K2019 Preview:  Samples to be Showcased at GCR GROUP's Booth

K2019 Preview: Samples to be Showcased at GCR GROUP's Booth

  BOPP products. Granic will allow the BOPP producers and the end users to reduce the amount of PP in the films, and also to reach a substantial use reduction of TiO2 pigment (depending on the targeted opacity and density). Two different samples area available at our Stand: two different formulations and different densities. These samples have been made at the most know BOPP’s machinery manufacturer: Brückner. Granic has been listed as an “IN USE” grade in the Brückner raw material product list.     KIVO – GCR group collaboration: Recycled based products delivering virgin performance. We are bringing into the market a soil bag made of 80% EuCertPlast certified PCR. In a joint effort, KIVO and CICLIC have designed a recycled-based solution for the 60 microns soil bags market. Despite adding Ciclic at 80% in the 3-layer film, it is still possible to maintain the demanding mechanical and sealing properties required to withstand a 20 Liter bag. Furthermore, due to the low carbon footprint of the raw material, we achieve an 88 % savings of CO2 emissions.     Heat stable PET foamed cup. SML, Kiefel, GRANIC and Promix, joined forces to developed a new type of Hot Fill Cups. They are made from 3-layer PET sheets, where the center layer is physically foamed while the outside layers remain rigid. Granic has been used as a nucleating agent delivering an optimum performance of cell size and thermal properties. The final density of the cup is 0,65g/cm3. Come to our stand and have a coffee using our innovative cup.     Non woven. Granic is already used at important loading rates for demanding applications such as woven non woven. At the K fair we will be showcasing a 15gsm spunbound fabric at 14% Granic. The fabric has been made using a Reicofill 4S at the STFI, Germany. Important benefits are achieved through this innovative solution apart from important cost saving for producers and converters.  

Full Replacement of Virgin Polymer in a Black & White Film with GCR Group's Products

As for sure you know, GCR Group is welcoming you in the K-Show 2019 with a booth located in the Hall 8a K27. To make it easy: find us just next to our partner Dow Chemicals.   One of the main projects we will show you there, is a recent collaboration with our also top class partner, Blu Plast. This company located in Naples (Italy) is one of the main polyethylene film producers in Italy, and so in Europe. With a wide portfolio of industrial and hygiene solutions, we have been working together in the improvement of the usage of mineral masterbatches and high quality recycled materials.   Coming out from this tight collaboration we developed a solution for Black&White films. In this case applied to courier bags. Come to our booth to pick a sample of this stunning project!   Look what we did: We replaced all the virgin polymer in the formula by Ciclic and Granic products, delivering a courier bag totally produced with recycled plastic and mineral.   Following find the highlights of this project:   - No odor or impurities coming from the usage of dirty sources - Clear cost reduction as a consequence of the nature of the raw materials - No mechanical properties setbacks, the new bag it’s still perfectly inside the previous Blu Plast commercial specifications - No setbacks in the sealing properties and quality of the sealing as well - CO2 emissions reduced by an incredible 92%! - We can deliver this solution with or without PCR certified materials   Altogether, this is a clear step forward for an application that historically was always produced only with virgin materials.   At GCR Group we study, learn and spread the knowledge with and among our partners to upgrade our world to a more sustainable and smarter level.   Join us, share with us, work with us!

PP rigid packaging modified with the New Granic - the latest sustainable alternative to PS

PP rigid packaging modified with the New Granic - the latest sustainable alternative to PS

There is a big concern in the thermoforming market on PS use for food packaging. Many developments have been launched in order to find a feasible substitution for this polymer in the last years, the main reason being the repeatedly reported residual styrene monomer migration from packaging to content. In addition, polystyrene’s high brittleness, its relatively high density & high cost, together with its low recyclability is pushing many to find alternatives.   However, PS is a stiff material with good processability and thermoformability, which makes it a long-lasting and hardly replaceable material for food packaging.   Granic’s new development provides an innovative solution to replace PS. Combining a high lamilarity talc with a special matrix, it achieves similar performance to PS for rigid packaging.   The perfect synergy found between the different components of this new grade makes snappable PP achievable. Moreover, this product keeps the sorting streams unaltered as PP’s density is maintained below 1g/cm3.   Replacing PS by PP + Granic brings along important savings in CO2 emissions, what makes it an optimal choice in terms of environment. Come to the GCR Group’s booth at the K-show and learn more about this development and many more.

