The European Union manufactures millions of plastic products each year, however, only a fraction of these are made using recycled plastic. Even more surprising, half of the plastic waste collected for recycling is exported outside the EU for processing. The EU plastics industry is thereby losing valuable potential raw materials at a time when demand is increasing. In recognition of this, as well as the possible environmental and social benefits, TRANSFORM-CE brings together four North West European countries to develop innovative solutions for recycling these materials into new products for a circular economy.
Transforming local plastic waste into raw materials for new products
TRANSFORM-CE is using two innovative technologies to create new products from single use plastic waste – additive manufacturing (AM) and intrusion-extrusion moulding (IEM). To support this, an R&D Centre (UK) and Prototyping Unit (BE) have been set up to develop and scale the production of recycled filaments for AM, whilst an Intrusion-Extrusion Moulding Facility, the Green Plastic Factoryhas been established in the NL to expand the range of products manufactured using IEM. Businesses are being encouraged to take up these technologies and recycled materials, and to develop new products and circular business models, through TRANSFORM-CE’s business support package. This includes the provision of sample filaments, as well as help with product design, prototyping, business model innovation, material analysis and product testing. Through this, and the project’s business support and outreach activities, TRANSFORM-CE is demonstrating the potential value of single use plastic waste, the possibilities for recycling it into new products, and a scalable model for widespread uptake across North West Europe.
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