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Maurizio Crippa presented DEMETO in Webinar on Sustainable Chemical PET & Polyester Recycling

The live webinar on Sustainable Chemical PET Polyester Recycling (DEMETO project), organised by Polymer Comply Europe (PCE) on behalf of European Plastics Converters (EuPC), took place on 27 February. It provided more than 180 viewers from the PET value chain with thorough insights on the DEMETO project.

DEMETO is an H2020 project (GA 768573) that started in September 2017 and will finish at the end of this year. The project involves 14 project partners in the entire PET value chain, and a total budget is €9.9M, and EU contribution is €7.8M.

Marjan Ranogajec, EuPC Project Officer, introduced the DEMETO project, its developments since the kick-off in 2017 and the central role played by the EU funds along the path towards the achievement of successful results in the recycling sector.

Maurizio Crippa, founder of Gr3n, opened his lecture pointing out the environmental challenges that the world is currently facing and the consequential social scaremongering related to plastics. He stressed the importance of adopting sustainable behaviours and the difficulty in finding a proper balance in critical sectors like the food industry, where a propensity for environmental choices in the packaging might be negatively compensated by an increase in food waste. Nonetheless, although an indiscriminate ban on plastic cannot be considered the preferable solution, within the new generation of packaging, higher efficiency corresponds to higher complexity of the recycling process. Thus, thermal valorization and landfilling are currently the only solution for their End – Of – Life (EOL).

In this context, the chemical recycling plays a key role: while the mechanical recycling can often cause a downcycling of the material, the chemical recycling, through the division of the polymer, results in an upcycling of the PET/Polyester.

Why does this happen?

The chemical recycling mechanism allows the removal of all the colorants, additives, and other contaminants, consequently increasing the functionality of the polymer.

Maurizio provided the audience with an exhaustive description of the Gr3n process and of the plant currently under construction in Chieti (Italy). He outlined the high circularity of its mechanism and the “social costs” of the chemical recycling in comparison with the mechanical process, pointing out the positively surprising results of the assessment carried out in the context of the DEMETO project.

The webinar has proven a high level of interactivity: the presentation has been followed by a Q&A session in which Maurizio had the opportunity to answer the questions of the audience in real-time.

Marjan closed the webinar presenting the Plastic Circularity Multiplier Conference, which will take place on 10 June in Brussels and will bring together policymakers and representatives from the industry and the academia who will communicate on a range of EU funded innovations that aim at bringing plastic materials into the circular economy. The Second Chemical Recycling Conference, another central event for the plastics industry, will take place on 26 and 27 May in Brussels. In this occasion experts from the industry, research institutes, European and national authorities will discuss the challenges and latest developments in the area and future of chemical recycling.

Click here for the full version of the Live webinar on Sustainable Chemical PET & Polyester Recycling.

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