Renewable Matter # 1 / Next Europe

From Recycling to High-End Products

by Marco Moro

Every time we throw a plastic bottle, a carrier bag, a net, a tub or a yogurt pot into a bin for separate waste collection, we take it for granted that packaging will be recycled and probably we don’t ask ourselves how that process is going to happen, if there is an efficient industry behind it, a logistic system and a reference market so that material – one day – will indeed be fed back into the production cycle. And in Italy we don’t even think that most of the plastics collected through separate waste collection are not recycled but are sent to waste-to-energy plants for energy recovery instead. A huge waste of matter.

 

Plastics with or without Market Value

Plastics can be conveniently classified into two large groups: those with market value, such as Pet or Pe bottles, that are recycled through well-established channels and strong end markets and those with no market value, such as mixed plastics (Plasmix) from separate waste collection, since their heterogeneity makes recycling more...

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