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Action plan for circular economy: Carbotech sees coporate strategy confirmed

16.02.2021
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Essen-based activated carbon manufacturer has been relying on renewable raw materials and reactivation for years

As part of its “Green Deal,” the European Union (EU) has set itself the goal of acting more sustainably. Even more: Europe is to become the first climate-neutral continent in the world. One of the most important building blocks for achieving this goal is the “Action Plan for the Circular Economy,” which was adopted at the end of 2020. According to it, resources are to be kept in the cycle of the EU economy for as long as possible, thus reducing material use and waste. The Federal Association of the German Waste Management, Water and Raw Materials Industry e. V. (BDE) welcomed the regulations contained therein in a statement published on February 10, in particular on minimum use quotas for recycled materials. This once again confirms the corporate strategy of the CarboTech Group from Essen: For decades, it has focused on effective and sustainable reactivation of activated carbons from renewable raw materials combined with short supply routes.

Humans consume too many resources – that much is clear. And that is why the EU has set itself the goal of strengthening the circular economy. As part of the “Green Deal,” the “Circular Economy Action Plan” adopted at the end of 2020 is intended to play an important part in this. “By 2050, our consumption will reach a level as if we had three planets. The new plan will make the circular economy a central part of our lives and accelerate the green transformation of our economy,” said EU Environment Commissioner Virginijus Sinkevičius at the adoption. The German Waste Management, Water and Raw Materials Association (BDE) also. (BDE) also confirmed the correctness of this action plan and key measures in a statement issued on February 10, but called for improvements in some areas.

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© CarboTech

This assessment is also shared by the experts of the CarboTech Group from Essen: “We expressly welcome the action plan and see it as confirmation of our long-standing corporate strategy of acting in a sustainably oriented manner,” says Daniel Böke, Managing Director of the CarboTech Group. “Our unique fluidized bed process ensures an optimum surface area when the coals are activated and thus significantly more effective cleaning performance. Unlike many other filter materials, activated carbon can be used multiple times thanks to sustainable reactivation. In this process, we remove the pollutants bound in the activated carbon and thus reopen pores. The activated carbon is then just as absorbent as before its first use. This means that the material can remain in the cycle for a long time, as required by the EU,” explains Böke. Other aspects are the CarboTech site, which, due to its location in the heart of Europe, enables short delivery routes to end customers, and continuous research and development in the company’s own laboratories. Another important component of the corporate strategy is the focus on renewable raw materials: “As a Made in Germany manufacturer, we have been relying on activated carbons made from renewable raw materials such as coconut shells, palm kernels or even bamboo for years. We will continue to intensify this approach,” explains Böke.

Similar to the BDE, the CarboTech experts also call for further improvements, as Jörg Haermeyer, Head of Sales D/A/CH and Business Development of the CarboTech Group, explains: “In this market segment, sewage treatment plants with a fourth treatment stage in particular should be provided with a reactivatable – and thus recyclable – activated carbon in the sense of sustainability as early as the planning phase, instead of relying here on disposable powdered activated carbon. However, this requires a change in thinking from a pure investment cost approach to a holistic cost approach that also takes environmental aspects into account,” Haermeyer is convinced. Only in this way, he says, can sustainability also entail cost efficiency – which in turn would lead to greater acceptance among municipal decision-makers and citizens. “The action plan is a step in absolutely the right direction. Now we need to follow it up with more and fill the plan with life so that the goal of a climate-neutral continent does not become a cliché. As a premium activated carbon producer, we can make an important contribution to protecting and preserving our continent, our flora and fauna,” Daniel Böke concludes.

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