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Are you a start-up or small and medium-sized company in the energy sector? And are you looking for the financing instrument that best suits your company? After several successful editions, together with New Energy Coalition, the Topsector Energy will organize another Masterclass Finance this year on Thursday April 15.

What are the design challenges in making plastic packaging more recyclable? What steps need to be taken to develop better defined sorting streams? Read more about the third conference day of the Circular Plastics Conference 2021 that highlighted innovative technologies in the field of design for recycling and sorting and characterization.  

Once again key players in the field of circular plastics took the stage in two inspiring sessions: Graham Houlder, Project Coordinator & Managing Director at CEFLEX, on the impact of design for recycling, and Martine Brandsma, director of the National Test Centre for Circular Plastics (NTCP) in the Netherlands, about the developments in sorting and characterization. Afterwards participants joined encouraging discussions in virtual meeting rooms.

Impact for each value chain part

Moderator Graham Houlder (CEFLEX) opened the session Design for Recycling by leading the audience through the design challenges in making plastic packaging more recyclable. The importance to start with the end markets in mind was articulated, as this will determine what kind of collection, sort and recycling process needs to be designed.

The first presenter was Clemens Pues from PreZero, a key player in European waste management. Pues explained what the mechanical process – where packaging materials go through – looks like in today’s modern collection, sorting and recycling facilities. He emphasized that with better design for recycling the amount of recycled materials could be increased by 20%.

Clemens Pues

PreZero

Gerald Rebitzer

Amcor

Toon van Harmelen

TNO

Thor Tummers

Unilever

Graham Houlder

CEFLEX

However, to realize the changes needed for brand owners to deliver on their stretching voluntary commitments, collaboration with the whole value chain is essential, argued Thor Tummers (Unilever). Unilever’s goal, to reduce their virgin plastic packaging by 50% by 2025 and use recycled content instead, is fully focused on collaboration. And collaboration is key, which was also illustrated by Gerald Rebitzer from Amcor, Europe’s largest converter of flexible packaging. He showed that guidelines – such as the CEFLEX D4ACE – are critical in realizing a common understanding on issues such as the importance of mono-material flexible packaging to increase recycling, and how they drive innovations.

Toon van Harmelen (TNO) concluded the session and presented on the environmental impact and how the various design elements impact the life cycle assessment (LCA). A lively panel discussion followed on why currently not more materials are being recycled, and, among others, the possibility of a rPP film.

Developments in Sorting and Characterization

Martine Brandsma

NTCP

Marjorie Darcet

Lixo

Lucy van Keulen

Umincorp

This session, led by Martine Brandsma (NTCP), elaborated on new developments in sorting and characterization. It was kicked off with an introduction of the current status of sorting and characterization lines for plastics by Martin Bender from HTP Engineering and the need for more advanced technologies by Dr. Ulphard Thoden van Velzen (Wageningen University & Research). This was followed by three impressive technology pitches:

  • Gian de Belder (Procter&Gamble) presented the watermarking project HolyGrail 2.0, which uses digital watermarks for smart packaging recycling in the EU.
  • Lucy van Keulen (Umincorp) provided insight into the Magnetic Density Separation technology. This particular technology uses ferromagnetic fluid and engineered magnets to recover post-consumer mixed plastics at higher yields and polymer purities than existing sorting technologies.
  • Marjorie Darcet (Lixo) introduced Lixo’s AI supported data platform for waste characterization. Their algorithms analyzes waste flows in real time. As a result, Lixo addresses the waste characterization needs of all players along the value chain.

Martin Bender

HTP Engineering

Ulphard Thoden van Velzen

Wageningen University & Research

Gian de Belder

Proctor&Gamble

Dana Mosora

CEFLEX

A panel discussion provided the opportunity to ask questions to the presenters, but also to discuss the next steps of improving the sorting and characterization process. The 60+ participants eagerly contributed to the discussion. The consensus was clear: new characterization techniques, new data tools and the development of radical new processes are complementary and must be combined to create more, faster and more reliable data moving towards higher recycling percentages. This will result in better defined sorting streams, which can be used in better tailored recycling processes.

The session was concluded by Dana Mosora from CEFLEX, addressing the relevance of working from an end market perspective. She also pointed out the need of all parties working together in the whole value chain and Mosora provided feedback on how this is done within CEFLEX.

