PLASTICIRCLE - Improvement of the plastic
packaging waste chain from a circular economy approach
The PlasticCircle project will rethink the different phases involved in
transforming plastic waste into valuable products: from the development of
smart containers for separate waste collection to the improvement of transport
routes and sorting technologies. The overall aim is to achieve recovery within
the same value chain by applying innovative approach in each stage of the
The first step will consist of developing an innovative collection system
able to identify the quantity and quality of packaging deposited in the
containers by each citizen which will help implement a system of incentives.
The idea is to encourage better separation of plastic waste and to reduce the
amount of mixed waste that is generated.
The second action will focus on the transport phase, decreasing the final
price of recovered plastic by saving fuel and transport costs from
municipalities to sorting plants. A sensor which indicates how full waste
containers are will update truck routes in real time, and a waste compactor
installed on-board will maximize the amount of waste transported per route.
Operators will also be trained to drive efficiently.
The third step will enhance sorting technologies
to achieve a better separation of different types of plastic in treatment
plants, including multilayer and multi-material packaging, since plastics can
be only recycled if separated correctly.
The last step will see the reprocessing of these
materials into products like automotive parts, foam boards for wind turbines
and roofing structures, garbage bags, asphalt, fences and benches - based on
extrusion, injection and compression moulding - thereby closing the plastic
In order to test the innovative approaches, pilot actions in the cities of
Utrecht (Netherlands), Valencia (Spain) and Alba Iulia (Romania) will be
carried out. PlastiCircle will also define business plans and promote market
uptake of the proposed solutions through training and awareness-raising
activities for citizens, institutions and private companies.
It is expected that the project outcomes will support the achievement of EU
targets, such as the goal to recycle 75% of packaging waste by 2030, and
ultimately benefit society.
The official start of the project was on 01.06.2017
and will last until June 2021. The Project Coordinator is Instituto Tecnológico
del Embalaje, Transporte y Logística (ITENE) from Spain, with the help of a
consortium of nineteen project partners from
nine EU countries (Slovenia, Germany, Belgium, United Kingdom, Spain, Italy, Romania, Netherlands,
The PlasticCircle project is financed by the European
Union funding Programme Horizon 2020. The total project budget is EUR
8,674,540.89, from which EUR 7,774,016.75 provided by the Programme Horizon
2020 and the rest of the funds provided by project beneficiaries.
The Municipality of Velenje is a one of the project
beneficiaries in a role of a follower, which means that we will share and
disseminate the gained experience of the PlastiCircle project on the plastic