Sustainable materials Bioplastics and circular material specialist FKUR celebrates 20th anniversary
From an associated institute of the University of Applied Sciences to a pioneer of the circular economy for a sustainable plastics industry. Stories like this one are not only written in Silicon Valley, but also in the Lower Rhine region in Germany.
What started back at the Willich site with just a few employees and a laboratory extruder has now become a major company in the bioplastics industry. FKUR develops and produces innovative bioplastic compounds on the company's premises covering more than 7,000 m2. The company's own granulates are complemented by a broad distribution portfolio of bio-based bioplastics and high-quality post-consumer recyclates.
Meanwhile, the group of companies produces and distributes its plastic solutions from three worldwide locations. Embedded in the group are, in addition to FKUR Kunststoff supplying the European market from the company's headquarters in Willich, the US marketing & sales office of FKUR Plastics (Texas/USA) as well as the joint venture Skyi FKUR Biopolymers, founded in 2019 and producing in Pune/India.
“This year we are not only celebrating 20 years of FKUR, but also more than 30 years of commitment to the circular economy,” emphasizes Managing Director Carmen Michels. The company’s roots go back to 1992, when it was founded as a research institute under the name Forschungsinstitut Kunststoff und Recycling (FKUR). Since its beginnings, the company has been dedicated to the topic of sustainability. It all started back then with the question of how plastic products could be better recycled.
When plastics recycling in Germany evolved from its infancy at the end of the 1990s, the company focused on the development of biodegradable plastics. This step was followed by the rebranding as FKUR Kunststoff with the corporate philosophy “Plastics made by Nature!”.
“For us, nature was and is the best recycler. That's why, with nature as our guideline and a passion for plastics, we have developed a unique range of bioplastics and recyclable granulates,” explains Patrick Zimmermann. As the company's history continued, it added biobased distribution products to its own compounds, such as the bio-based I'm green Polyethylene (Bio-PE) from Braskem, the Bio-PET from Taiwan's Fenc Group, and most recently the high-quality post-consumer recyclates from Kaskada.
“We are convinced that the future of plastics must be carbon-neutral: to protect our planet and for a more responsible use of the limited resources we are given. Therefore, these strategic cooperations were the next logical step for us in our mission 'Plastics care for Future',” explains Daniel Peltzer, also Managing Director at FKUR.
Today, the group is one of the leading suppliers of sustainable plastic granulates. From bio-based and biodegradable bioplastics to high-quality recyclates,