Don’t miss out: upcoming sessions and networking at the Circular Plastics Conference 2021

The next conference day takes place on April 8.  Join us for the session Mechanical recycling (including dissolution): food grade focus ahead organized by Jaap den Doelder (TU Eindhoven) or Developing sustainable EPR systems for tomorrow: minimum criteria for circularity organized by Graham Houlder (CEFLEX).

The Circular Plastics Conference 2021 offers a series of online sessions, diving deeper into specific subjects. During the second conference day, there were two parallel sessions that went more into detail about specific aspects that are important in making plastics fully circular. Researchers, regulators as well as key plastic producers took the lead in the sessions. Their main conclusions? The European Union should pick up the ball to implement new regulations. Furthermore, the development and implementation of new technologies still have a long way to go to achieve a fully circular system.

Contaminants determine options for recycling

During the session Thermo chemical depolymerization, the current developments and directions were presented by Kevin van Geem, Full Professor at Ghent University, André Heeres, Professor Biobased Chemistry at Hanze University of Applied Science, Jean- Paul Lange, Principal Research Scientist at Shell, and at last, special guest Walter Kaminsky, the retired professor whose famous research dwells in olefin polymerization and plastic recycling. The session was moderated by Prof. Dr. Sascha Kersten, Full professor Sustainable Process Technology at the Department of Chemical Engineering at the University of Twente.

Speakers session Thermo chemical depolymerization

Kevin van Geem

Ghent University

Jean-Paul Lange

Shell

André Heeres

Hanze

During the panel discussion there was a clear consensus among the speakers that contaminants and how they can be dealt with, will determine the options for recycling all types of different plastics. Additional measures are needed in the pre-processing steps (including design). Research is being conducted into new developments in the separation of contaminants in combination with thermochemical processing and (catalytic) upgrading. The general view was that the development and implementation of technologies, like pyrolysis, are necessary. However, much work remains to be done to achieve a fully circular system.

Regulatory needs vs regulator’s expectations

In the other session the regulator’s perspective on the use and application of recyclates was being connected to regulatory needs in industry. Juan-Manuel Bañez Romera, Sustainability Advocacy Lead at Amcor, lead an active discussion among panel members Silvia Freni Sterrantino, Senior Legal, Regulatory Affairs & Packaging Division Manager at EuPC, Gerard Haagh, Product Manager Food Contact Materials at Triskelion, and Erwin Annys, Head of Unit Support and Enforcement at ECHA. The consensus was that the EU should pick up the ball to ensure a full and harmonized implementation of the regulations. Once Europe adopts effective regulations quickly, the EU can become the frontrunner and most important player in the world when it comes to plastic recycling.

Speakers session Regulatory needs & developments

Silvia Freni Sterrantino

EuPC

Gerard Haagh

Triskelion

Erwin Annys

ECHA

The Circular Plastics Alliance (CPA) will play an important role in providing input from the industry to the European Commision in how to achieve the 10 million tonnes of recycled content. However, there is still work to do in creating consensus around concepts and definitions key for the full circularity of plastics. Moreover, climate neutrality is the overarching goal, and the recycling of plastics is only a small part of it.

Another key conclusion of this session was that companies are turning to chemical recycling options because regulations for mechanical recycling are complex as every new mechanical recycling process needs to have its own permit. In addition, new EU legislation for the use of recycled content for food contact materials (food packaging) is delayed. This all slows down the development of a new plastic value chain. In this context the input from Dr Annys was clear: creating a circular plastics chain cannot go without creating safe plastics recycling. To reach this, chemical recycling would be the preferred option.

Don’t miss out: upcoming sessions and networking at the Circular Plastics Conference 2021

Up until May 20 the Circular Plastics Conference will dive deeper into the different challenges, we face in realizing circularity in plastics, with sessions organized by CEFLEX, PlasticsEurope, TNO and other experts from our community. As the Conference is set in Networkapp, it also offers participants the possibility to network with each other, engage in break-out sessions set up in a virtual network room, visit the digital exhibition and collaborate in formulating the steps forward continuously during the coming months. Join us now!

Lessons learned at the first session of the Circular Plastics Conference 2021

Last week Thursday the first session of the Circular Plastics Conference 2021 took place. Over 100 participants gathered to set the stage for what is to come: the path forward to realize a circular plastic society.

It is of utmost importance that as a society we rethink plastic: it is far too valuable to be treated as waste. It should serve as the feedstock for circularity. Boosting circularity in plastics on an industrial scale is the mission of the Circular Plastics Initiative. By bringing together relevant parties working on circular plastics at the Circular Plastics Conference 2021, the Circular Plastics Initiative aims to unite the community and map the next steps to be taken in realizing this mission.

