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Taiwan recycling-machine makers see gold in green laws

By Kent Miller | PLASTICS NEWS CHINA

Tough new plastics recycling and environmental laws in Taiwan and mainland China are boosting the fortunes of the island's small but feisty recycling-machine makers.

Under last year's "National Sword" policy, China banned the importation of many kinds of plastic scrap. This year, environmental authorities in Taiwan, faced with a dearth of landfill space, announced plans to roll out some of the world's most stringent laws against single-use plastics.

"[China's policy] is helping us in other countries," said President Peter Tsai of Genius Machinery Co., Ltd., a maker of feeders, crushers, shredders, washers, squeezers, pelletizers and dryers.

Tsai spoke at his company's booth at this month's Taipei Plas show, held Aug. 15-19 in Taipei.

Some customers are now ordering multiple lines to cope with the backlog of scrap plastic, Tsai said.

Cross-island rival Polystar Co. sees strong sales from Southeast Asia, where Vietnam and Indonesia have become destinations for scrap once bound for China.

At their booths, both firms highlighted new technologies that reduce the need to adjust pelletizing blades.

Typically, the service life of such blades is one to two weeks, but Genius's innovation can extend that, Tsai said.

Genius has patented the design in Taiwan and applied for a U.S. patent.

Polystar's design integrates the blades with the pelletizing motor. "A benefit of this solution is the shape of the pellets is very consistent," Marketing Manager David Lo said.

The company also offers pressure controls - necessary for handing different kinds of plastic -- and a manual override.

The company is building a $9 million, 107,000-square-foot factory and plans to move in next February. Currently, Polystar makes 80 recycling lines per year.

Polystar is an OEM for a Swedish company but sells the vast majority of its equipment under its own brand.

The company has 50 employees and $20 million in annual sales, 90 percent of which are exports. Since 1988, Polystar has shipped more than 3,000 recycling machines to more than 100 countries.

Founded in 1992, Taichung-based Genius makes 30 to 40 recycling lines a year.

Like many Taiwanese machinery makers, Genius likes to highlight its foreign-made components, including motors from Germany's Siemens, inverters from Switzerland's ABB and metal detectors from Germany's Mesutronic Gerätebau.

 

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