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.