Setting the stage: starting principles

The Circular Plastics Conference 2021 offers a series of online events, diving deeper into specific subjects. At the first session representatives of the academic world, government and the business world talked about the progress and hurdles they experience and what they need from each other. Dr. Kestutis Sadauskas, Director Circular Economy of the European Commission’s DG Environment, Prof. Kim Ragaert, Circular Plastics professor and Associate Professor Ghent University and Dr. Gerald Rebitzer, Director Sustainability at Amcor gave clear presentations what is done in their field of work and how this should move on. A vivid discussion with the moderator followed, involving the answers the public gave on poll questions and direct questions of participants. A panel discussion concluded this key-note session.

It was striking that panel members and audience all agreed on the following starting principles:

  • It is necessary to make plastics fully circular. We are not moving fast enough: we should talk less and act more.
  • This can only be reached through dedicated collaboration of government, industry and research.
  • We must move to fewer different types of plastic. This is a though challenge, as every type of plastic offers its own unique set of advantages and applications.
  • The big players throughout the value chain need to form a coalition of the willing, take on leadership and work on pre-competitive collaborations.
  • Other key elements are money (especially for waste collection), harmonization and good standards

Speakers at the first session of the Circular Plastics Conference

Circular Plastics Conference 2021 - Keynote speaker - Kestutis Sadauskas - 400x400
Dr. Kestutis Sadauskas
Prof. Kim Ragaert
Dr. Gerald Rebitzer
Dr. Emmo Meijer

Launch of the National Platform Plastics Recyling

The most important take-away is that not technology, but collaboration is the big hurdle to take. For example, design for recycling only makes sense when the entire value chain is set up to recycle different types of plastic.

As the session came to this conclusion, it was just the right time to welcome Emmo Meijer, Chairman of the TopSector Chemistry in The Netherlands, on the digital stage. Dr. Meijer took the opportunity to officially announce the launch of the National Platform Plastics Recycling, a national point of contact, coordination and communication for public-private partnerships within plastics recycling. By mapping the white spots in the current state of the art, new ground-breaking collaborations and an acceleration of scaling up and implementation are within reach throughout the chain. In this Platform the Circular Plastics Initiative will be active by taking on its role in organizing, managing and coordinating projects in a programmatic way.

Don’t miss out: upcoming sessions and networking at the Circular Plastics Conference 2021

Up until May 20 the Circular Plastics Conference will dive deeper into the different challenges we face in realizing circularity in plastics, with sessions organized by CEFLEX, PlasticsEurope, TNO and experts from our community. As the Conference is set in Networkapp, it also offers participants the possibility to network with each other, engage in break-out sessions set up in a network carroussel, visit the digital exhibition and collaborate in formulating the steps forward.

My name is Mohamed Hany Abokersh and I am a Sustainability Analyst holding a PhD in Sustainable Energy and Environmental Engineering from Universitat Rovira i Virgili as a part of Marie-Sklodowska Curie call. Currently, I’m a circular economy analyst in the Institute for Molecules and Materials at Radboud University in collaboration with NTCP. Over the last 6 years, in various capacities with Fraunhofer ISE (Germany), TNO (Netherlands), and SUSCAPE (Spain), I have acquired leveraging skills in Energy planning, Machine Learning, and Circular Economy. I recently joined ISPT’s project Towards improved circularity of polyolefin-based packaging which is the first project of the Circular Plastics Initiative.

My knowledge regarding the project starts from my working period in TNO, where I had the chance to attend a couple seminars regarding the circular economy of municipal waste at TU Delft which contributed to developing clear ideas about the next steps in my career. In an opening call from Radboud University for a Circular Economy Analyst to work in this project, I believed my previous experience and knowledge would perfectly match the project objectives. In addition, the project would be a great asset in building my career as a Sustainability Analyst.

Regarding my expectation for the coming years, I believe his project has the potential to improve the sustainability position of different plastic manufactures shortly. Furthermore, this project and the Circular Plastics Initiative that it is part of, has the possibility to improve the recycling situation in different countries in Europe while attempting the proposed technologies to my original country (Egypt).

Modeling and optimization of renewable energy systems

Aligning with the ambitious EU 2030 climate and energy package for cutting the greenhouse emissions and replacing conventional heat sources through the presence of renewable energy share to achieve net-zero-energy community, the stakeholders at different sectors are facing several technical, economic and environmental issues to meet the EU targets in the near future. In my research, I’m tackling these challenges through using modeling and optimization of renewable energy systems incorporated with machine learning and data analysis to develop Computer-Aided Process Engineering (CAPE) tools. These tools would help in addressing the stakeholder’s challenges, thus contributing to the transition towards a more sustainable future.