BioGranic: compostable filler solutions for flexible and rigid applications

BioGranic: compostable filler solutions for flexible and rigid applications

Biopolymers have already become a feasible option for transformers, brand owners and consumers in many different applications. However, there is still a breach between traditional fossil-based commodities and biopolymers in terms of performance and cost that hinders a deeper market penetration of the latter.   This breach can be overcome by the use of minerals. Therefore, BioGranic, a new mineral masterbatch solution for biopolymers has been developed and commercialized by the GCR Group with the aim of enhancing certain properties of biopolymers, improving processing and boosting their use as cost effective solution for different applications.   To produce these materials we use our patented technology, IRTION, based on the use of infrared radiation that provides a much gentler treatment of the materials reduces energy consumption and enables new products to be developed. This technology provides a significant competitive advantage to BioGranic because it overcomes the constraints imposed by current conventional technologies.   BioGranic is mostly used in flexible applications, such as carrier bags, fruit and vegetable bags, refuse bags and agricultural films where compostable resins are widely used. In this case, tear strength, both in cross and machine direction, can be maintained or even improved with the use of minerals. The BioGranic use allows the optimization of processing parameters such as blow-up ratio and draw ratio. Furthermore, dart-drop impact (DDI) can be improved by around 20% by the addition of minerals.     In rigid applications, such as food packaging trays, coffee capsules, straws, and injected parts, modification of mechanical properties and improved processing can be achieved using BioGranic. Impact strength of PLA shows up to a three-fold increase, whilst stiffness is maintained by the addition of 20% mineral masterbatch in 800 micron thick PLA sheets. Also thermal resistance (HDT) of PLA can be improved by introducing minerals and with minor changes in the processing parameters.   BioGranic has no major impact on the biodegradability and compostability, the certifications schemes delivered by TÜV Austria – OK Compost INDUSTRIAL and OK Compost HOME are maintained for dosages up to 20%. Moreover, minerals are renewable non-fossil based materials and can contribute to the reduction of the carbon footprint of products.   In conclusion, BioGranic offers you the possibility to be more competitive using a new material that provides many benefits to your final product.   If you want to be innovative, don’t lose more time, contact us and try BioGranic in your formulation.   For us it will be a pleasure to start with you this new experience and we are sure it will be very profitable.

Granic in flexible packaging: A winning combination for the environment

Granic in flexible packaging: A winning combination for the environment

  More and more packaging regulations are oriented towards more environmentally friendly solutions.   Segers & Balcaen has a longstanding partnership with GCR Group focused on improving the environmental footprint of their products. Thanks to a Life cycle assessment, carried out by GCR Group for all its Granic products, S&B reduces its CO2 emissions by 12% on the raw material, as well as other environmental impacts. Furthermore, Granic guarantees the high-quality standards S&B has for its products. The quality of the frozen food packaging improved thanks to the addition of 30% Granic and the technical experience of S&B. This resulted in a significant dart drop improvement: up to 350g.   The flexible packaging market is continuously changing. Partnerships like the one between S&B and GCR Group bring innovative and sustainable solutions to this challenging market.     For more information visit us at the K-show: Hall 8A/K27.  

GCR Group’s solutions for Hygienic Film Applications!

GCR Group’s solutions for Hygienic Film Applications!

  If you are a mom or a dad, maybe we already got inside your home and you did not realize it… But if you are a polyethylene film producer, trying to be successful in hygiene applications like baby diapers, adult incontinence, bed pads… you are the one this article was written for! Bear with us; everything you will read in this article will be new for you. But if GCR Group’s value proposition sounds good to you, remember that we can easily get to know each other: write us (info@gcrgroup.es) or call us (+34977166950)   At GCR Group, we know that, in an almost non-changing industry, the biggest challenge as a supplier is to be and to remain aligned with your needs. We know that for you and your customers, the most important thing is to maximize the yield, without stopping your lines to clean, reformulate or change ingredients!   Inside our portfolio of mineral masterbatches for hygienic film applications, you will find the latest Granic solutions, ready to deliver your required standards in main fields like natural whiteness, soft touch, noise reduction, mechanical properties, hot melt glue stability, low shrinkage, the right breathability and, of course, avoiding optical imperfections like gels or agglomerates. Our products are conceived by first class technologies, like Hosokawa Alpine, W&H or SML.   Our customers are using our commercial grades or tailored solutions for both breathable films and low or non-breathable films, and brand owners like P&G, KC, Ontex or Essity are already enjoying the advantages our products offer. Thanks also to our GCR Tech Center and its excellent team of technicians, we constantly develop new ideas for the industry. Moreover, our logistic and production capabilities allow us to deliver our materials in more than 120 countries around the globe, packed or in bulk conditions, and in huge quantities.   If you feel that your company is ready to start a partnership with a global, dynamic, young and qualified company, we are waiting for you! Let us know about your needs and we will put the best of ourselves in your project.   Go #Granic, Go GCR Group!

