In 2016 Europe generated for about 27.1 million tonnes of plastic post-consumer waste of which only 31.1% was recycled. 41.6% of this plastic stream was recovered through energy-from-waste, while 27.3% still ended up in landfill. In addition, at least 8 million tonnes of plastic leaks into ocean each year all over the world It is therefore necessary to create an effective after-use economy in order to drastically improve the recycling rates.
The effectiveness of the after-use economy will depend on the capacity of all recycled materials to satisfy the requirements of added value applications, as well as to articulate constant flows of high quality recyclates. In recent decades, there has been much research into innovative methodologies & approaches, allowing to improve and homogenise the quality of recycled materials, but much remains to be done for the market uptake of these promising technologies.
In this sense CEPLAFIB aims to orchestrate a new circular economy in which recycled postconsumer plastic will be reinforced with reclaimed pulp fibers, obtained from wasted newsprint paper, to improve their performance and to stabilize the recycling flows for their direct use in mass application sectors.
CEPLAFIB will demonstrate:
- The cost-effective integration of re-claimed fibres in recycled PP & HDPE to increase the tensile module & yield stress up to 300% of initial value.
- The feasibility of processing of recycled fibre reinforced material through the most extended manufacturing technologies (thermoforming & injection moulding).
- The viability (same performance, same cost, same consumer desirability) of the utilisation of new recycled materials in three mass applications (packaging, automotive & construction).
- The replicability of project results with other recycled flows (LDPE), transformation processes (blown film extrusion) & applications (films – flexible packaging).
- The transferability of project results to other regions (Poland, Germany, Italy) & sectors (building, household appliances).
CEPLAFIB will increase the public and industrial awareness about the implementation of circular economy among different sectors, by demonstrating that recycled rate can be increased by 40% and the greenhouse emissions can be reduced by 40%, when comparing current recycling activities.
Therefore, CEPLAFIB will generate public and stakeholder support of Union policy-making in the field of environment. In special in the objectives related to reduce landfilling of municipal waste to a minimum by 2030 and towards circular economy.
Ecopulp Finland's role in the project
- The development of a new recycling process that allows the production of a specialty pulp that can be subsequently converted into MFC with minimum energy input.
- The testing and up-scaling of the solutions resulting from such operations.
INNOBITE contributes to the development of sustainable consumption and production patterns through the development of new technological solutions based on the efficient use of natural resources. The INNOBITE project will transform urban and agricultural residues into high performing, resource efficient products for the emerging Green Construction sector. The project is supported by two innovative ideas:
(1) Adding value to the inorganic fraction of wheat straw.
(2) Obtaining cellulose nanofibres (MFC) out of highly recycled paper.
Once isolated via environmentally friendly processes, these two renewable compounds will be used as high-performance additives providing unique properties to a new series of biocomposites for use in construction applications.