We were very pleased with the attendance of and input to our first Transform-CE webinar on ‘Transform Single-use Plastic Waste into Valuable Products’ on 4 November. We welcomed 61 online guests from all over the world, 172 persons registered, and discussed new additive manufacturing and intrusion-extrusion moulding technologies. They could see how these technologies have already been used to turn common plastic waste into items ranging from outdoor furniture to a whole house. While open to anyone interested in recycling, the webinar’s main target groups were businesses, manufacturers and government authorities. They could see for themselves that transforming single-use plastic waste into valuable products is both feasible and viable.
The webinar was hosted by David Greenfield of Social, Environmental & Economic Solutions (SOENECS) who was joined by representatives from the Interreg NW Europe funded TRANSFORM-CE project partners Rhiannon Hunt of Manchester Metropolitan University (UK), Bram Peters and Stefan Schoegje of Save Plastics (NL) and Evert-Jan Velzing of the Utrecht University of Applied Sciences (NL). They made it a productive, positive and joyful event.
Potential for businesses
Everyone who attended was interested in reusing plastic and creating a circular economy. Europe alone manufactures millions of plastic items every year, but hardly uses any recycled plastic in the process. This is far from ideal given that the demand for plastic feedstock is rising and half the plastic waste collected for recycling is exported outside Europe for processing. Apart from the benefits to the environment and human health, reusing plastic waste would bring economic benefits to businesses, municipalities and many other stakeholders. There is thus great potential for businesses to adopt these technologies and make a strong business case for the production of all sorts of goods such as roof tiles or 3D printed components and transition to a circular economy business model.
Launch of business support programme
To help businesses in this journey, the TRANSFORM-CE project will soon launch a business support programme. It will support small and medium sized enterprises build strong business cases for adopting the new additive manufacturing and intrusion-extrusion moulding technologies and see the benefits of being involved in TRANSFORM-CE. The market for items such as street furniture, roof tiles, modular housing, decking and so on is already there, the task now is to meet that demand using recyclates. Transform-CE expects that at a certain point, the market for recyclates in North West Europe will be strong enough that businesses no longer need to import primary resources and feedstock. They will then also be less dependent on acquisition across the globe and on shipping and transport.
Transform-CE is: giving value to disposable plastics; stimulating demand for recycled products; creating a new circular economy; and reducing the large environmental and health impacts throughout the plastics production chain. Everyone benefits.
We are pleased to see that Save Plastics and Manchester Metropolitan University are already receiving emails asking for information. We would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who attended and we hope that they found it as useful as we did. We are already looking forward to the next webinar on 17th March 2022!
If you are interested in joining the project, contact: firstname.lastname@example.org