Plastic industry

The plastic industry is an important sector of the European economy. The European plastics demand reached above 50 million tonnes in 2018, with packaging, building and construction, and automotive markets being the most dominant ones for plastics. The biggest source of plastic waste is packaging, and consequently, it makes up 62% of all the collected plastic waste in Europe. In this context, the EU proposes a new target of 55% recycling for plastic packaging waste by 2030.

This target will push the European plastics manufacturers to ensure high rates of re-use in the near future. Thus, I found this subject of working in plastic circularity will be a natural path toward developing my career as substantiality analyst since it will serve the current market demand. Furthermore, it will give me an opportunity to contribute towards the EU targets to build a sustainable future for next generations.

Source of inspiration

My country Egypt has a huge plastic waste problem, with at least 970,000 tons of plastic waste produced annually. The plastic pollution primarily affects tourism, maritime trade and fisheries sectors, which are important to the Egyptian economy. More worrisome; however, seabirds and many marine species are highly vulnerable to the waste, posing both an ecological and human threat, given that fish that eat harmful plastics are consumed by humans. During my master studies at the American University in Cairo, I got an opportunity to volunteer at a governmental initiative to collect waste and clean up the Nile River from plastics. Within the first week of working, I was so surprised. The Nile river is extremely polluted with plastics, especially due to the limited efficient recycling techniques in the Egyptian market. Thus, I found that my participation in the Circular Plastic Initiative by the ISPT would be a great chance to contribute toward improving the current situation.

Expectations

During the meetings at TU Delft, many researchers were referring to the ISPT efforts in improving the waste circularity situation in the Netherlands. Thus, I have thoroughly researched the organization and saw that the ISPT team is working at different projects to connect stakeholders across sectors and disciplines in a trust-based environment, to accelerate innovation and provide a driver for the sustainability transition. I found that the ISPT vision is very ambitious, and I am excited to have the opportunity to learn even more by joining the ISPT.

I am Liron Zada, I am a 38-year-old Postdoc at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. I am married with three children, living in the Netherlands for more than 8 years. I recently started as a Postdoc in ISPT’s project Towards improved circularity of polyolefin-based packaging which is the first project of the Circular Plastics Initiative. My research is about plastic sorting with Raman spectroscopy for recycling. The subject is aligned with my personal interests on one hand (environmental), and with my professional skills on the other (Raman techniques).

Microplastics detection

I am trained as a physicist focusing on (Raman related) applied spectroscopy and imaging techniques. A part of my PhD was dedicated to the development of microplastics detection methods in samples from the environment or in human tissue (histology slices) with stimulated Raman scattering microscopy.

Future ambitions

I intend to use deep UV Raman, since it presents some advantages over Raman in the visual spectrum, especially for industrial environment. Hopefully the instrument would provide additional information of the plastics in the stream such as if the plastics are layered. In addition, current limitations, such as the difficulty to identify colored plastics, should not apply for this method.

This is a postdoc project only for two years. The project was introduced to me by Freek Ariese, who is my PhD supervisor. So far, I am impressed by the ambitions and enthusiasm of the people I met. My ambitions in this project are to develop a Raman based sorting sensor which can deliver unique data over the sampled stream.

My name is Juraj Petrík, I am 26 years old, and my research topic is focused on the circularity of plastics and life cycle assessment (LCA). I was introduced to ISPT by my supervisors dr. Li Shen and prof. dr. Gert Jan Kramer. I have recently started working with ISPT as a PhD student in the project Towards improved circularity of polyolefin-based packaging which is the first project of the Circular Plastics Initiative.

I am originally from Slovakia, but after high school I moved to Prague where I obtained my bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering with a focus on nanotechnology and colloid chemistry at the University of Chemistry and Technology (UCT). After finishing my bachelor’s degree, I decided to continue with a more sustainability-oriented master program, but still with a touch of chemistry and engineering. I started the master program Industrial Ecology, also at UCT Prague. During my studies, I was part of an exchange program and later also an internship at UU.

Influence

My study background in industrial ecology with strong emphasis on petrochemical industry together with my interest in this subject have naturally led me to study and research more about circular economy and circularity of materials, in particular plastics. During my exchange program at UU I took a course of Science and Technology in Sustainable Development. The course was taught by my current supervisor dr. Li Shen. Li has definitely influenced my academic path. Her course and lecturing style have raised in me an interest of environmental sustainability and life cycle assessment method.