The importance of a Life Cylce Assessment (LCA)

The importance of a Life Cylce Assessment (LCA)

  A Life cycle assessment is a cradle-to-grave or cradle-to-cradle analysis technique to assess environmental impacts associated with all the stages of a product's life: from raw material extraction through materials processing, manufacture, distribution, and use.   GCR Group collaborated with the UNESCO Chair in Life Cycle and Climate Change (ESCI-UPF) to develop a doctoral thesis to evaluate environmental profile of plastic packaging including Granic products (mineral masterbatches).   The study started with a detailed literature survey to better understand the environmental impacts achieved by replacing plastics with mineral fillers (such as CaCO3 or talc). The results were so promising that the PhD study focused on some real market cases, like separating sheets and cosmetic tubes, together with third parties/customers.   The study followed the Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) methodology, which is a commonly accepted tool used to identify the environmental impacts of packaging.   One of the studies consisted in the replacement of eucalyptus wood sheets by plastic compound sheets made of virgin PP, recycled PP and Granic 1081 and 1522. These sheets are used at GCR Group to separate stacked pallets to prevent them from damaging each other during storage.   As opposed to what is commonly believed, the results of the study showed that plastic compound sheets are an environmentally better alternative than eucalyptus wood for this specific application, mainly thanks to the use of Granic products. By including Granic, we provide advanced properties to the product, which results in higher number of reuses and longer lifetime. In addition to that, plastic sheets weight less than wood and they are recycled at the company once their lifetime is over, which also contributes to the enforcement of the GCR Group’s circular economy strategy -See Figure below-.     The study is a good example of the application of the LCA methodology to make enviromentally friendlier solutions for the industry. In addition, the results of the study proved the clear advantages of using mineral masterbatches to improve the environmental profile of plastic packaging.  

GCR Group's solution for Nonwovens and Fibers

GCR Group's solution for Nonwovens and Fibers

  The presence of minerals in the Nonwoven & Fibers market for technical applications is not common at all, almost nonexistent. The most recurring reasons are the fear of losing productivity due to spin pack clogging and/or fibres breakage. Among others, these are some of the issues that Granic has focused on addressing during the last 4 years.   Thanks to its unique technology, Granic has developed and improved the specialty grades for the nonwoven market. Its special formulation enables producers to replace up to 14% of the PP raw material without facing process drawbacks, thus being more competitive in their sector.   The solution offered by Granic, apart from enhancing the end product, it also improves the sustainability achieving a #less-plastic based product.   Granic has advantages for each application (agriculture, automotive, wipes, medical and hygiene) and technology (spunbound, spunlace, staple fibers, etc.)   GCR will be exposing different NW samples, visit us at the K-show and find out more!

Raffia Trends

Raffia Trends

Raffia market changed a lot since it started to use calcium carbonate as an antifibrilant additive at very low dosing levels.   Machinery producers are delivering faster and faster equipment (>500 m/min on extruders and >1.000 ppm on the looms) and fabrics are getting lighter and lighter.   Nowadays the big challenge is to produce a high quality AntiFibrilant MasterBatch (AFMB) that could respond to customers desire to increase the dosing levels maintaining all the desired benefits without impairing negatively both on process and product integrity.   Commonly reported problems such as pressure increase, dust formation and reduced mechanicals are on the top of the main claims during AFMB dosing level increase.   Granic® carefully selects the most suitable resins and minerals (very fine and controlled particle size distribution) to compound them with our patented technology, Irtion®, with a pinch of additives and a lot of passion to deliver unparalleled performance Masterbatches.   Plain Woven sacks, Transparent Bags, Extrusion coated sacks, Extrusion laminated bags, FIBC, Leno Bags, and Tarpaulin are among many of the raffia applications where Granic® successfully delivered a higher dosing level and some of the below advantages:   Improved Mechanical properties Higher process efficiency TiO2 free white fabrics No pressure increase Less dust formation Reduced costs

New CICLIC certified Post-Consumer Recycled products, listening to those in need to communicate green, but also to those in need of reassurance.

New CICLIC certified Post-Consumer Recycled products, listening to those in need to communicate green, but also to those in need of reassurance.

Plastics recycling is in the spotlight. While European plastics industry growth rates are close to flat, the business around plastic recycling is living its heyday. Brands and OEM’s are trying to capture the marketing and communication value of using Post-Consumer Recycled materials (PCR) in their end-products.    However, the rising demand of final customers is too often confronted by the a lot less enthusiastic stance of plastic transformers.   Even though it is changing fast, the plastic recycling sector remains today rather unregulated and unstandardized. Especially small and medium sized plastic transformers face confusing or conflicting information on the origin, the quality and the processability of the material their customers ask them to use; it is difficult for them to separate the wheat from the chaff.   To enter new applications and increase the recycled content dosages, plastic recyclers need to defeat their customers’ default reluctance, and to gain their trust by embracing quality and standardizing the plastic recycling process.     CICLIC’s new line of PCR grades come certified by EuCertPlast, which means that the transparency and traceability of the materials in the supply chain has been assessed, as well as the compliance of the recycling process according to the best practices.   Moreover, CICLIC’s new PCR grades succeed at maintaining the GCR Group’s trademark high quality and excellent processability, which makes them the optimal PCR recycled product for virgin polymer replacement.  

