European project to recover contaminated plastics from automotive, construction and electrical appliance industry waste

The NONTOX Project is developing new decontamination processes for plastic materials to recover waste from the automotive, construction, and electrical and electronic industries. This project is important because it involves recovering valuable materials from waste that is now being landfilled or incinerated under controlled conditions to contain the hazardous additives that make it difficult to recover.

Increasing plastic recycling rates is key to creating the circular economy of plastics promoted by the European Union. It is therefore essential for research to continue developing new recycling processes, including procedures to recover plastic waste containing hazardous substances and then use it to produce safe, high-quality plastic products. The European NONTOX Project aims to eliminate hazardous and unpleasant substances from plastic waste and thus convert non-recyclable plastics and recycling waste into new resources. AIMPLAS, the Plastics Technology Centre, is participating in the project.

The research developed by the different project partners will focus on the recovery of plastic materials from waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE), end-of-life vehicles (ELV), and construction and demolition waste (CDW), all of which contain hazardous additives and unpleasant compounds such as flame retardants, stabilizers and filling materials. Two different technologies will be used (Extruclean and CreaSolv®) to eliminate these hazardous substances from waste plastics such as ABS, EPS, PS, HIPS, PE and PP, which jointly account for about half of EU demand for plastics, hence the importance of recycling plastics rather than continuing the current practice of landfilling or incinerating a significant part of this waste.

The NONTOX Project, funded through the European Union’s research and innovation programme Horizon 2020, grant agreement 820895, is coordinated by the VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland. The other consortium members are AIMPLAS, Fraunhofer, Università degli studi della Campania Luigi Vanvitelli, Treee, Fundación IMDEA Energía, Stena Recycling International AB, Galea Polymers, ECODOM – Consorzio Italiano per il Recupero e Riciclaggio Elettrodomestici, Norner Research AS, Aalto University and Coolrec.