Circularity of (raw) materials

How do we create an economy in which all resources are reusable?

During our ISPT Conference 2020 (which was online) we discussed the steps we need to make to accomplish our mission; a circular process industry in 2050. Watch this full round table discussion on circularity of (raw) materials.

Since resources and raw materials are becoming increasingly sparse, the Dutch government and industry have set the goal to transition to a circular economy in which all resources are reusable by 2050.

Re-design towards recycling (design for recycling), new and effective separation techniques and new and optimized processes for the separated streams are key technology features for valorization of the new value chains.

Industry has a duty

Ronald Korstanje is Program Director at the Circular Plastics Initiative. He was clear on what needs to be done: “Industry has a duty. We need to collaborate with the whole value chain and connect the different players. If we can get them to speak the same language, build confidence and share successes, we can work towards circularity.”

Therefore ISPT started the Circular Plastics Initiative (CPI). Its mission: to boost polymer recycling by clarifying the material and process aspects of mechanical and chemical recycling.

Money can stimulate innovation

Jelmer Vierstra is Senior Program Leader Circular Economy at Natuur & Milieu. He agreed that it is important to look at the bigger picture. But we also need to look differently at materials. “We have to reuse plastics and recycle them, not replace them by other materials which we burn after single usage. Moreover, we can’t be driven by consumer desires and be dependent on what they want to pay for recycled materials.”

Vierstra believes taxation and pollution prizing can be used to speed things up. “When producers have to pay for polluting packaging, they are motivated to redesign packaging, join plastics pacts, and so forth.”

Kees Roest, Program Director Industrial Fluids Processing at ISPT, agreed that money can stimulate innovation. “We need to award good stuff and make use of inspirational storytelling. Only then we can bring innovation into practice.”

Watch the full round table discussion on circularity of (raw) materials