IR Active Additives for Greenhouses

IR Active Additives for Greenhouses

  Greenhouses are one of the most important applications for plastics in the agricultural industry. The plastic film used for these structures requires specific properties to grant an optimal functionality. One of these properties is thermicity: the ability of the film to retain the heat during the night, when temperatures decrease. Higher thermicity is achieved by increasing the infrared radiation absorbance/reflectance of the film.   Thanks to this feature, greenhouses deliver big advantages such as faster crop development, earlier harvests, higher yield, and up to 20% energy saving for heated greenhouses.   Only a few materials are able to modify the thermal properties of LDPE, the most known being some minerals and EVA/EBA. This second option, provides high transparency; However, due to their tackiness, these copolymers are more susceptible to accumulate dust on the film surface, which brings along a loss of the light transmission.   Granic has been working for the last few years in developing an additive for high performance thermal film, able to ensure excellent thermicity, transparency and controlled light diffusion.   Granic’s IR additive is based on a low metal content special mineral to sustain the performance of the UV additives and to ensure longer durability.   Contact us and learn more about our solutions for thermal films and other agricultural products.  

GCR Group's solution for Big-Bag and Octabin liners

GCR Group's solution for Big-Bag and Octabin liners

Do you know that Granic is in the liners of our Big-Bags and Octabins that travel around the world?   Granic in the film core improves the strength, liquid permeation and moisture barrier of LLDPE and LDPE delivering full protection. Many customers have noticed this feature.       Additionally, adding 20% Granic in the liner helps reducing the carbon footprint by 19%!!       GCR Group offers a wide range of Granic and Ciclic products for Industrial Film with different requirements. Visit us at K2019!

GCR Group develops a new solution for BOPP pearlized and cavitated films

GCR Group develops a new solution for BOPP pearlized and cavitated films

  Based on our exclusive calcium carbonate source (Omyafilm®), and compounded with passion thanks to our IRTION® technology, we have developed a Granic® product for the BOPP industry that enables our customers to reach densities starting at 0,55 gr/cm3 with outstanding mechanical performance.   The whiteness of our calcium carbonate, together with its dispersion and particle size distribution, helps our customers to have more homogeneous cavitation and process stability during the BOPP film production.   Granic will allow the BOPP producers and the end users to reduce the amount of PP in the films, and also to reach a substantial use reduction of TiO2 pigment (depending on the opacity that needs to be reached and the final target density).   Granic also contains a special package of additives that enables our customers to use our product in metallized films.       For more information contact the GCR Group Sales Team, who is ready to assist you in more than 15 languages.   info@gcrgroup.es  (+34) 977 16 69 50

What is the Circular Economy and why is everybody talking about it?

What is the Circular Economy and why is everybody talking about it?

Nowadays, the world has a linear production model based on take (extract), make (manufacture), use and dispose. Raw materials are extracted from the nature and transformed into products that are used for a while. Once the products lose their economic, physical or functional value, they are disposed, becoming waste. Some of this waste is treated and goes to the recycling stream, but most of it is incinerated or disposed at the landfill.   This linear model based on take (extract), make (manufacture), use and dispose leads to an unlimited growth of the production and the resources consumption. Moreover, when it comes the end-life of the product, the final destiny of the product depends only on the consumer or the waste-management companies.     Linear Production. Image from Ecova (2015).      In 2012, Europe starts to talk about Circular Economy, even that the term has become more and more popular lately.   But what is the Circular Economy?   Looking beyond the current take, make and dispose extractive industrial model, the Circular Economy is restorative and regenerative by design. Relying on system-wide innovation, it aims to redefine products and services to design waste out, while minimising negative impacts. Underpinned by a transition to renewable energy sources, the circular model builds economic, natural and social capital. Under this model, raw materials are reused once they become waste, transforming all the production system into a closed circle. Therefore, the product is reused and repaired until it is recycled, becoming a new resource. This sustainable model saves the extraction and destruction of materials and it boosts to use the materials at the most.       Circular production. Image from Ecova (2015).    As it is seen at the image above, Circular Economy is not only based on recycling. It is a change of the whole consumption system, from the design of the products and the way the factories manufacture until the way the consumers consume. A lot of companies are already changing their activities and starting to use strategies that lead to the Circular Economy. That is the reason why everybody is talking about it, also in the plastic sector.   Do you want to understand better what are the Circular Economy strategies about? Let's see some examples:   Design to last. In a fire station in California there is the Centennial light, the worlds' longest burning light bulb which is working since 1901. Nowadays it seems impossible to have a bulb, a mobile phone or even a pair of shoes that last more than two years. Circular Economy tries to achieve a long-life for the materials that are being used, until they cannot be more reused or repaired and must be recycled. An example of 'designed to last' action has been taken by Dockers clothes brand. A pair of years ago, they redesign their trousers; they reinforce the pockets and buttonholes in order to make the trousers last longer.    Circular Economy action by Dockers. Image from Dockers.    Design to repair and recycle. One of the critical points of the Circular Economy model is that many products are not easy to repair or recycle (Do you remember one of our posts where we explained how the combination of some materials affect the recyclability?). For this reason, some companies have decided to change the design of their products so they can be easily repaired or recycled. Taking the recycling as an example, the technological company Dell designs its computers in a way that all the pieces can be separate, which makes them easily to recycle. The use of compatible materials - some of them recycled! - and the reduction of inks and adhesives in the packaging boosts the recyclability of them.      Circular Economy action by Dell. Image from Dell.    Product as a service. The Circular Economy defends the temporary possession of the things, also known as renting. It prioritizes the use over the possession. That strategy allows the manufacturer to take care of the reparation and the recycle of the product. The jeans company Mud Jeans is using this idea and since 2015 you can lease a jeans. After a year paying a low monthly fee, you can decide whether if you finally keep the jeans or you change them for a new pair. If you decide to change, the company collects and recycles them.       Circular Economy action by Mud Jeans. Image from Mud Jeans.    Waste collection and recycling. Once a product has been repaired and reused, the ideal end is - according to the Circular Economy model - to be recycled. Sometimes, the recycled material is used again to manufacture the same products. Sometimes, the recycling companies give value to the waste finding a new market where it becomes raw material. An example of waste collection and recycling can be find in this company. Ciclic recovers post-petrochemical and post-industrial plastic, closing the loop of the plastic production. Ciclic reduces the raw material extraction and the waste generation.    Circular Economy in GCR Group.    As you see, GCR Group is key for the development of the Circular Economy in the plastic sector. For this reason, last May GCR Group was chosen by ACC1Ó as one of the ten companies with success stories on the Circular Economy. You can download the document (in catalan) here.  

