More than eight million tons of plastics waste end up in the oceans every year. Bags, PET bottles, drinking straws, and plenty of other packaging materials float around and periodically wash up at the coasts in huge quantities, ridiculing the illusion of dream beaches and diverse ecosystems.
With mankind having identified the issue, STF Group from Aicha vorm Wald, Lower Bavaria presses ahead at the forefront of the battle against plastics waste. The worldwide company has been a leader in the field of plastics recycling for 40 years and is working tirelessly to continuously improve its solutions. The latest in a long row of successful projects is the recent start of a cooperation with the international environmental organization “Parley for the Oceans”.
Dirk F. Leiber, Sales Director of STF Group’s plant engineering division, with due pride, says that “we have agreed on the cooperation in New York on the 25th of February this year”. For the next few years, the plan is for STF Group to collaborate with Parley for the Oceans on the development of sorting and recycling plants especially optimized for the conditions in the developing nations of the world. One particularly interesting concept is the “mini recycling plant” which compresses an entire recycling plant into three 40 feet maritime containers, working “plug and play”. This means that once such a mini plant leaves the STF production facility in Aicha form Wald, it is already configured for an immediate startup at the planned destination where it only has to be “plugged in”. In other words: Recycling as simple as it can possibly get!
The first of those plants are going to operate in the Maldives and are intended to remove plastics waste step by step. “Our plant washes and recycles up to 1000 kilograms of plastics in just one hour and is going to be a tremendous force in the improvement of the environment and quality of life there”, says Dirk Leiber. The PET bottles, PP, and HDPE get processed into plastic flakes which can then be used to make Parley Ocean Plastic, fibers for the clothing industry as well as films for the production of credit cards. The commissioning of the plant is planned for the year 2021.
Apart from that, the cooperation between Parley for the Oceans and STF Group includes direct problem solving by the process of recycling in STF’s own plants. According to Sales Director Leiber, We have already recycled 30 tons of Parley Ocean Plastic from the Dominican Republic in our Pilsen, Czechia plant. This material has recently been processed further to pellets in our Aicha headquarters and is now used to manufacture credit cards”.
And there is even a third aspect of the cooperation with Parley for the Oceans. STF Group is determined to plan and deliver a sorting plant to Thilafushi. Thilafushi is an island of the Maldives, which sadly doesn’t have anything to do with the imagination of magnificent beaches, sunshine, and palm trees, but is instead comprised of waste, created by humans. For 30 years, waste was just dumped on Thilafushi, growing the artificial island daily and causing substantial damage to humans as well as wildlife. According to Dirk F. Leiber, “This problem can now be solved by our technology. Our plant will sort the different kinds of materials apart in order to make them recyclable”.
This way, STF Group takes responsibility and takes an important stance on sustainability and the protection of our climate. Maximilian J. Söllner, CEO of STF’s Recycling Division, says “I am proud to say, that our plants installed worldwide can have a positive impact on the protection of the environment and the oceans. Plastics are not just waste. It can be used over and over again in an endless cycle. The future will bring many innovations in this area, and STF Group is at the forefront. We deliver the right solutions in the battle against the flood of plastics waste in an individually tailored way.”
All of that has one goal: To make the oceans what they have always been – a special ecosystem for a diverse set of species!