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From Coca-Cola screw caps to highlighters

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STABILO, one of the world’s leading producers of writing instruments, has started a plastic recycling project together with soft-drink manufacturer Coca-Cola and recycling service provider Interseroh that could set a precedent. For the first time, STABILO is making highlighters from the screw caps of Coca-Cola bottles. STABILO is marketing the highlighter, with a recycled “Procyclen” plastic content of up to 83%, under the name STABILO GREEN BOSS. The recycled “Procyclen” plastic was developed by INTERSEROH Dienstleistungs GmbH, a subsidiary of the international recycling specialists and raw materials supplier ALBA Group.

Coca-Cola bottle screw caps are particularly suited as a starting material for producing the highlighters because their plastic was originally approved for food products and therefore meets STABILO’s particular requirements concerning health considerations. As part of their Germany-wide process of preparing returned PET bottles for refilling, Coca Cola collects the bottle caps and supplies them as an unmixed recyclable material for highlighter production. “For this reason, it quickly became clear to us that we had found a source of plastic that met our needs perfectly,” says Peter Satzinger, Manager Global Engineering, STABILO International GmbH.

Interseroh uses a proprietary process to turn the Coca-Cola caps into Procyclen, the multi-award-winning recycled plastic. “What makes Procyclen special is that this recycled plastic meets all of the expectations placed on a high-quality product thanks to its unique formulation and is absolutely equivalent to new materials produced from oil. But it has a far better raw material, energy and climate protection balance,” says Dr. Manica Ulcnik-Krump, Head of Recycled- Resource Research and Development at Interseroh. Scientists at Fraunhofer UMSICHT reported that the greenhouse gases released during production can be reduced by up to 50% when Procyclen is used instead of granulate that has not been recycled. Ulcnik-Krump: “Using Procyclen is therefore the best choice when it comes to sustainability.”

“When it comes to innovative packaging solutions, we are constantly working on making our bottles lighter, and we have a strategy of using recycled materials and plant-based raw materials and naturally also of multiple usage of materials by reusing and recycling them. It is all the more gratifying for us that we, together with our partners, have found a high-quality way to further process our screw caps, says Sanam Moayedi-Stummer, Director Procurement, Coca-Cola European Partners Deutschland GmbH.

STABILO is marketing the highlighter in four colors as part of its “green range” under the name STABILO GREEN BOSS. The STABILO GREEN BOSS can be refilled using the STABILO BOSS refill and is the first product to result from the cooperation between STABILO, Coca-Cola and Interseroh. More products are to follow.

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