The European Plastics Converters Association, together with the German association for plastic packaging Industrievereinigung Kunststoff-verpackungen, is organizing its annual conference under the theme A Circular Future with Plastics on the 13-14 June 2019 in Berlin.
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Plastics and rubber
The PlastiCircle and ICLEI (Local Governments for Sustainability) will host a special conference on the circularity of plastics in European cities on 16 May 2019. Through panel sessions and interactive parallel workshops, this conference aims to stimulate innovations in order to tackle plastic waste in Europe’s urban areas.
The Which sustainable future for plastic? conference, to be held in Brussels on 21 March, aims to stimulate the debate on the way plastic is produced, used and discarded.
Polyolefin Circular Economy Platform
The Polyolefin Circular Economy Platform (PCEP) is a European joint industry value chain initiative, founded by two plastics industry associations (EuPC and PlasticsEurope) in order to advance the circular economy by increasing the reuse and recycling of polyolefin-based products and the use of recyclates as raw material.
Polyofelins are the most widely used family of plastics. They are present in every day life and are fully recyclable. Their main products are high, low and linear low density polyethylene (HDPE, LDPE, LLDPE) and polypropylene (PP). Polyethylene (PE) and PP represent close to 50% of the total European plastic production and are largely utilized in various plastic applications.
PCEP recognises that a business-as-usual approach will not enable the proposed challenging target of 55% plastic packaging "preparing for re-use and recycling” by 2025, as outlined in the European Commission’s Circular Economy Package, so the platform will be working for a 5-10 year horizon based on effective, science-based solutions. It will initially focus on polyolefin-based packaging as it represents the application segment where highest quantities of valuable recycled raw materials can be generated.
PCEP is developing activities in the following areas of work:
- Development of packaging design guidelines and assessment.
- Innovation to increase the recyclability of flexible and rigid packaging.
- EU-wide quality standards for sorted plastics, harmonisation of test methods for recycled plastic materials and certification of plastic recycling operations.
- Innovation & development of end-use markets to encourage demand for recycled plastics.
- Stimulating innovation to improve mechanical recycling, conversion technologies and reuse.
- Driving the R&D of new technologies to convert non-mechanically recyclable plastics into feedstock for the production of new materials.
Start-up of a microalgae-based treatment system within the biorefinery concept: from wastewater to bioproducts
Within the European project INCOVER, an experimental plant uses low-energy photobioreactors to cultivate micro-algae and transform wastewater into bioproducts.
This article describes this new experimental plant and the start-up stage, starting from the new design of three semi-closed horizontal photobioreactors with low energy requirements, for microalgae cultivation (30 m3 total), using agricultural runoff and urban wastewater as feedstock.
The inflow nutrients concentration is adjusted to select cyanobacteria, microalgae able to accumulate polyhydroxybutyrates, which can be used for bioplastics production. Part of the harvested biomass is used as substrate for anaerobic co-digestion (AcoD) with secondary sludge to obtain biogas. This biogas is then cleaned in an absorption column to reach methane concentration up to 99%. The digestate from the AcoD is further processed in sludge wetlands for stabilization and biofertilizer production.
On the other hand, treated water undergoes ultrafiltration and disinfection through a solar-driven process, then it is pumped through absorption materials to recover nutrients, and eventually applied in an agricultural field to grow energy crops by means of a smart irrigation system. This plant presents a sustainable approach for wastewater management, which can be seen as a resource recovery process, more than a waste treatment.
MaterialDistrict: a unique match-making platform for innovative materials
MaterialDistrict is a unique platform for innovative materials which empowers global innovation by match-making material needs with material solutions in the name of circularity. R&D and design professionals of all industrial sectors use this platform to discover new material solutions daily via MaterialDistrict's independent collection of materials, annually at MaterialDistrict Rotterdam and periodically throughout the year with travelling MaterialDistrict Expo, MaterialDistrict Talks and MaterialDistrict Pop-Up events.
The European Recycling Industries’ Confederation will hold its annual conference, entitled Implementing Circular Value Chains, in Brussels on 13 March 2019.
Use of recycled plastic material (rPM) in North West Europe is homogeneously low. In packaging and building, the highest plastic-consuming sectors, only 8% of plastic employed is recyclate (Plastics Europe 2016). This is often due to the lack of information on purity and composition of recycled plastics. The Interreg NWE research project Di-Plast develops digital technology to enable complete documentation and quality assurance of recycled plastic material flows.
The LIFE EPS SURE project aims to offer a technically, environmentally and economically viable solution that allows EPS fish boxes to be collected, washed and converted into new PS food contact packaging, thus closing the loop.
This event organised by the Aldersgate Group will debate the progress made over the last five years on the circular economy and plastics agenda, how to ensure that momentum continues, and what should be key priorities for European policy makers after the European elections and change of Commission.