Why do we use Carbon Footprint to measure sustainability?

Why do we use Carbon Footprint to measure sustainability?

Carbon Footprint is a way of measuring the amount of greenhouse gas (GHG) emitted during an activity or a product production. This GHG data is given in carbon dioxide (CO2) kilos meaning that GHG emissions are transformed into CO2 emissions, providing a measurable, uniform and comparable data. GHG emissions are obtained through Life Cycle Assessment (LCA), a technique to assess environmental impacts associated with all the stages of an activity or a product's life. LCA analyzes GHG emissions in each stage so you can see the critical points of the activity or the production.    To measure the Carbon Footprint of a product, LCA quantifies the emissions of each stage of the production, from raw material extraction through materials processing, manufacture, distribution, use, repair and maintenance, and disposal or recycling. This LCA is known as from cradle to grave because the product is analyzed since its origins until its end-life. However, for many products is hard to do a full-life analysis as sometimes the consumer of the products or its habits are unknown. In these cases, LCA includes from cradle to gate, from raw material extraction through materials processing and manufacture until the product leaves the company. Therefore, Carbon Footprint is a way to evaluate how contaminant an activity or a product is in each of their stages.     Diagram of the stages included from cradle to grave. Image from CSDS Pratt - Center for sustainable Design Strategies       Ciclic and Granic case GCR Group products are Carbon Footprint certified, meaning that LCA from cradle to gate of each product has been done under ISO 14040 and 14044. By the application of PAS2050 norm, CO2 emissions of all the range of products have been obtained. Carbon Footprint has been certified by TÜV Rheinland.   The results show a lower Carbon Footprint than conventional petrochemical polymers. For example, to manufacture a ton of Granic 422, 81% less CO2 emissions are emitted in comparison with the same amount of virgin polyethylene (PE).      CO2 reduction examples in raw materials when different grades of Granic are used.      But, ¿why is GCR Group product's Carbon Footprint so low?   GCR Group products low Carbon Footprint is a result of an extensive sustainability policy where environment is the center of all GCR Group activities. This low impact is due to the following actions:   * Raw materials origins. Some of the GCR Group products contain minerals (calcium carbonate, talc). Minerals are natural elements easily and widely found in the nature. The other raw materials are post-industrial and petrochemical waste, a residue that was going to be disposed. By recovering it, GCR Group gives a second life to waste.   * Location. The company is less than 40 kilometers away from 90% of the suppliers. This fact has a positive impact on the CO2 emissions related to raw material transportation.     * Production. The patented Irtion technology provides a more efficient energetic consumption therefore energy consumption decreases. Moreover, GCR Group uses renewable energy sources.    * Packaging. Granic's packaging is manufactured with Granic, significantly decreasing packaging's Carbon Footprint.     These CO2 emissions reductions in raw materials have also an impact in final product emissions. On top of that, when the customer uses Granic, Carbon Footprint is even lower as mineral thermoconductivity is higher, meaning the material can be heat up and cool down faster. Consequently, the producer will consume less energy on the manufacturing stage with Granic than with virgin polymers.     All these reasons made of Granic and Ciclic sustainable solutions for the plastic sector.      In conclusion, Carbon Footprint permits an objective and quantitative evaluation of the environmental impact of a product or an activity.        

