Katadyn Group

Katadyn partners with COPLARE

November 29, 2012

Coastal Plastics Recycling is the central theme of the project created by Susanne Tölzel and Joachim Probst – an issue that is highly interesting as well as one that fits well with Katadyn,“ said Steffen Fuchs of Katadyn Germany, getting directly to the heart of the engagement of the Katadyn Group with the COPLARE Project.

Susanne Tölzel and Joachim Probst of Wiesbaden, Germany, have been traveling the world on a multi-year sailing adventure since setting off in early July 2011. They want to attract attention to COPLARE with their travels. „Coastal Plastics Recycling“ is an extraordinary project promoting intelligent recycling of plastic materials in developing countries. While it’s standard procedure in industrial countries to return used plastics to the manufacturing stream as secondary raw materials, there is a huge untapped potential in developing countries. Especially, too, since clean and sorted PET is in high demand as a valued raw material and the prices for usable plastics are increasing. „In our opinion those are all good reasons for countries that can’t afford the development of costly waste management and recycling systems to develop an incentive system. Such an incentive system would have the goal to return plastic packaging and consumer goods made of plastics to the same industry sectors where they were manufactured and where they originally came on the market. Industry insiders speak of it as ‚reverse logistics.’ and ‚urban mining,’“ according to Susanne Tölzel and Joachim Probst.

That’s reason enough for the Katadyn Group to outfit the two world cruisers. With them on board they have Trek’n Eat freeze-dried foods as well as a Katadyn desalinator PS 40E for water treatment. „The watermaker serves us well. Unfortunately we couldn’t use it coming down the Inside Passage (Alaska) or in Sausalito (California) because the water just wasn’t clean enough. Whenever we have to actually carry water with us, we really miss the watermaker. The machine gives us a comfortable life that we truly appreciate. And the Trek’n Eat freeze-dried meals taste so amazing and are apportioned exactly right. Katadyn makes super products. Keep it up!“ came feedback from far away.

„There are values that go beyond business. That’s why we support social and ecological projects that serve to preserve the environment. The goal of showing inhabitants of coastal areas the value of clean plastic refuse and how it can be sold is a step in the right direction. For more than 80 years we’ve developed water filters, chemical disinfectants and mobile desalinators with which you can decrease plastic waste from purchased PET bottles while traveling. The connection to COPLARE is quite obvious,“ said Steffen Fuchs.

Meanwhile Susanne Tölzel and Joachim Probst have stumbled on interesting recycling projects. Be it water tanks or homes made of PET bottles in Central America, the manufacture of construction materials from plastic bags in Nairobi, or a multi-national manufacturer of carpets in the Philippines who is testing a trend-setting recycling project using old fishing nets, processing methods have been widely diverse. For some you need little more than a sewing needle, thread and a knife; some demand crochet hooks or weaving frame looms to make bags or carpets; others have devised other clever processes. „We are fascinated and quite taken by how so many people have developed and tried techniques and have generously offered to share their knowledge. We want to gather such knowledge all along our travel route and distribute it on the Internet so the ideas can be imitated all over the world.“

Susanne Tölzel and Joachim Probst invite everyone to follow their journey of discover on their website. In their travel journal, the world-touring cruisers report regularly about their experiences (Note: only some parts are available in English) and the status of the COPLARE project. Anyone who wants to help the project can become a supporting member of the COPLARE association – Coastal Plastics Recycling e.V. Already COPLARE has the backing of companies, associations and environmental organizations that are promoting the success of the project in various ways. Those supporters include NABU, as well as companies that include Pentax, Superwind, Katadyn, GoPro, Fotogena, Marblu and Wetterwelt, plus the association of plastic manufacturers, PlasticsEurope. Members of the circle of supporters also include the former employers of both, Werner & Mertz, and Passivhaus Institute.

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