Circular Economy Platform of Ports (LOOP-Ports)
LOOP-Ports aims to facilitate the transition to a more circular economy in the port sector, providing an innovation ecosystem around port activity fostering circular economy initiatives, and facilitating the exchange of experiences and good practices. This network will focus on high-emitting materials, mainly metals, plastics, cements and biomaterials and has begun the following activities:
- Compilation of a wide range of examples of circular economy activities already implemented in the port sector at EU level as well as some additional best practices around the world;
- Analysis of the main drivers (legal, policy, finance, market structures,...) to identify the opportunities for intervention and to formulate specific recommendations in order to boost the development of circular economy activities in port ecosystems;
- Preparation of tailored training materials and development of training pilots to improve skills, knowledge and innovation capacities both within and among different port clusters;
- Establishment of a database with all the information collected from the EU ports (following the variables considered relevant to map EU ports in terms of circular economy);
- Developing a web tool for circular economy showing project results, enabling the exchange of information among the members of the network, stakeholders and the general public;
- Creation of a pan-EU network of ports focused on circular economy activities, including workshops/roundtables with stakeholders to gather interests, points of view and expectations;
- Development of business models - real-use cases selected during the project - analysing their replicability in other ports with similar characteristics.
All port stakeholders are welcome to join the Circular Economy Network of Ports, which is funded by the EIT under its Climate-KIC Programme.
Polish Circular Hotspot
The Polish Circular Hotspot is a public-private platform bringing together national and local government bodies with businesses, entrepreneurs, the scientific community and civil society to jointly develop and apply the concept of a circular economy in Poland.
The hotspot has begun the following activities to develop and implement circular innovations:
organising events (sectoral, regional, national) to analyse specific problems and legislative issues such as workshops on circular procurement for public agencies
assisting with drafting strategies and roadmaps while supporting the establishment of sectoral partnerships for practical circular solutions
networking businesses to exchange knowledge, showcase innovations and connecting Polish entrepreneurs with partners abroad, e.g. through study visits and B2B monitoring sessions with the support of the Dutch, Swedish, German, French and Danish Embassies.
educating those interested in the circular economy concept, for example by organising the national educational campaign ‘Polish Circular Week’
Becoming a member of the Polish Circular Hotspot enables you to work with Polish and foreign partners in building innovative solutions and exchanging best practice across sectors. The hotspot also provides its members with opportunities to shape the debate on emerging circular economy legislation and collaborate in funding projects through partnerships.
We produce EcoAllene, an innovative new material (group of materials) made from recycling polylaminated waste, i.e. made of a plastic layer and a metal layer.
Ecoplasteam is launching the construction of several different production plants across the World, in response to the ease in which EcoAllene can enter the market.
Ecopneus is a non-profit consortium company consisting of the largest tyre manufacturers in Italy. It currently handles 70% of the tyres that reach the end of their life-cycles.
Ecoplasteam has created a new plastic material - EcoAllene™ - integrally recycled, this material contains two of the three layers - paper, polyethylene and aluminium - of "tetrapak" packaging.
By experimenting with recycled water bottles as material for internal components, Océ discovered the drivers and barriers to using recycled plastic in manufacturing
In designing the varioPrint 135, Océ partnered with the Netherlands Enterprise Agency and Philips to experiment with the use of recycled plastic in the production of industrial printers. Building on Océ's adoption of longevity and reuse principles in design, the company has made a further step towards circular economy and succeeded in developing an internal component that contains at least 30% post-consumer recycled polycarbonate from used 5 gallon water bottles.
Documento de Posición: La Estrategia Europea sobre los Plásticos y la Propuesta de Directiva relativa a la reducción del impacto ambiental de determinados productos de plástico
Fundación para la Economía Circular (FEC) Position Paper on EU Plastics Initiatives
In this position paper, the Spanish Fondacion para la Economia Circular (Foundation for the Circular Economy), summarises the policy initiatives on plastics published by the European Commission in 2018, which includes both the Strategy for Plastics in a Circular Economy and the Proposal for a Directive on the reduction of the impact of certain plastic products on the environment.
Outlining its position, FEC argues that:
- the plastics strategy is based on ambiguous definitions
- rigorous implementation of existing legal obligations in relation to plastics is a priority
- concrete measures reducing single-use plastics require greater precision
- a coherent policy framework for reducing microplastic is also necessary
- uptake & depth of quality standards and technological verification should be improved
- demand-side measures must be developed to stimulate th euptake of recycled plastics
- a New Plastics Economy requires global action & cooperation
SYAT 2018 - "Ship & Yacht Advanced Technology"- will take place in Grado (Italy) on 22 and 23 November 2018. EESC member Antonello Pezzini will participate in the workshop devoted to Circular economy.
For more information and registration click here.
Examining the role of selective waste collection in a CE by focusing on two different waste streams (plastics and bio-waste) while also granting consideration to the future of highly selective collection streams.
Panel discussions around tools and methodologies to assess the impact of marine litter and to address the issue of circular economy and sustainable tourism in islands.
In the near future the elastomers industry will be facing changes due to the transition to a sustainable and circular economy, which will be addressed during ACI’s 6th World Elastomer Summit.