Nothing to lose

The ideal of an optimal recycling economy

June 25th, 2021

Like the phoenix from the ashes: The ideal of an optimal recycling economy resembles the legend of the mythical bird. Here again, the beginning and the end meet other to form an infinite cycle where what is apparently lost arises again. With its divisions, brands and the vision of a cleaner tomorrow, PreZero has focused entirely on this idea.

Optimal recycling doesn’t take place linearly, but rather as an interaction of different process steps. Only in these uninterrupted “chains” of collecting, sorting, treatment and recycling can valuable materials such as glass or plastic be managed in innovative loops.

This is exactly the holistic approach that PreZero has devoted itself to: Any waste that is not recycled is a wasted raw material. With this basic attitude, we keep optimizing our processes, from logistics to the handling of recyclable materials.

Recycling and more: PreZero and the Dual System

With the Dual division, PreZero is making a contribution to the establishment of a future-oriented circular economy, which we want to actively help shape. Dual systems organize further recycling for those who place sales packaging on the market.

PreZero Dual doesn’t just coordinate packaging recycling in Germany, but also advises on the topic of recyclable packaging design. That’s because recycling-friendly packaging that isn’t composed of different plastics, for example, simplifies recycling. In the process, PreZero Dual analyzes packaging and organizes workshops for packaging optimization. In this way, in cooperation with the customer, innovative loops are created (nearly) without any loss of valuable materials – and a successful system that will be extended to other countries in the future.

From old packaging to new raw material

Then, the recyclable materials are collected and processed for further recycling. A good sorting is the most important foundation for this. That’s why PreZero invests in state-of-the-art sorting systems well above the standard of current legal obligations.

Over 5 of these systems are currently in use including mechanical and automated pre-sorting as well as sensor-based fine sorting. In the sorting systems for lightweight packaging, robotics and artificial intelligence ensure automated system control.

Small grain with great possibilities

The aim of recycling is to obtain new raw materials from recyclable materials. For this purpose, for example, PreZero processes plastics into granulates in a total of five different recycling plants in Europe and the USA. These recyclable materials are the source materials for new applications in industrial production and are used, among other things, in the gardening sector, furniture manufacture, household appliances and construction, as well as home and office furniture and the automotive industry.

But the loop isn’t complete yet here, either. Since as part of the Schwarz Group, these plastic granulates get a new life in their own recycling products. The first household goods made from PreZero granulates have already been added to the Lidl and Kaufland ranges.

Our OutNature and PreTurn brands

But that’s not all: A new PreZero brand also uses naturally renewable raw materials. OutNature uses the Silphie, or cup plant – a plant that was previously used purely as an energy plant, as the basis for innovative packaging solutions. The cup plant supplies not just food for bees and animals, and energy for biogas plants, but also high-quality fibers for paper and packaging production and is therefore almost 100% usable – a prime example of a successful ecological economy. Since this year, Silphie packaging has also been used successfully at Kaufland in the fruit and vegetable sector.

The logistics expert PreTurn also has two special products available for transport to retailers: Both the Heilbronn half pallet and the Neckarsulm euro pallet are made of recyclable HDPE material. Built-in RFID chip technology makes every PreTurn pallet locatable and traceable and thus makes an important contribution to the digitization of the logistics industry. The pallets are offered and operated by PreTurn in a closed pallet pool circuit and are therefore real reusable load carriers.

The ideal tool for the “last mile” of the completely closed material lifecycle, which leads from purchase to consumption and recycling back to the retailer.