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MultiCycle project delivers recyclates for flexible plastics applications

MultiCycle project delivers recyclates for flexible plastics applications

Articles
MultiCycle Pilot Plant approved

The MultiCycle project recently marked the culmination of a successful forty-two-month international collaboration to demonstrate the Circular Economy for plastics in action.

The project’s final dissemination event on 7th April was presented simultaneously to a keenly interested in-person audience in Ghent, Belgium and an equally lively gathering of online viewers. Nearly 140 people in total heard how the EC Horizon 2020 Innovation Action has delivered an industrial recycling pilot plant for thermoplastic-based multi-materials allowing selective recovery of pure single plastic recyclates and fibres from mixed wastes, and about demonstrations of the use of MultiCycle recyclates back into high-end applications in two important industrial segments – flexible multilayer films for packaging products, and fibre-reinforced thermoplastic composites in the automotive sector.

MultiCycle has integrated the patented CreaSolv® process, which purifies polymers by physical means via selective dissolution, with advanced digitalization methods for feedstock identification, process monitoring and control. New recyclates from the MultiCycle process have been evaluated in a range of product demonstrations by the project’s industrial end users, described in a series of case studies now available from the project website. Highlights include a first-time demonstration of the use in a blown film process of polyethylene recyclates sourced from co-mingled, printed flexibles from household municipal waste without special pre-sorting, and successful substitution of polypropylene and polyamide recyclate-based formulations into sheet laminate and hybrid composite injection molding processes for a reinforced car battery carrier.

Building upon the operational experience gained, the project’s sustainability and techno-economic analyses have provided the basis for recommendations towards future upscaling, and the project has also produced policy recommendations promoting waste management and resource efficiency improvements for the target packaging and automotive applications.

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