Recycling around the world
Over the past 30 years, the HAHN Group has developed into an international company with subsidiaries in Germany, England, France, Canada, Italy and Spain.
With over 500 employees worldwide, we combine all our work steps under one roof at our headquarters in Hunsrück - from the selection of recyclable materials and raw material recycling to the finished product. In this way, we can guarantee maximum precision and care over the entire process. This is a crucial prerequisite for the mechanical recycling of mixed plastics and films, as the high-quality recycling of these waste fractions involves special challenges. For example, the right selection and composition of the used plastic is key, as each product has its own individual material requirements. In this way, we always ensure the highest quality in every application area with our hanit® recycled plastic.
Yet, regardless of which waste plastic we use to make our recycled products - one thing always remains the same, namely we implement the concept of environmental protection and sustainability in every production step. We keep emissions low and try to conserve energy and resources as much as possible in our work across the entire value chain. That’s one of the reasons why we were the first company ever to be granted the “Green Angel” recycling award.
We are now the leading producer of recycled finished parts made from post-consumer plastics and are continuously investing in research and development in order to make new innovative solutions from recycled plastics possible in the future and to help increase the recycling rate. Recycling existing raw materials conserves natural resources and our environment.
How everything began
The foundation for our current success was laid in the early nineties when the recycling industry was still in its infancy. Whereas in the past it was simply a matter of disposing of waste, our focus has turned more and more to recycling over the years. We recognised that waste is a valuable raw material that should be used as efficiently as possible in order to counteract the problem of resource scarcity responsibly. By recycling consumed resources, existing raw materials can be reused and returned to the economic cycle. An important step towards today's circular economy was the introduction of the Packaging Ordinance in Germany in 1991, requiring producers and sellers to take back and dispose of packaging.
Ulrich Kossin, who managed a tax consultancy firm in Vreden, Westphalia, until the beginning of the nineties, recognised this new branch of industry as an outstanding opportunity to combine ecological aspects with entrepreneurship. He saw the introduction of the Packaging Ordinance as a chance to invest in a forward-looking company and play a decisive role in shaping the recycling industry. With tremendous audacity and resolve, he laid the foundations for becoming one of the world leaders in the mechanical recycling of post-consumer mixed plastics by founding HAHN Kunstoffe GmbH in Hunsrück in 1993.
The early years were not easy because the feedstock recycling of plastics was pioneering work. At that time, there were no constant flows of raw materials, suitable production resources or marketable products and sales channels. Yet, Ulrich Kossin and his team weren’t put off by all these challenges. With considerable commitment, passion and vision, they succeeded in developing a unique process for recycling highly complex mixed plastics. This means when selecting recyclable materials we are not restricted to unmixed waste, but can also recycle packaging that would otherwise mainly only be sent for energy recovery. This efficient use and processing of existing resources still characterises our company today because we turn Yellow Bag short-life plastic packaging into long-lasting and high-quality products for a wide range of applications. Our hanit® products made from recycled plastic are currently used in gardening and landscaping, agriculture, road construction and as specific industrial solutions.