For the transition to a circular plastic chain, the Netherlands aims that more than 50 per cent of all plastic consists of recycled material by 2030. We still have a long way to go
Our experience with recycled plastics
The goal of the Netherlands is to have reduced the use of raw materials by 50% by 2030. For rubber and plastics, this is further elaborated in the ‘Transition Agenda Plastics’. In concrete terms, this transition to a circular plastics chain means that by 2030 1,000 ktonnes of recycled plastics is used, of which 750 ktonnes will consist of mechanically recycled plastics and 250 ktonnes of chemically recycled plastics. In addition, 370 ktonnes tons of bio-based raw materials will be used.
We still have a long way to go. In 2016, recycled plastics represented 12% of the raw material used for plastic products in the Netherlands, and 15%.in 2019. This clearly shows that with a growth of only a 1% per year additional measures and actions are needed to achieve the ambition of over 40% use of recycled plastics by 2030.
In the Transition Agenda Plastics, four development directions are elaborated:
- Prevention: more with less and the avoidance of leakage
- Increased supply and demand of renewable plastics
- Better quality, more environmental efficiency
- Strategic (chain) cooperation
The Dutch company Partners for Innovation is active in all these areas, and involved in several projects, to further increase and encourage the use of recycled plastics, together with the parties in the chain.
Action plan ‘Increasing the use of recycled plastics’
Together with representatives from the plastics sector we have drawn up the ‘Action Plan ‘Increasing the use of recycled plastics’, under the direction of a special Plastics Transition Team and with input of many companies in the plastics chain, NGOs, knowledge institutions and governments. It is intended to ensure coherence between the many initiatives. At the same time, the Plan underlines the need of additional actions to achieve a circular plastic chain.
Regional transition agenda for plastics – Overijssel
Overijssel is actively engaging in working towards a circular plastic chain. The transition is intended to offer opportunities for companies in the region, however, technical, social, and economic innovations are needed to be able to benefit from them. Partners for Innovation assisted the province in drafting the ‘‘Regional Transition Agenda for Plastics’*.
Dutch Circular Polymer Valley
The Zwolle region is a hotspot for circular plastics. Due to the extensive rubber and plastics processing industry, educational and knowledge institutions, and the Polymer Science Park, the region plays an important role in closing the plastics cycle. The initiative Dutch Circular Polymer Valley’* was launched to realise this ambition. At Partners for Innovation, we support municipalities, the province, and companies in purchasing and developing products for the public space, made from recycled plastics.
Standard for recycled plastics in vacuum cleaners
Leading manufacturers of household appliances and plastics recyclers are working together to increase the use of recycled plastics in electrical appliances. The joint development of a standard for recycled plastics for the bottom plate of vacuum cleaners is a crucial step towards a wider and more efficient use of recycled plastics. This standardisation project is part of RE-CET, a project group in which brand owners and recyclers work together in pilot projects to increase the use of recycled plastics in electronic devices. Partners for Innovation is one of the initiators, and supervisor, of this RE-CET project.
Circular use of flexible PVC
The chain project ‘Circular use of flexible PVC’* aims to develop, in the short term, high-quality products in which recycled PVC can be used with the available recycling technology. For the longer term, the objective is to further optimise and commercialise the recycling technology. Our task, at Partners for Innovation, is to coordinate the collaboration and supervise the process.
Recycled plastics made from packaging material
How can demand and supply of recycled plastic packaging materials been better matched? On behalf of Rijkswaterstaat and the KIDV, and in collaboration with Rebel, we analysed the current market of plastics and the possible outlets for recycled plastics.
Plastic packaging material as raw material – Road gullies
Every 25 metres in the street road gullies are placed to collect rainwater. Within the programme ‘Kunststof Verpakkingsafval als Grondstof’ (plastic packaging waste as raw material)*, a pilot project supervised by Partners for Innovation, showed the possibility of using packaging waste to produce plastic gullies, provided that they meet the specified and strict requirements. This offers opportunities for using this material in other products that should comply with similar high-quality standards.
MJA chain project– TUB and trays
A group of companies in the plastics sector, together with Vanderlande, producer of baggage and sorting systems developed two circular products: the TUB and a tray of recycled plastic. This chain project took place within the Dutch convenant ‘Multi-Annual Agreement on energy efficieny’ (MJA)* lead by the Dutch Federation of the Rubber and Plastics Industry (NRK), with Partners for Innovation performing the role of project manager.
Guidelines for designing with recycled plastics
The manual ‘Guidelines Designing with recycled plastics’ is intended to share the knowledge of frontrunners regarding the use of recycled plastics in injection-moulded products with other market players. Partners for Innovation was initiator of this project and took care of the implementation, in cooperation with Philips*. In addition, together with Philips and NRK, the webinar ‘Designing with recycled plastics’* was organised.
Showcases of products containing circular plastics
The case guide ‘Designing with recycled plastics’ provides examples of 6 leaders from Dutch industry regarding the use of recycled plastics, also resulting in video showcases.
Within the programme CIRCO training courses (one- and three-day) are organised, helping companies to actively start designing and using circular business models. They learn how to set-up a facilitated designing process, by sharing knowledge, providing tools, and through interaction with other companies and designers, with a circular plastic chain as one of the spearheads. At CIRCO, we perform the functions of sector coordinator for plastics and trainer.
CIRCO regularly organises chain tracks on circular plastics, for example in the sector of ornamental horticulture, hospitals & healthcare, cleaning, and related to the subject of recycled plastics or single-use plastics*.
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