Plastic packaging recycling: can we do something to improve it?

Plastic packaging recycling: can we do something to improve it?

Today 17th of May is the International Recycling Day. Did you know that Spain is at the TOP 3 of the European Plastic Recycling? 74.8% of the plastic waste was recycled in 2015. Data from 2016 is still unknown but it looks like the numbers are even better. Watching the same situation from another point of view, we could say that 25% of plastic packaging waste is still NOT recycled. Is this not-recycled percentage due to bad classification? Not necessarily. There is always a portion of this plastic packaging waste that cannot be recycled even that the citizens separate the waste and drop it in the correct trash bin. So the reason for this 25% not-recycled plastic is the packaging characteristics.     In a perfect world, packaging should be developed with a single material – or a combination of related materials. Related materials are compatible between them and their recycling doesn't produce a worst plastic in terms of quality, meaning that they can be recycled as a single material. Unfortunately, most of the times several materials should be combined due to the manufacturers/consumers needs – we need packaging that extends food shelf life, easily opened or simply beautiful). Those are the type of packaging you can find in this 25% of not-recycled.      There are hundreds of reasons that affect packaging recyclability and, being honest, most of them don't rely on consumers' classification but on design. Even that, could we THE CONSUMERS do something to improve plastics packaging recycling? The answer is YES. Consumers can do a lot. Below, we talk about five everyday actions to improve plastics packaging recyclability.     1. Avoid black or strong colours packaging Waste sorting plants separate packaging regarding their composition (type of polymer). After that, they send it to the specific recycling plant.   Part of that classification is automatically realized by optical separators. The explanation of the optical separators mechanism is quite simple: the optical separators emit light upon the packaging and, depending on which kind of light comes back, the separators detect which type of plastic is. But colour is crucial in the selection process, as those packaging with black or very strong colours are able to absorb more light causing mistakes in this automatic classification.  To avoid this problem, we can choose: when in doubt, pick the product with lighter colours on its packaging.        2. Labels: out!  Labels and the glue used to stick them have important consequences on packaging recyclability. Maybe you noticed that labels are pasted with fewer glue and they can be stripped all together so you don't leave label rests on the packaging. This is due to an environmental concert, to avoid glue remainders. But glue is not the only problem. We can also find an incompatibility on the materials; for instance a lot of labels are paper based or done with a different plastic than the one from the packaging. Even that we cannot decide labels compositions neither the amount of glue used, we can strip the labels before drop the packaging into the trash. Doing this simple act, we can be sure that label will not be an inconvenience when this packaging is going to be recycled.    3. Do not forget about lids and seals  Yogurts, instant coffee, moisturising cream or toothpaste. In all of these products, aluminium seals and lids are usually found. These seals and lids jeopardise the packaging recyclability. What can you do? If you are going to dispose any of those packaging on the trash, be aware of removing the entire lid. And don't leave any traces of aluminium on the plastic packaging!        4. Caps and bottles. Better together? No As seen with lids and seals, bottle caps can also be done with a different material than the one used for the bottle. Bottle producers are more and more concerned about environmental issues and some of them are starting to manufacture bottles and cups with the same material - or with related materials. Nevertheless, if you are not a plastic expert, it will be very difficult to differentiate them. Therefore, the easiest way to be environmentally committed is to separate the cap from the bottle before dispose them on the trash. And don't forget to take out the small plastic ring that rests on the bottle.         5. If you can, escape from too cool packaging  Wood and plastic, plastic and metal and all the combinations you can think about. Beautiful? Yep. Recyclable? Not at all.      Every small action for the environment is important. Let's help the environment by improving the recyclability. Let's make International Recycling Day every day.   

Does plastic actually kill?

Does plastic actually kill?

