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Water based process for the delaminating and deinking of surface printed plastic

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - PLASTDEINK (Water based process for the delaminating and deinking of surface printed plastic)

Reporting period: 2020-09-01 to 2021-08-31

Since 1950s more than 8.3 billion tonnes of plastics have been produced worldwide (348 million in 2017 ). From this, almost 80% have been landfilled or leaked into the ocean increasing more and more the negative environmental impact (leachate and greenhouse gases). Currently, more than a quarter of the plastic production is packaging, growing 5% per year, which only 14% is recycled while the rest is incinerated (14%), leakage into the environment (32%) and landfilled (40%).
Plastdeink has born to solve the main recycling problems that affects the EU since the last decades:
- Multilayer plastic is not recyclable
- Inked recycled plastic packaging goes to downcycling
- Post-industrial plastic never end in the market
Plastdeink is a unique technology able to delaminate and deink laminated and surface-printed film. CADEL DEINKING (a technology-based SME founded in 2014) has developed an innovative, environmentally friendly and low-cost process to delaminate & deink printed plastic scraps.
Plastic (delaminated and deinked) obtained with this process has a similar quality to virgin plastic, what converts it in a high value product for several applications. The product obtained with Plastdeink is a 45% cheaper than virgin plastic.
CADEL´s proposal has the objective to contribute to a real Circular Economy in the frame of EU plastic waste policy for mono and multi-material flexible packaging.
CADEL´s delaminated & deinked technology is an important breakthrough for the plastic industry. Plastdeink represents a business opportunity to our potential customers: the process removes inked, odours and delaminate in one step to reintroduce the plastic into high-added value applications.
- Plastic converters will be able to use their own plastic scraps, instead of buying new virgin plastic (so much expensive)
- Plastic recyclers will be able to produce high value-added plastic at a low production cost.

The overall objectives of the project are:
- Complete design of the 250 kg/h demonstration plant
- 250 kg/hdemonstration plant installed and engineering of the industrial plant ready
- Definition of CADEL product and service portfolio, contracts, management of IPR and certification of PLASTDEINK processes/products
- Exploitation strategy organization to be ready to reach the market after finishing phase 2 project
- Validation of delaminating and deinking technology at pre-industrial conditions with different types of plastics (LDPE, HDPE, PP and PS)
The main objective of the project was to develop and implement a business model and a value proposition that allows a successful penetration of an innovative process for the delaminating and deinking of multi-material surface-printed plastic film. PLASTDEINK technology was developed to boost the upcycling process in plastics, contributing for a real circular economy. For that end, during the the project, CADEL has developed the following activities:
- Deinking and delaminating optimization in pilot plant (WP1)
- Compact design of the demonstration plant (WP2)
- SCADA automation of the demonstration plant (WP2)
- Installation setting up, operation and evaluation of the demonstration plant (WP3)
- PLASTDEINK process validation in the demonstration plant (WP3)
- Engineering of the industrial plant (WP3)
- Company services, legal issues and contracts management (WP4)
- IPR management, patentability analysis and knowledge protection (WP4-5)
- Management of the certification process of the technology (WP4)
- Sales model (WP5)
- Business plan (WP5)
- Communication and dissemination activities (WP5)
- Project coordination and administrative/financial management (WP6)

At the end of the project, CADEL has achieved successfully all the objectives planned for the project, reaching the following results:
- Complete deinking and delaminating demonstrative plant installed, optimized, automatized and validated
- Engineering of the deinking and delaminating industrial plant ready
- Deinking and delaminating process validated at pre-industrial conditions with different type of plastics and different potential customers
- Definition of CADEL product and service portfolio, contracts, management of IPR and certification of PLASTDEINK process

Concerning the exploitation and dissemination of the results, CADEL has slightly changed the plan for dissemination of results due to coronavirus disease pandemic (COVID-19). Attendance to fairs, congresses and events planned were canceled, postponed, or realized through online channels. However, excellent results have been obtained thanks to the mitigation measures carried out, and the company could validate the technology and the market interest through other channels (online, press releases, online fairs and events, calls with potential customers, etc.)
CADEL’s process for the delaminating and deinking of surface-printed multilayer plastic film has yielded premium-quality deinked film at a low cost. Clear improvements are observed in comparison with other delaminating and deinking processes under development, which are based on solvents and surfactants, and provide a clear opportunity to industrialize the process. In addition, CADEL has developed a new technology to delaminate plastic packaging at the same time as deinking process. Plastdeink increase the value of the total process expanding the chance to recover laminated and inked plastic. The goal is to maximise the wide range of possible applications of PLASTDEINK recycled packaging. During the project, challenge tests aims to prove the use of PLASTDEINK for food applications. Up to date there is no solution in the workd able to recycle plastic packaging as the same way as CADEL in terms of costs, sustainability, quality and efficiency. In general, we obtain a meaningful contribution ot reduce the landfilling and incineration environmental damaging as well as to implement a real circular economi within plastics industry and society.