Polymer products have transformed society. Some of their many uses include construction, food preservation, healthcare, water distribution and sanitation. They are crucial in saving energy through their light weight and insulating properties. As a result the European polymer processing industry is of strategic importance to Europe. However, increasing feedstock prices seriously affect the competitiveness of EU plastic converters. Rising costs can no longer be effectively mitigated by increased productivity and cost cutting. Instead we MUST focus on higher value added products and increase our use of recycled plastics. Although 50% of Europe’s plastics waste is recovered, only 7% is converted into usable products. This is because it is often technically difficult and uneconomic to separate mixed waste streams, secondly mixed plastics cannot be processed by conventional technology and thirdly, phase separation often results in poor mechanical properties. If it were possible to increase the utility of mixed waste plastics this would significantly benefit European polymer converters, recyclers and minimise material going to landfill. The EuPR and EuPC represent over 50,000 of Europe’s polymer converters and recyclers and propose to develop a process that will enable the production of medium-to-high value products containing up to 98% mixed waste plastic. The project will focus on advancements in moulding and material technology, application of reinforcements and development of a design tool that will enable the European industry to engineer pioneering products using mixed plastic waste streams. The production process will reduce our member’s material costs by up to 50% and contribute to enabling EU industries to comply with the WEEE, WFD and EC Packing Waste Legislation. Substituting virgin polymer for mixed recyclate over 10 years, will divert 2178 million tonnes of waste from landfill and reduce CO2 emissions by 6209 tonnes.
Field of science
- /social sciences/economics and business/economics/production economics/productivity
Call for proposal
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Funding SchemeBSG-SME-AG - Research for SME associations/groupings
BA6 8BQ Glastonbury