Cologne/Maribor. In March 2020, the centre of competence for plastics recycling of environmental services provider Interseroh in Maribor, Slovenia, was awarded its official international accreditation. This means it is the only recognised research institution in the EU to have specialised on the development and analysis of recycled plastics. It is therefore setting the bar throughout Europe with the implementation of uniform standards of quality.
“When it comes to supplying industry with good quality recycled raw materials, this is an important step forwards,” explains Dr Manica Ulcnik-Krump, Head of Business Unit Recycled-Resource at INTERSEROH Dienstleistungs GmbH. “The international accreditation according to laboratory standard ISO/IEC 17025:2017 confirms the considerable technical know-how of our centre of competence, and creates transparency and confidence in the market.” The standard sets the general requirements regarding the competence, impartiality and operation of laboratories. In fulfilling the standard, they can demonstrate that they achieve valid results and ensure their international acceptance. The research centre in Maribor has fulfilled all the requirements of the Slovenian accreditation body Slovenska akreditacija (SA).
Interseroh has been operating the centre of competence for plastics recycling in Maribor, which has developed into a renowned research and innovation facility, since 2016. In 2017, the environmental services provider was awarded the Slovenian Environmental Prize for the development of its Recycled-Resource upcycling process. "We are working on producing ever-improving, market-oriented plastic recyclates from used packaging which are a sustainable alternative to primary material," explains Ulcnik-Krump. "In this respect, assured global standards for processes, analytics and quality control are essential."
Among others, the accreditation confirmed that Interseroh fulfils the international requirements regarding the mechanical and physical analyses of plastics. The standardised test procedures serve to improve the long-term stability of the mechanical and thermal characteristics of the material – and therefore its suitability for sophisticated applications. Examples include a high level of low-temperature resistance and tensile strength of the boxes and pallets that are used in the supply chain, or the surface scratch resistance of furniture. "This offers genuine added value both to our customers and all interested companies," says Ulcnik-Krump. “The accreditation is a seal of quality for our work – as well as being the 'licence to test' from the leading authority. It allows us to offer the independent and standard-compliant quality testing of recyclates as a service on the market."