Circularity of materials

Does ‘circular’ mean by default sustainable? How far are we from being circular? How can a circularity performance be effectively measured? These are the questions I try to address in my research. I work with several circularity metrics and methods such life cycle assessment (LCA) or material flow analysis (MFA) which I use to assess environmental sustainability of circular strategies as well as to assess how circular our society is in certain sectors. At this moment, my research is focused on a chemical recycling of polyolefin-based packaging.

Ambitions

Since last year, I have been working as a university lecturer in Energy & Resources group at Copernicus Institute of Sustainable Development at Utrecht University (UU). A few months ago, I was offered to participate in this project due my prior knowledge of the LCA method. Therefore, my job profile has changed to a combination of research and education. My ambitions for the coming years are to obtain a basic teaching qualification for higher education and to do valuable research during my PhD in the field of circular economy.

Op de InnovatieExpo 2021 zie je wat ons land allemaal in huis heeft, word je creativiteit geprikkeld en ontmoet je toonaangevende spelers die jouw idee verder helpen.

The year is almost over. It was an unusual year in which we learned that our capabilities are beyond what we ever thought.

We can simultaniously work from home, teach our children and maintain contact with our network. Admittedly, it was not easy. But it has made us realize that we are capable of more than we sometimes think.

Due to this strange time, digitization has accelerated. We started with online meetings, and shortly afterwards we initiated the online panel discussion Industrie in Gesprek. Little did we know at the time that we would be hosting many more major events later this year – all fully online.

The annual ISPT Conference, the GigaWatt webinar and the NPS17 webinar series are a few examples of how we have been able to connect with you, our network. We really enjoyed that and we want to thank you for your involvement. We hope to continue this contact in 2021 and hopefully soon there will be opportunities to see each other in person once again.

On Wednesday November 11, 2020 the NPS17 Webinar on Circularity was being held. It was the second one in a series of four webinars on the over-arching theme ‘Sustaining the Future’, organized by the TU Delft with support from ISPT to compensate for the physical event, that was postponed to 2021 due to Covid-19.

Moderator

Kees Roest

KWR, ISPT

Keynote

Wim Brilman

University of Twente

Circularity is a familiar concept in nature that has evolved into a guiding principle for society and industry. The webinar on circularity is moderated by ISPT’s Kees Roest and the keynote speaker is professor Wim Brilman from the University of Twente.

Drivers

When do we call something circular? According to Brilman circularity is about how we sustainably use and re-use the planet’s resources without compromising the biosphere. He thinks that there are two drivers for circularity, scarcity in the economy and climate change, ‘and the first prerequisite is data collection. Data that is not only accurate, but also up-to-date.’

Not all industries will be able to adapt easily to renewable resources. ‘In construction much can be done with biobased and recycled material, but for others we need to design for recycling. We also need to change from ore mining to urban mining.’ Consumer behavior is crucial, but there are other vital aspects, ‘like avoiding mixed waste, especially metals, that are very difficult to separate. That is why we need to design for more concentrated waste streams. Still, there are large differences, even within Europe, so you have to make a decision on the geographical level you want to realize your recycling system on.’

There are also huge differences in the various materials. Iron and steel, paper and glass all have a high recycling percentage, whereas plastics (19%) and indium (9%) still have large potential for gain. ‘In Europe we reduced our plastic use, but worldwide the plastic production is still growing. Challenges are the collection, the sorting of mixed plastic waste, impurities, too many non-plastics or wrong plastics, because the technologies aren’t good enough yet to process that.’

Direct air capture

And then there is our carbon production. Brilman’s view is clear: ‘We don’t need all the carbon we are currently emitting, and to get away from that system we need to remove fossils from the energy mix, and store any excess carbon that we do produce.’ Europe is doing well in that area, but to close the carbon cycle we need negative emissions.’

Brilman’s main area of expertise, direct air capture, ‘is a very intense way of harvesting carbon from the atmosphere, that also has a many other recycling applications, like greenhouses wherein direct air capture can replace fossil energy completely, or to ease the Dutch energy transition by replacing natural gas with synthetic gas.’ His main question: can direct air capture solve the climate change issue? ‘To capture all carbon emissions we will need an installation ten times as long as the Chinese Wall,’ he says. ‘We can also achieve a lot by reducing our energy use, but nevertheless, it’s not impossible. A prerequisite is that all carbon dioxide must be stored.’

