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igus launches world’s first recycling program for energy and drag chains

Photo by igus GmbH

What happens if the maximum service life of a plastic energy or drag chain is reached? In most cases, it is simply disposed of with other plastic waste and incinerated. With the “igus green chainge recycling program”, the motion plastics specialist igus is now taking a completely new approach: Users can send their plastic chains to igus for recycling – completely independently of the manufacturer. They thus save disposal costs and also receive a voucher for purchase at igus. In this way, customers and the environment benefit equally.

Only around 16 percent of the plastic waste generated in Germany is reused for new products, according to the Plastics Atlas 2019. Even if a long-lasting plastic energy chain is not comparable with daily disposable products such as plastic packaging, the question of disposal also arises here at the end of life. Normally, the chain is disposed of together with other plastic waste. Recycling seldom takes place, as the effort required to separate the waste by type and process it into reusable granulate (“grinding”) is too high. In most factories it is therefore common to dismantle old energy and drag chains from their machines and throw them into industrial waste containers. In most cases, the plastics are then incinerated. igus now offers an environmentally friendly alternative with the “igus green chainge recycling program”.

Recycling made easy

The aim of the program is to recycle and reuse the plastic used in the energy and drag chains and thus feed it into a recycling cycle. For this purpose, users can send their discarded, cleaned plastic chains to igus – completely independently of the manufacturer of the chain. The plastics are then sorted according to material type, cleaned, shredded and packaged. They can then be reused by igus or other companies for the production of high-quality technical products. In return, the customer receives an igus voucher amounting to 0.78 euros per kilogram. “igus assumes responsibility and makes a contribution to reducing plastic waste and improving recycling with the igus chainge recycling program,” emphasizes Frank Blase, Managing Director of igus GmbH, and adds: “This topic is not new for us. As the world’s largest manufacturer of plastic energy chains, 99 percent of the plastic waste generated during production is already recycled as regranulate. The chain program is now the next important step towards sustainable management”. The igus green chainge recycling program will be rolled out worldwide in the coming weeks. igus is currently starting the program in Germany and will be localized in many other markets such as China, USA, Japan, Taiwan or Korea.

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