Leonhard Kurz decorates the circular recycling economy

Sustainable and innovative packaging design freedom

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The metallization options based on chrome, aluminum or tin also offered by Kurz are now being expanded to include the indium option. Photo Kurz
The metallization options based on chrome, aluminum or tin also offered by Kurz are now being expanded to include the indium option. Photo Kurz

In contrast to merely design thinking, life cycle thinking anchors Kurz’s corporate goals. The commitment to sustainability and the circular recycling economy’s active advancement is now clearly reflected in the company’s appearance at this year’s all-digital CES innovation show.

Under the theme Earth Attraction, the global player from Fürth in Germany shows product and design innovations, plus addressing sustainable and highly effective solutions for a variety of industries. The new design concept, Gravity Forces, inspired by the elements of fire, water, earth, air, and environmentally friendly plastic decoration innovations, presented under the name New Ground, pays homage to nature, which Kurz aims to preserve. With Circle of Life, the company also shows its commitment to sustainability at all levels, from production to waste recycling.

The Kurz vision is a holistic recycling progression with a high degree of design freedom while being cost-efficient. To make this idea a reality, Leonhard Kurz’s experts are continuously researching new products and processes.

Sustainability competence along the entire value chain

How can material and energy be saved without losing quality? At which points can waste be avoided in the future? The company asks itself questions like these continuously and sees itself as responsible along the entire value chain – in its production processes, in the customer’s application process, and the end product and recycling.

In the manufacture of decoration materials, the company relies mostly on renewable energy – in Germany, achieving 100% thanks to its solar power capability. In addition, complete exhaust air treatment with energy recovery contributes to a resource-saving production process.

Kurz decorations do not limit the recyclability of products

On the one hand, Kurz’s extremely thin transfer decorations generally do not impair plastic components’ recyclability, as various tests have shown. They also enhance the appearance of recycled materials; high-quality refined recyclates are in no way inferior to decorated new materials. The components made of recycled material can be used with Kurz decorations aesthetically and with the same versatility. There are no visual differences to parts made from new material unless the customer so wishes. Then, with approaches such as Speckle Design, creative variants are available that visually underline the recycling concept.

The components made of recycled material can be used with Kurz decorations aesthetically and with the same versatility. There are no visual differences to parts made from new material unless the customer so wishes. Then, with approaches such as Speckle Design, creative variants are available that visually underline the recycling concept. Photo Kurz
The components made of recycled material can be used with Kurz decorations aesthetically and with the same versatility. There are no visual differences to parts made from new material unless the customer so wishes. Then, with approaches such as Speckle Design, creative variants are available that visually underline the recycling concept. Photo Kurz

The customer’s application process is also mapped in an environmentally friendly way – for example, using so-called dry chrome decoration instead of electroplating for metallic effects on surfaces. Both the hot stamping process and the In-Mold Decoration process, IMD for short, are dry and solvent-free. Since the IMD process combines two work steps in one – the production and the decoration of the component – it is also more energy-efficient than other processes.

Avoid waste – or recycle with a unique recycling program

At Kurz, the recycling of recyclable materials is of particular importance. It is important to find sensible and environmentally friendly solutions for reuse: For example, the company uses harmless stamping foil waste as a substitute fuel for energy. However, a milestone in recycling has now been achieved with the in-house recycling program for PET carrier film waste from customers. The company set up a recycling plant, and the plan is to extend the program step by step in the future.

In addition to people and the environment, Kurz’s customers, in particular, benefit from the extensive commitment to sustainability. Thanks to this know-how, they can improve their CO2 balance and expand their competitive advantage.

In parallel to the online trade fair appearance at CES, in which the consumer electronics and automotive application sectors are in the foreground, Leonhard Kurz will also provide information on its latest innovations on an additional landing page at www.plastic-decoration.com/… Product images, videos, and informative descriptions make the entire scope of the innovations understandable and demonstrate the Kurz commitment to sustainability at all levels.