new and high-quality plastic components can be created from it.”

Everything from a single source

Since the launch of the “Chainge” programme, igus has continuously expanded its range of products and services to further promote the circular economy. In addition to taking back old energy chains, igus has also been taking back old material as part of assembly orders since the beginning of this year. For its recycling programme, igus was also recently awarded the Rhineland Business Prize in the sustainability category. But igus is going one step further: this year the world’s first energy chain made of 100 percent recycled material was created on the basis of “Chainge”. Michael Blass: “The special thing about igus is that everything comes from a single source. We are both a plastics producer and supplier, assembly service provider and disposal company, as well as a producer and supplier of recycled material from which new products are created again. Our offer is unique in this form and enables us, together with our customers, to make plastic a sustainable resource.”

For more information, please visit: https://www.igus.de/