Living Lab Plastics

Looking for ways to recover, reuse and recycle plastics more

As initiators of the Plastics Living Lab, Blenders and Werecircle form a broad partnership with knowledge and research institutions, waste intermunicipalities, recycling shops and the business world, among others, to work on closing the plastics loop, a sector with a high material footprint. They are building on the ambition to make recycling the last safety net for plastic waste and to circulate plastic objects, parts and raw materials in short chains.

In Belgium, 59% of plastic waste collected is still incinerated. Besides recycling, high-value circular strategies such as reuse and recovery are hardly found in the plastics sector. Via ten concrete sub-experiments, this Living Lab is looking for the preconditions for dealing better with plastics. The partners ask themselves how to design with plastics in a circular way and how to set up new value chains.

Each case will be translated into a feasibility analysis for further upscaling after the Living Lab. The cases serve as levers for the circular transition. On the one hand via their direct impact on the chain, on the other via a blueprint and analysis for new collection, disassembly, sorting, and production organisation. The learning lessons are additionally anchored through academic and professional curricula, policy recommendations and sector consultations, and will also be disseminated through circular networks.


Partners Universiteit Antwerpen, MIVAS, Govaerts Recycling, IGEAN-Milieu en Veiligheid, ENADVIS, EcoWerf, intergemeentelijk Milieubedrijf Oost-Brabant, Intercommunale Ontwikkelingsmaatschappij voor de Kempen Afvalbeheer, Centexbel - VKC, werecircle, VITeS