Plastic kills. This is what you can read in the store window of a shop well known by its environmental commitment – in fact, it is presented as ‘synonym of love towards nature and respect towards life’ in its manifesto. This Shop has joined the last anti-plastic campaign promoted by Plastic Pollution Coalition in a very visible way: selling stainless steel bottles* and cotton* bags and t-shirts with a ‘Plastic Kills’ claim printed on them.   Due to our business nature – we develop plastic solutions, a material that by the way has not found any other competitor that meets the same requirements and has the same advantages – and our environmental commitment, we had to write this post.    In this post we do not pretend to explain how plastic has a lower environmental impact in comparison to other materials for most of its applications. We do not pretend that because many scientists and investigators have already proved it. Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) is the method used to analyze the environmental impact of a material when it is used in a specific application. You can have a look at this LCA done by the UK Environment Agency of a supermarket bag where it is shown that a cotton* bag (yep! as the cotton bags sold by THE Shop) needs to be reused 131 times in order to be more sustainable than a plastic one. This means that if the plastic bag is reused, the cotton bag reuse needs to rise until 262 times. Or the study Plastic Vs cardboard: which is greener in packaging? done by Exter University for Riverford Organic Food, an organic food company that wanted to evaluate the environmental impacts of every aspect of their business, including packaging. Guess what? Plastic packaging was better than carton packaging in terms of sustainability. Or this LCA of a stainless steel* bottle (yes! the same bottles that THE Shop sells) proving that stainless steel bottles need to be reuse 500 times to beat the sustainability of a PET bottle. So imagine if PET bottles are reused one time – stainless steel bottles need to be reuse by 1.000 times. (About LCA of plastic Vs other materials in packaging, bags or other applications, you will easily find studies on the Internet, but we left you some here and here for you to read if you are interested).         But as we were saying, this post is not about the environmental benefits of plastic because it is already proved (by scientists!). This post is about the claim of the anti-plastic campaign: Does plastic actually kill?    Let’s see some data:  •    Plastic extends shelf life of food. Therefore, it increases the availability of food for consumers. For example, unwrapped cucumbers lose so much moisture that they become unsaleable after three days; just 1.5 grams of plastic keeps them fresh for 14 days. Moreover, food can travel farther and the food production can slow down a little.    From the book Why Shrinkwrap a Cucumber?: The Complete Guide to Environmental Packaging de Steven Aldridge •    Plastic protect food, improving quality and increasing food security. Plastic packaging protects the contents from hazards such as vibration, moisture, heat, odours, light penetration, micro-organism or pest infestation. •    Therefore, fewer artificial additives are needed. Removing preservatives from foods – to have more ‘natural’ food – is possible thanks to plastic packaging that provides better protection.    •    Plastic supplies water to many African Countries. Unfortunately, there are still many places in the world where water is not easily accessible for its inhabitants. Countries like Nigeria, Ivory Coast, Burkina Faso or Ghana are drinking water in plastic bags as it is the safest and cheapest solution (plastic bottles are much more expensive than plastic bags). Thanks to plastic, millions of families have potable water access. In fact, in 2014 Ivory Coast protested over plastic bag ban. It was estimated that a ban on plastic bags would block water access to 200,000 families in Ivory Coast.    Images from Wikipedia and TrashyBags    If plastic has all these advantages, why does plastic have so bad reputation?    Because plastic is a very visible material with terrible environmental consequences if it is not left in the proper place by the end of its life. If plastic is not reused. If it is not dropped in the rubbish bin once it is reused. If it is not recycled because the rubbish bin where it has been placed has not been the appropriate one. In conclusion, if consumers do not act properly after plastic life cycle. And to do so, more environmental education and awareness is needed.    If you do the exercise of searching on the Internet ‘Plastic Kills’, you will find several images of animals eating plastic bags or pieces dropped in the sea. Please note that dropped is not a passive action – somebody has to drop things. Actually, people do. This is the reason why responsibility should rely on people and not in the material. Plastic doesn’t kill, the lack of environmental education does. Plastic doesn’t kill, irresponsibility does. Don’t blame plastics; blame all of us and the moment when we forget our commitment with the future generations. Because if we apply this principle to everything, we could ban lighters (they can start a fire), chew gums (if birds find them on the floor, they can eat them and die) or cars (accidentally, they kill people too).      In conclusion, responsibility is not on the object but on the user. So let’s stop blaming the material – in order to sell other materials, by the way – and let's assume our responsibility as consumers.       

Three stories of 2016

Three stories of 2016

The end of the year is the classic time to make balance. What was the best of 2016? What was the worst? Which are the numbers of the year? Yes, we like balances. Actually, all the companies should like it! But we are not going to write about numbers. Instead, we have decided to explain you three stories of 2016 in GCR Group. So here it comes; this is a tinny part of how our 2016 has been like.   Oncotrail. Oncontrail is a 100 Km relay race done by an eight people team. There must always be four people running and the relays are done every 8 to 15 km. Crazy, right? It is, but there is a good reason behind; the raised funds are used to improve cancer investigation. And this was a great motivation for us, so in 2015 we decided to run the Oncotrail for the first time. The strong effort made us feel so good that we wanted to repeat in 2016. But this year has been more special... One year ago, our colleague Xavier was sadly diagnosed with cancer. Suddenly, Xavier had a new and huge challenge in front of him. He was going to fight, for sure. He is one of the most optimist and cheerful persons I ever met. But somehow, the GCR team wanted to fight with him. As a result, a lot of us participate in the Oncotrail. We ran the Oncotrail and we ran it for you, Xavier.         K Show. Every three years, the biggest event on the plastic industry takes place in Düsseldorf. Three years ago, GCR Group had a stand in the exhibition for the first time. This year we have assisted again with a bigger stand and a bigger team but with the same illusion as the first time. For us, the K2016 has been a success. We want to thank to all of those who passed through our stand. It has been a pleasure to meet you!       Christmas’ Video. Since three years ago, Christmas video is an event in the company. In 2014, we decided to show you who are the faces behind GCR Group (here). In 2015, this faces became actors, and all the people in GCR enjoyed the recording day (remember it here). This year, we decided to show you how Christmas sounds in GCR Group. Many of us spend a whole day typing, clicking pens, bumping Granic FFS bags, shaking Ciclic grades and many other actions that emit any sound. You can see the result here.           Thank you very much for this 2016. Many stories to come next year! Hope you all have a great 2017!       

