Project Summary

Single use plastic (SUP) causes enormous pollution in our environment: 8 Mt/yr SUP leaks into our oceans ending up as microplastics affecting our ecosystems. NWE generates the biggest source of SUP (40% of Europe). Uptake for recycled content in new plastic products is low. In 2016 EU plastic production was 60MT and only 8MT was collected for recycling. EU plastic industry relies upon imported virgin plastic. Supply from recycled SUP could meet this demand. Plastic export ban to China (2018) meant demand for recycled plastic dropped.

In response high levels of SUP are sent to Energy-from-Waste (EfW)/Landfill. There is urgency for NWE to develop its own plastic recycling economy to reduce reliance on import markets, to repurpose, revalue existing SUP, creating demand for recycled products, diverting valuable plastic away from EfW/Landfill. TRANSFORM-CE uses all types of SUP: low valued plastics such as foils i.e. thin packaging films into moulded products using intrusion-extrusion moulding (IEM); higher valued plastics i.e. pre-sorted drinks/cleaning bottles into Additively Manufactured (AM) products, providing businesses with an alternative to virgin plastic feedstock, creating demand for reuse, invigorating market uptake of recycled plastic into new products, supporting business to adopt Circular Economy models.

Pilot investments provide scalability of technology to stimulate new secondary material markets across NWE for re-manufacturing demonstrating that municipal waste plastic can be re-purposed/revalued with estimated diversion of 2580t plastic over 3 yrs. Pilots provide dual options for diversion ensuring that manufactured product uptake is across a range of simple/complex product designs. AM provides opportunity for integration into complex products, IEM provides opportunity for simpler single unit designs. Long-term uptake through scaling up of the technology with industry investment, potential to divert ~55 Mt in 10 years.

Project Partners

Lead partner

Organisation Address Email Website
Manchester Metropolitan University Chester street
Manchester
M1 5GD
United Kingdom
c.banks@mmu.ac.uk www.mmu.ac.uk
Name Contact Name Email Country
Materia Nova Olivier Talon Belgium
Social Environmental and Economic Solutions (SOENECS) Ltd David Greenfield United Kingdom
Gemeente Almere Johan Luiks Netherlands
Save Plastics Bram Peters Netherlands
Technische Universiteit Delft Zjenja Doubrovski Netherlands
Hogeschool Utrecht Martijn Rietbergen Netherlands
Hochschule Trier Umwelt-Campus Birkenfeld Institut für angewandtes Stoffstrommanagement (IfaS) Ulrike Kirschnick Germany
bCircular GmbH Tobias Gruben Germany
Viridor Waste Management Limited Marcus Du Pree Thomas United Kingdom

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