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Kurtz Ersa Group

Kurtz Ersa gets Recycling Award of EPS Industry


RF technology convinces independent American jury of experts

Kreuzwertheim/Crofton (MD) | Normally, about 250 decision-makers from the plastics industry gather each March at EPS EXPO in Charleston, South Carolina, for the EPS Industry Alliance's North American trade conference. The two-day conference, featuring top industry speakers focused on expanded polystyrene (EPS) processing, is preceded each year by the presentation of the Excellence in EPS Recycling Award. However, due to the ongoing Corona pandemic, this year the awards ceremony was held virtually. We are no less honored and delighted to receive this extraordinary award, now in its seventh year.

Ongoing innovation in EPS recycling

The Recycling Award recognizes outstanding achievements and new processes in the recycling of EPS. The award raises awareness of good recyclability of polystyrene, which is mostly either ignored or dismissed as too difficult to recycle. In addition, the award serves as a model for other industry companions to follow in their programs and approaches. Kurtz's winning entry for its new high-frequency technology is an example of ongoing innovation in EPS recycling. The molded parts produced by the Kurtz WAVE FOAMER are made of 70% recycled material. The RF process simultaneously offers energy savings of up to 90% compared to the conventional manufacturing process using steam.

Welding by means of electromagnetic waves from the inside to the outside

Since the launch of the EPS Recycling Award in 2013, there have been a total of almost 60 nominees. The award is presented in three categories: special programs and initiatives, recycling advancements and technology innovations. Each category has five judging criteria, weighted so that submissions from large and small companies or organizations can compete in one field. Of the three award categories, Kurtz came out on top in the Technology Innovations category with its revolutionary RF technology. RF makes welding particle foams without steam a reality. Recycled EPS as well as high temperature resistant particle foams with welding temperatures up to 250 °C can be processed with the Kurtz WAVE FOAMER. Thus, the processing of engineering plastics and biodegradable materials will also be possible in the future. With the RF process from Kurtz Ersa, an EPS recycling rate of over 70% is already achieved. Conventional processes can process a maximum of 20% recycled EPS. Unlike the steam process, the welding is done by means of electromagnetic waves from the inside to the outside, thus achieving a perfect core weld.

From the beginning of December 2019 to January 24, 2020, companies could submit their projects. A 4-member jury consisting of top-class representatives from the packaging industry, research and consulting as well as non-profit organizations judged the applications received. The judges were enthusiastic about the Kurtz RF process: "This is a new era in recycling technology. Kurtz Ersa has breathed new life into EPS in a way that mechanical recycling never can." With the global drive for action to protect the environment, awards and events calling for more sustainable ways of living and working are gaining momentum. Earth Day, now in its 50th year, puts an additional focus on everyone's commitment to championing innovative environmental solutions. By investing in new technologies, Kurtz Ersa also continues to make progress in optimizing the circular economy and advancing the use of recycled materials such as EPS.


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Stephan Gesuato General Manager Protective Solutions