Five reasons to visit K2016

Five reasons to visit K2016

As you all know, K Show is the World’s number one Trade Fair for Plastics and Rubber. The countdown is on and from GCR Group we want to show you at least five reasons to visit the fair.   Are you still preparing your visit? Then don’t miss our list:   1. THE CONFERENCES. K2016 is a great moment to learn from the best experts in the Plastics and Rubber market. The companies will have all their teams in Düsseldorf, ready to explain what makes them great. Some companies also organize Technical Talks with invited guests from other companies. This is the case of Dow and the Faces of Innovation talks, where GCR Group will be presenting the mineral masterbatch development for Extrusion Coating (Thursday, 20 October, 15:00-15:30, K48 Hall8a). ExxonMobil also organizes Tech Talks and we are invited to present the high-quality bag developed with Granic1522 together with ExxonMobil, CMD and Kivo. (Friday, 21 October 17:00 and Tuesday 25 October, 10:00, FG4, Hall4). For these conferences and presentations, K2016 it’s an ideal occasion to learn more about the market and the innovations.       2. THE MACHINERY, THE EQUIPMENT AND THE SAMPLES. How many times you will be able to see hundreds of extruders working at the same time? Huge blown film machines, raffia lines producing perfect raffia tapes and tacking them… What I am describing is the landscape of the Messe Düsseldorf during the K Show. K2016 means having the latest equipments running, producing tons of plastic products and... can you imagine what? Most of the times you can pick beautiful and tempting samples (I have to say that I have hundreds of pretty printed bottle caps at home from the last K. Yes, it might look as if I took too much of them but, believe me, they seemed so necessary for my life back then!). This year, the CMD stand (Hall 3, G05) will be producing bags with Granic1522 – yes, the same ones that will be explained in the ExxonMobil Tech Talks. You will be able to take samples of the bags and see the CMD machines running with Granic! Moreover, in the Alpine Hosokawa booth (Hall 16, D06) there will also be samples of breathable film produced with Granic476 and Alpine Hosokawa’s technology. So, yes, K2016 is a perfect moment to see machines, equipments and samples.     3. THE MARKET TRENDS. When plastic is your passion, you spend part of your time learning and reading about it. Plastic is fantastic, that is a fact we all know. But the world is changing and the consumers’ habits are changing too, so new plastic products are launched to find a solution for a new need. The K Fair is the perfect event to show the new plastic products and, therefore, to understand the new markets’ needs. For example, in GCR Group, we have seen an increasing environmental concern from many customers, which has lead us to keep improving our sustainability. Our raw materials selection, the low energy production and our location have reduced even more our Carbon Footprint in comparison with the 2013 data. We will explain you about our environmental commitment if you come to visit us in our booth (Hall 8a, K27).        4. THE NETWORK. Have I told you already that the best experts in the Plastics and Rubber market will be in Düsseldorf? Isn’t that enough to understand how important is the K2016?     5. DÜSSELDORF. The seventh most populous city in Germany is one of the country’s foremost economic, transport and cultural centers. Theaters, museums, arts and history institutes are all around. The Rhine, bordering the city, creates a perfect mixture between the city and the nature, giving Düsseldorf a cosmopolitan outlook. And well, let’s not forget about the Altbier!     What about you? Do you have more reasons to go to the K2016?     If you want to plan your visit to the K2016, you should download the map on here,     We hope to see you in our stand K27 at Hall 8a. We are ready to explain you our new solutions for the market. See you there!     Andrea Guiu – Communication Specialist.    

Welcome to GCR Group's blog

Welcome to GCR Group's blog

Three years after the first GCR Group website, we are relaunching the site. We use the verb relaunch because this website is not completely new. As you will see, the image is quite the same as three years ago. However, some changes have been done.      The most obvious change is this Blog. Rich communication, where ideas and opinions are shared, is a model that fits much more with the world we are living in. Social Networks success consists in the ability of sharing experiences and ideas as we noticed three years ago when we update our Social Networks (you can find us on LinkedIn and Twitter). Following this experience, this year we decided to create a channel where GCR Group could communicate in a more effective and direct way, which is this Blog. Here you will find all kind of information about environment, customer service, logistics, studies, our products and the plastic sector. We want to show you our vision.   But some other changes have been done. We launch a new Applications section, larger, more organized, with new applications and Ciclic and/or Granic solutions for each application. And we also present GCR Group's Mission, Vision and Values.    New posts are coming! Meanwhile, you can visit our relaunched website.   Stay tuned.