Panel

Divya Bohra

TU Delft

Natnael Behabtu

DuPont

Chris Slootweg

University of Amsterdam

Panel discussion

Brilman joins the panel with Chris Slootweg (University of Amsterdam), Divya Bohra (TU Delft) and Natnael Behabtu (DuPont). They will discuss three multiple choice questions, starting with what is most important for circularity. Possible answers are biobased materials, designing reusable products, (plastic) material recycling, carbon capture and utilisation, and minimizing the use of scarce materials.

The audience chooses designing reusable products. Bohra agrees, but she also believes that not emitting carbon is even more important. Slootweg thinks that not emitting carbon is quite difficult as a society, instead he would choose a full synergy between designing reusable products and recycling of materials. Attendee Andreas ten Cate also likes to add another answer: sufficient renewable energy, ‘because recycling takes a lot of energy. And we can only apply the solutions at large scale if we can power them.’

“We need to add value, then the customer will return it”.


Chris Slootweg, University of Amsterdam

The second question concerns the main issue that we have to overcome in the re-use of materials. Behabtu wonders if we need to be circular in everything, because the free market hampers such an effort so much. Slootweg says that we need to be as circular as possible, ‘definitely to solve global waste issues connected to carbon, and nutrient imbalances.’ Attendee Onno Kramer says that we also have to look beyond industrial solutions, such as looking at how citizens behave. ‘I like all answers, but it’s an issue of mentality. We can see it with covid as well, it’s really hard to change from a linear to a circular economy.’ Moderator Roest agrees that a combination of solutions is needed. Attendee Kroeze thinks it starts with setting rules, like with bottle deposits. Slootweg answers that we need to add value, ‘then the customer will return it.’ Bohra pleads for an integrated recycling system.

The final question is the big one: how does a future circular economy look like? Will we have learned everything from nature? Are all stages considered in R&D projects? Do we have full transparency on the composition and recyclability of products? Is a different appearance of recycled products is fully accepted in society? Or will production meet demand, instead of driving demand? Attendee Arjen van Nieuwenhuijzen thinks we need more data to achieve any circular future. Brilman agrees, ‘data will show us the right pathways, and like with the other questions we will need a combination of several answers.’ He also stresses the importance of bioplastics, ‘because of the accumulation of micro plastics.’ Attendee Joe Zaher thinks that aiming to learn everything is too optimistic, but that bio-inspiration will guide us to learning more from nature. ‘And nature does most of the things very efficiently.’

The webinar is followed by a networking session and a presentation by Nazila Yaghini (TU/ Eindhoven) on mechanical recycling of plastics. It sparks a lively discussion on where the main responsibility lies: with the consumer or the producers, ‘who should just roll out the technology that is needed,’ concludes Slootweg.

Watch the full webinar here

A SERIES OF EXPERT EVENTS ON CLOSING THE LOOP

14h30 to 17h00 (CET)February 4 | February 25 | March 18 | April 8 | April 29 | May 20

Research and developments on the recycling of plastic are evolving rapidly. It is time to come together and share our experiences and perspectives. It is time to join forces and identify the relevant steps needed to come to a 100% circular system in 2050.

Join the Circular Plastics Conference 2021 to share and discuss research, developments and opportunities related to the recycling of plastic applications.

Connecting the circular plastic community

In a series of online sessions, the latest technological, regulatory, and socio-economic developments and outlooks will be presented by top experts. Participants are involved actively to share their expertise and the hurdles they face.  

Next to the online sessions, the Circular Plastic Conference connects the community through an online platform with Q&A sessions, networking facilities, and short pitches on the latest research by PhD and Post-Doc researchers. On the platform, companies also have the opportunity to feature their products and innovations on the online marketplace. 

If you are a ISPT or DPI partner, you are eligible for a 50% discount. Use the discount code ISPT-DPI2021

Program


April 29

14h30 – 17h00

Session 5.A – Progress in chemical depolymerisation and solvolysis

In this session, which will be moderated Jan Jager, there will be a lively interaction between the moderator with the industry and knowledge institute experts on the current state and the way ahead related to different polycondensates like PET and Polystyrene.

Jan Jager

Groningen University

Josse Kunst

Cure Technology

Fabian Lambert

IPFEN/ Axens

Dirk Verdoes

Soliqz

Session 5.B – Product stewardship; the way ahead

Organized in collaboration with PlasticsEurope

Moderated by Anne-Gaëlle Collot

In this session, which will be moderated by Dr Anne-Gaelle Collot, Senior Manager Consumer & Environmental Affairs, PlasticsEurope, we will emphasise the need to take a value chain approach to the circular economy. There will be examples from R&D, environment best practices as well as waste management. This session will build on previous sessions and will discuss gaps and priorities for future R&D projects.

