A German company is pioneering a process which effectively recycles plastic film commonly used to keep food fresh.

APK Aluminium und Kunststoffe AG, which has labelled its technique Newcycling, is showcasing the method at an international event for the plastics processing industry in Germany this week.

“These are films consisting of several components,” said APK chairman Klaus Wohnig. “They are made from polyethylene and polyamide. Separating them is difficult, because the materials do not blend in a mixture. But our process makes it possible for both constituents to be separated, granulated and used again.”

Hailing from the city of Merseburg in the German state of Saxony-Anhalt, APK says it plans to expand in Europe and open a plant in Asia.

“We have to go there, because South-East Asia plays a big part in the pollution of the oceans with plastic waste,” added Klaus.

Finding solutions to the problem of ocean waste is imperative, with a report by the circular economy’s Ellen MacArthur Foundation, stating that “by 2050 oceans could contain more plastics than fish (by weight)”.

Companies – large and small – are taking action to combat the situation.

Unilever, for example, is developing new technology to combat the scourge of sachet waste, while in Ohio P&G has teamed up with PureCycle Technologies to open a plant which converts polypropylene (PP) plastic into reusable materials for a variety of applications.