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Recyclability of the filament spools

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Posted · Recyclability of the filament spools

Here at the office we have a very nice waste container for hard plastics. Unfortunately the stickers on the spools are quite hard to remove, so making the spools recyclable takes quite some time. I think it would be nice if this would become easier with some other adhesive or maybe some other surface structure on the surface on which the sticker is adhered.


At home I use cardboard spools, which is even better I think, but that may not be suitable for Ultimaker specs.


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    Posted · Recyclability of the filament spools

    You have to remove the stickers on the spools to recycle them? Thats a new one for me.. 
    I can see how that's a challenging.. those stickers are hard to remove in my experience.. 

    I know on my personal S5 Pro Bundle I have used the Polymaker cardboard spools with much success in both the Material Station and the Back of the machine (not tested other brands myself)

    It works fine.. but I very much advise of an additional maintenance step if doing this.
    I noticed after about 3 or 4 spools being fully printed to empty.. cardboard "powder" was clearly noticeable inside the material station bays that I had used.
    So I would advise cleaning it out with a dry rag and some compressed air (unplug power first) after the use of every few spools or so to prevent it gumming up one of the drive rollers.

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    Posted (edited) · Recyclability of the filament spools

    Thanks for the tip! However, we would like to keep using the RFID functions integrated within the Ultimaker spools.


    Regarding plastic recycling;

    I'm not an expert on recycling, but as far as I know, it is preferred, but not mandatory to remove stickers/labels on common plastic recycling done often at home (at least how it's done within the Netherlands).

    But that is because the product of that commonly recycled plastic is contaminated and so, downgraded material. Downgraded plastic material will only be used in products which can tolerate low grade material, becoming only a part of it's potential worth. For now at least it's reused and we're satisfied with that, but if we really want to close the loop, more must be done.

    If plastic can be collected in a fully separated way, meaning labels and such are removed, the quality of the recycled material will become higher. In that case high grade plastics can remain high grade plastics. That's why you see more often products with easily removable labels. Or for example why PET bottles here in the Netherlands is collected through a closed system. PET is worth too much to let it be downgraded.

    At our factory we use a lot of high grade plastics, so to recycle any plastic scrap it is collected fully separated into an allocated container. By removing the labels off the spools, I can put these in there.

    Edited by DDoove
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    Posted · Recyclability of the filament spools

    I learned something new today 😮

    Im based out of the USA, generally that level of cleaning isn't required.
    Your feedback about the stickers has been shared with my Materials Team.

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