Anne-Gaëlle Collot

Senior Manager Consumer & Environmental Affairs | PlasticsEurope

Panel

Irene Mora Barrantes

Sustainability and Environment Manager | PlasticsEurope

Laure Baillargeon

Policy Officer Chemicals & Plastics | DG Internal Market and Industry (GROW)

Kamal Azrague

Senior Research Scientist | Sintef

Rob Rutjes

Manager Environmental Issues | LyondellBasell

May 20: Lessons learned, steps to take

14h30 – 17h00

In the final session the Circular Plastics Initiative will present a wrap up of all input received and a roadmap on how it will move forward in creating a circular plastic value chain.


Past sessions

April 8

Session 4.A – Mechanical recycling (including dissolution): food grade focus ahead

Organized in collaboration with Eindhoven University of Technology

Partner logo - TU Eindhoven

The session will provide key examples of current scientific progress in mechanical recycling of polymers in Western Europe, and link it to practical applications.

Moderated by Jaap den Doelder

The session is moderated by Jaap den Doelder. As professor in Physical Chemistry of Polymers Den Doelder shares his industrial knowledge about structure, rheology and modeling of polymer materials. In his academic research he approaches the circular economy from a materials and technology point of view, in particular regarding bulk polymers PE and PP.

Jaap den Doelder

Full Professor – TU Eindhoven

Panel

Jan Bruys

Sales Representative – KrausMaffei

Ruben Demets

Doctoral Researcher -Ghent University

Mark Roelands

Researcher -TNO

Jan Kolijn

CTO – Tusti

Session 4.B – Developing sustainable EPR systems for tomorrow: minimum criteria for circularity

This session is co-hosted by CEFLEX & TNO

Partner logo - TNO

Ideally, all packaging materials can be collected, sorted, recycled, and competitively redeployed in the economy. To facilitate this, the EPR system needs to evolve. The session will explore the “criteria for circularity” needed in the EPR systems of tomorrow.

Moderated by Graham Houlder

This session is moderated by Graham Houlder. Project coordinator & managing director at CEFLEX.

Graham Houlder

Managing Director – CEFLEX

Panel

Mike Jefferson

Workstream Consultant – CEFLEX

Feliks Bezati  

Global Sustainable Packaging Manager – Mars

Joachim Quoden

Managing Director – EXPRA

March 18

14h30 – 17h00

Session 3.A – Design for recycling; roles played and impact for each value chain part

This session is co-hosted by CEFLEX & TNO

Partner logo - TNO

This session provides insight in how design for recycling enables the development of sustainable packaging and impacts resin and film producers, converters, sorters, recyclers, and brand owners.

Moderated by Graham Houlder

The session moderator is Graham Houlder. Graham is the Managing Director of SLOOP Consulting B.V. which has been offering consulting services and tools in the field of packaging and sustainability since 2009.

He is the founder & project co-ordinator for CEFLEX (a Circular Economy for Flexible Packaging), which is a collaborative initiative by over 150 companies and associations from across the flexible packaging value chain to make flexible packaging even more relevant in the circular economy.

He is recognised as one of the industry thought leaders for sustainable packaging and is one of the 13 founding members of the Sustainable Packaging Coalition (SPC) and has served on the boards of EUROPEN & SPC.

Graham Houlder

CEFLEX

Panel

Gerald Rebitzer

Director Sustainability – Amcor

Toon van Harmelen

Senior Researcher – TNO

Clemens Pues

Sales Director EPR-Systems International, PreZero

Thor Tummers

External affairs – Unilever

Session 3.B – Progress in sorting and characterization

Organized in collaboration with Nationaal Testcentrum Circulaire Plastics.

Partner logo - NTCP

This session provides an overview of the current challenges in sorting towards recycling, including pitches of four new sorting and characterization technologies. Furthermore, the session also covers a practical example of what is needed to implement new sorting and recycling strategies is discussed.

Moderated by Martine Brandsma

The session is moderated by Martine Brandsma, the result-driven Director of the National Test Center for Circular Plastics (NTCP). As a goal oriented professional with experience in (new) business development, R&D and innovation, and the development of (international) business networks, it comes as no surprise that Brandsma plays a crucial role during this conference. With her broad network in industry, government, and research she is able to empower people by means of innovation in technology, processes and organizations.

