PolyCE partners recognised at Plastics Recycling Show Europe
On December 11th, PolyCE partner Philips won the “Product of the Year” award at the Plastics Recycling Show Europe for their Senseo Viva Café Eco coffee machine. This is the first Philips product made entirely out of recycled plastics.
Jack Hunter explores whether sharing, repairing, reusing and recycling will go truly mainstream after the Covid-19 pandemic.
War, revolution and state failures can sweep away established social norms. Failing systems don’t survive a crisis. New, better-suited ways of doing things were probably there to begin with and quickly become the new normal. We once thought wearing masks in the street was weird. Now we don’t.
Looming behind today’s health crisis are serious system failures linked to the way we consume goods. Put simply, we buy and waste too much and the massive over-exploitation of our planet is going to get really ugly if we don’t change our ways. Happily, less harmful ways of using goods are fast becoming popular. …
From 21st to 24th January 2020, the PolyCE team participated at the 19th International Electronics Recycling Congress IERC 2020 in Salzburg.
On the first day of the IERC congress, the PolyCE team and 25 participants from research and industry came together for an interactive workshop to discuss the challenges and opportunities to recycling of plastics from Waste Electric and Electronic Equipment (WEEE). The main aim was to explain the complexity of recycling of WEEE plastics and show the potential of WEEE recycling optimization. Four working groups brainstormed around the presented approaches in the afternoon session.
Optimized WEEE clustering
Jef Peeters (KU Leuven) and Alessia Accili (ECODOM) showed how innovative WEEE clustering can limit the mixing of difficult to separate and incompatible materials. In this manner the innovative clustering strategies can significantly improve the quality of output materials while enhancing the WEEE plastics recycling rate and limiting the degree of contamination in output streams. …
Gergana Dimitrova, Researcher and Project Manager Fraunhofer Institute for for Reliability and Microintegration IZM
Anton Berwald, Researcher and Project Manager Fraunhofer Institute for for Reliability and Microintegration IZM
Prof. Margaret Bates, Professor of Sustainable Wastes Management University of Northampton — UK
Roberta Bernasconi , EMEA Sustainability Sr Manager Whirlpool EMEA — Italy
Dr. Ruediger Kuehr, Director UNU-SCYCLE — Germany
Prof. Kim Ragaert, Ghent University-CAPTURE, Belgium
Chris Slijkhuis, Commercial General Manager of MGG Polymers — Austria
Classifying WEEE plastics as “hazardous waste” risks making EU recycling of WEEE plastics impossible.
Most of the WEEE plastics are high value tech plastics and technology exists in the EU to produce REACH and RoHS compliant Post-Consumer Recycled plastics and ensure safe plastic recycling. A small proportion of these WEEE plastics is compounded with flame retardant substances. Only a limited number of these Flame Retardants are restricted as Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs). Plastics containing brominated flame retardants can be separated to be discarded, thus destructing and eliminating these POP BFRs. WEEE plastics recycling plants generally do not have permits to take in hazardous wastes and a classification of WEEE plastics in some regions in Europe is hampering the recycling of WEEE plastics. …
European Commission-funded project with UN support urges consumers to favour products containing plastics recycled from electronic waste; Philips and Whirlpool among first firms offering support by designing products to use more recycled plastic, ease plastic reuse at product end-of-life; Most consumers see no difference in quality, appearance, performance
The call is made by PolyCE (for Post-Consumer High-tech Recycled Polymers for a Circular Economy), a multinational consortium led by Fraunhofer IZM and consisting of universities (UN University, Bonn; University of Ghent, Belgium; Technical University Berlin; and University of Northampton, UK), civil society organisations (European Environmental Bureau), and numerous companies — including Philips and Whirlpool. …
The Philips global Headquarter in Amsterdam was the scene of a technical Workshop called “Circular design of electrical and electronic equipment: The post-consumer recycled plastics challenge.”
More than 40 participants, representing the entire electronics value chain in the EU, came together for an interactive workshop to discuss best practice examples for integrating Post-Consumer Recycled (PCR) plastics produced from electronic waste back into aesthetically appealing applications and in products with high requirements on the material properties. …
Authors: Kim Ragaert (Universiteit Gent), Arthur Schwesig (MGG Polymers Austria GmbH), Joost Duflou (KU Leuven), Margaret Bates (University of Northampton), Alberto de Andres Sanchez (Fundacion Tecnalia Research and Innovation), Stephane Arditi (European Environmental Bureau), Gergana Dimitrova (Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft zur Förderung der Angewandten Forschung e.V.), Elena D’Angelo (United Nations University), Violeta Nikolova (United Nations University); Copy Editor: Anna Megdell
Black plastics are commonly believed to represent a problem in Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) recycling because, allegedly, they are “wrongly sorted” and end up in food-contact applications.
However, we, the PolyCE consortium — a Horizon 2020 project whose expertise lies in the development of advanced recycling and recovery solutions for high quality post-consumer recycled (PCR) plastics — propose arguments to counter such claims and offer expertise-based reasoning. …
First PolyCE Academy
The PolyCE Academy events aim to reach university students from industrial design, chemistry, mechanical and environmental engineering programs, presenting concepts of circularity and sustainability. In total, four PolyCE Academies are planned, involving different universities.
The first PolyCE Academy took place on 5 April 2019 at Ghent University. During this event, collaborators from Ghent University, Fraunhofer IZM, Ecodom, and KU Leuven presented different topics addressing the circular economy concept, treatment of electrical-electronic equipment waste (WEEE), recycling operations of WEEE, design guidelines for circular economy, collection methodologies for WEEE materials, plastics recycling policy, industrial examples, and advanced processing operations in plastics recycling.
Over 60 students attended the first PolyCE Academy, providing an excellent opportunity in disseminating the circularity concept and preliminary results of the PolyCE Project. The next PolyCE Academy is planned to be held at Technical University of Berlin (TU Berlin) in 2020.
Identiplast is one of the leading European events focused on the recycling and recovery of used plastics. IdentiPlast 2019 took place on 7 and 8 March 2019 and was organised by Plastics Europe and supported by the British Plastics Federation. Over 340 plastics professionals attended the event, in London’s government quarter, making the conference the largest IdentiPlast ever.
One of the key themes of the event was to ensure that plastics maintains its value at end of life to enable Circular Economy. With this in mind, this year, for the first time they personally invited 5 different organisations to present a poster based on research into the recycling and recovery of plastics. …
From 26–29 November 2018 nine partners of the PolyCE consortium participated at the Going Green CARE Innovation conference in Vienna, Austria. With a wide range of international experts from the industry (> 70%), academia, NGOs and policy makers, the conference gave valuable insights in how the different stakeholders approach the global challenges of circular economy, sustainability and climate change.
In total, the PolyCE project was present with eight contributions covering the entire value chain of plastics recycling from waste electric and electronic equipment (WEEE). The presentations covered both the systemic and the technical dimensions of WEEE plastics recycling. From a systemic perspective, the PolyCE team highlighted current market challenges and showcased several best practice examples of circular business models in the electronics sector. …