EIT Climate-KIC and partners (University of Bologna, Wuppertal Institute, Lund University, Montanuniversität Leoben and Ecomatters) have launched an exciting programme to cut down plastic demand, promoting a more circular approach to plasticbased material systems.
The project aims to explore and use innovative digital tools to improve plastics wasteprevention. This can, for example, include blockchain solutions for improved markettransparency, data analytics for simulation and forecast applications, and cyber physicalsystems for improved reuse and remanufacturing business models.
49 million tons of plastic were used in the EU in 2015 for packaging, building andconstruction, electronics or the automotive industry. Currently, less than 40 per cent arerecycled, more than 30 per cent are incinerated for energy recovery and the remaining arelandfilled.
The quality of recycled plastics is increasing – however, the overall uptake of recycledplastics remains low. Only 6 per cent of new plastic materials come from recycling; 95 percent of the potential economic value in plastic packaging currently goes to waste.
eCircular aims to tackle this issue, enhancing plastic waste prevention by developing andsupporting digital innovations.
Project lead Alberto Bellini, from the University of Bologna, says: “eCircular thrives for radicaldigital innovations for waste prevention and their upscaling. Digital technologies fostertraceability of materials and products, allow for accurate information flows on productqualities and availability, reducing gaps in knowledge and regulation.”
“The programme seeks to strongly contribute to the European strategy for plastics in acircular economy. It gathers and unites the relevant actors on a powerful platform toovercome major barriers, different knowledge bases, and priorities,” says Kirsten Dunlop,CEO at EIT Climate-KIC.
Sira Saccani, EIT Climate KIC’s Director of Sustainable Production Systems, adds that theprogramme “aims to transform the plastics value chain, addressing current structuralinefficiencies through innovative business models & eco-design, as well as supporting theshift to new consumer choices and behaviours.”
eCircular is one of the EIT Climate-KIC’s initiatives on addressing the challenges plasticvalue chains face. EIT Climate-KIC’s ambition is to co-design and launch a series of circulareconomy interventions on cement, plastics and metals value-chains, to achieve its goal ofrecasting material production towards net-zero emissions.
eCircular was launched in May 2018 by EIT Climate-KIC, with research and activities carried out by the University of Bologna (lead organisation), Wuppertal Institute, Lund University, Montanuniversität Leoben, and Ecomatters.
EIT Climate-KIC is contributing by leveraging it innovation network of key stakeholders in the industry to catalyse a change in the system.
For more information please visit:www.climate-kic.org/ecircular