Bagman staff, Bongani, Lovuyo, Rebecca and Akhona who have been a 'pillar of strength', stand with the new Polystar Repro-Flex 100 line, built in Taiwan and supplied locally by ZA Machinery, was commissioned in May after being slightly modified to suit Bagman’s requirements. Following some initial teething issues, consistent input to the conveyor and smooth functioning of the cutter/compactor has yielded efficient operation

Bagman goes up a gear, commissions Polystar recycling extruder

BAGMAN of East London, a bag manufacturer which switched to mainstream recycling, recently went up a gear when it commissioned its most advanced line yet, a Polystar Repro-Flex 100 recycling extrusion system.

Bagman obtained its Waste Licence in early 2019 after a long and expensive process, according to Bagman MD Wouter de Lange, who was at Enviroserv in East London for 15 years up to 2012, when he went solo. At first, the company made carrier bags from 100% recycled plastic but subsequently switched to recycling fulltime in 2013.

The new line has been a revelation for De Lange: “One single operation from raw product to final pelletized stock. Furthermore, apart from being cost effective, the recycled product is exposed to a single heating process, and time exposure to heat is of short duration, ensuring a better quality recycled product,” he commented.

“The focus of our business is two-fold: we need to replace work lost due to load shedding and the lockdown. Secondly, we need to grow and expand our recycling operations to have sufficient work for the new line. We are set up to recycle clean pre-consumer and clean post-industrial material. To date we recycle 36 different grades of polymers.

“We offer a toll recycling service where the generator’s polymers are recycled and returned to the generator for re-use. Alternatively, we buy in scrap material, process and sell elsewhere. We have spare capacity of 120 tons a month,” he added.

“I would be afraid to take a big business step like this if I listened to all the negative politics and issues. We are going ahead, throwing out some of the older technology here, it’s a huge step for me,” said De Lange.

“We have five granulators, two agglomerators, a shredder and two spaghetti line extruders. With the installation of the Polystar, we removed one of the granulators and one agglomerator. Agglomerating is expensive and old technology, however, we find it very useful as a dryer for wet polymers.

“We have another two spare spaghetti line extruders in our warehouse and are retaining these until the opportunity represents to install and commission again. These two lines have a combined capacity of around 130 tons a month.”

Part of the challenge for recyclers in the East London region is the relative decline in the availability of raw stock as well as a decline in the demand for recycled polymers in SA. Some selling prices have also decreased due to external factors.

“We need more raw stock which we believe is available, and then to expand our toll processing business. We have taken the first step of 15 ton for alternative technology, and it’s looking very positive and very exciting” added De Lange.

Bagman also compounds materials to customer specs, currently doing colour batching of PC, PP, LLDPE and ASA.

Bagman: 072 705 8597,