Nowadays, many products contain the raw material polypropylene (PP). European companies use 10.3 million tonnes of primary PP every year, in construction, road building, industry, agriculture, the textile industry, the production of tools, electrodes, packaging and much more. Usually, these products end up in the residual waste at the end of their life and are incinerated. Today, only a limited amount of PP is recycled and used locally.
Centexbel wants to do something about this with the Polypropylene Circular project. We investigate the possibility to use PP waste or PP side streams from production processes cross-sectorally. We want to gain insight into the size of the PP streams and the chemical characteristics to see whether we can reuse certain PP as a raw material.
It will also be important to be able to collect, sort and recycle PP products more selectively. This will improve the quality of the PP recyclates and allow us to make new and valuable products locally.
We want to share the results of this research with all actors within the PP value chains in order to inform and sensitise them as much as possible, and to discuss possible bottlenecks.
Partners Federplast.be, Plarebel, Agoria, Sirris, Go4Circle, Essenscia
PP is a material that will increase in volume in the future. However, the inherent properties of PP do cause some additional limitations. For instance, PP is sensitive to the absorption of odours and the variety of grades of PP is also enormous. This makes mechanical recycling more difficult. In this context, there is a very good opportunity for chemical recycling. This chemical recycling makes it possible to produce food-grade materials again (PP is often used for food applications) and it solves the problem of the great diversity in grades (very viscous material for textile applications and very liquid materials for injection moulding applications (e.g. packaging).