Martine Brandsma

Director – Nationaal Testcentrum Circulaire Plastics

Panel

Marjorie Darcet

CEO/ Co-founder – Lixo

Gian de Belder

Technical Director R&D Packaging Sustainability – Procter & Gamble

Lucy van Keulen

Commercial Director – Umincorp

Ulphard Thoden van Velzen

Sustainability & Packaging expert – Wageningen University & Research

Martin Bender

Executive partner – HTP Engineering

Dana Mosora

Circularity Consultant -CEFLEX

February 25

14h30 – 17h00

Session 2.A – Thermo chemical depolymerization

In this session short presentations and a lively interaction will be set up by and with top-experts in the field of research and application of thermo-chemical recycling of plastics. The session will be moderated by Prof. Sascha Kersten and as a special guest we have Prof. Walter Kaminsky, who will give a historic perspective of this field.

Moderated by Prof. Dr. Sascha Kersten

Prof. Dr. Sascha Kersten is full professor Sustainable Process Technology at the Department of chemical engineering, University of Twente. He is specialized in pyrolysis, oils, water, biomass and wood. As chair of the Academic Advisory Board of ISPT he advocates closer cooperation between academic institutions and industry. With his knowledge he also contributes to different projects of the Circular Plastics Initiative.

Panel

Jean-Paul Lange

Principal Research Scientist – Shell

André Heeres

Professor Biobased Chemistry – Hanze University of Applied Science

Kevin van Geem

Professor – Ghent University

Session 2.B – Regulatory needs & developments

In this session, the discussion on regulatory needs will be connected to the perspective from a regulator (ECHA; European Chemistry Agency) in terms of regulatory developments on the use and application of recyclates and the industry (EuPC; European Plastics Converters). Next to that the current and  future situation in testing and dossier preparation will be discussed by Triskelion.

Moderated by Juan Manuel Baňez Romero

With a Multidisciplinary background, Bañez Romera has a clear preference for challenges that can make a difference in people’s lives and society. He currently works as Sustainability Advocacy Lead EMEA at Amcor and is based in Brussels.

Juan Manuel Baňez Romero

Sustainability Advocacy Lead EMEA – Amcor

Panel

Silvia Freni Sterrantino

Senior Legal, Regulatory Affairs & Packaging Division Manager – EuPC

Gerard Haagh

Product Manager Food Contact Materials – Triskelion

Erwin Annys

Head of Unit Support and Enforcement – ECHA

February 4: Setting the stage – The ambitions of the Netherlands and Europe

The Circular Plastics Conference brings together regulators, influencers, industry and knowledge institute experts and initiatives on research on circularity in plastics in Europe. The aim is to share technological progress and challenges and to identify technical and societal questions that exist in this area and jointly formulate answers and next steps to take. In this first session the stage is set for the whole series, with representatives from industry, government and the academic world.

Moderated by Hans Wiltink

It is a challenge to capture Hans in one paragraph. He is a fast thinker with a technical and business background who is committed to strengthen the relationship between economics and ecology. Passionate and connecting. Pragmatic at the same time. As a partner at De Gemeynt, he is involved in a multitude of sustainable initiatives, including the Springtij forum. One thing is certain: with Hans we are moving forward and fast too. Do you keep up with the pace?

Events - Moderator - Hans Wiltink

Keynote speakers

Kestutis Sadauskas

Director Circular Economy Eropean Commission’s department for environment

Gerald Rebitzer

Director Sustainability Amcor

Prof. dr. Kim Ragaert

Associate Professor Ghent University

Special guest: Emmo Meijer

Emmo Meijer is the former R&D leader of respectively DSM, Unilever and FrieslandCampina, and emeritus parttime professor of the Eindhoven University of Technology. He served numerous institutions/organizations in the public domain and was closely involved in different capacities in the development of the Dutch innovation policies. Currently he is a member of the board of several innovation/venture funds and companies. Furthermore he is the chairperson of the EIT Raw Materials/ERMA and the Dutch top sector Chemistry.

We welcome Emmo to reflect on how the academical, industrial and government activities in the Netherlands are organised. What are the challenges to come to an effective collaboration throughout the plastic value chain?

This event is initiated by the partners in the Circular Plastics Initiative, boosting circularity in plastics on an industrial scale. The Initiative is founded by the Institute for Sustainable Process Technology and DPI – The Polymer Research Platform. Co-organizers of the Conference are Ceflex, PlasticsEurope and TNO.