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6 Conditions for Chemical Recycling

Publication Date: 
December, 2021

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Recycling is key for the circular economy. Chemical recycling could one day become a trouble-shooter solution for any remaining unrecyclable applications and replace incineration. However, it is not yet a sustainable technology. - the European Sustainable Business Federation - has concerns about linear economy lock-ins, high CO2 emissions, competition with mechanical recycling, lack of scale, low quality, toxic residues, and large investments being drawn away from SMEs going circular.

Therefore it advocates to support the development of chemical recycling only if:

  1. net-carbon positive,
  2. used for otherwise unrecyclable residues,
  3. with maximum quality,
  4. scalable,
  5. at costs reflecting the waste hierarchy, and
  6. matched by equal support for SMEs on circular design.