New Roads for plastics

A JakajimaTV interview with Karl Vrancken, Research Manager Sustainable Materials, VITO / Professor, University of Antwerp

Europe is at a crossroads for the way it manages plastic, plastic waste, and plastic waste trade. Plastic and plastic waste is traded worldwide.

Exports from the EU to Asia have been a means to deal with insufficient recycling capacities in the EU. Waste import restrictions in China and Hong Kong have triggered a shift of exports to other countries.

Since some types of plastic waste have been added to the UN Basel Convention, the option of exporting plastic waste is becoming increasingly difficult, requiring to build a more robust and circular economy for plastic in Europe.

This triggers the need for expanding the existing recycling capacity with new chemical recycling processes. The challenge is to develop value chains such that this new capacity will be complementary to the existing mechanical recycling processes, and allow to reach the recycling goals put forward be the European Circular Economy Action Plan.

Karl Vrancken shares his vision on recycling in this video

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Karl Vrancken will speak at the Plastic Waste 2 Plastic Conference. This conference is all about turning waste plastic via pyrolysis /chemical recycling into new plastics competing with plastics made from virgin fossil oil. This requires that current recycling value chains change to a new sustainable ecosystem. As a result the creation of innovative new ecosystems will be a challenge with so many new and existing stakeholders.