Waste stakes its claim as a resource to add value to industry

The polynSPIRE project demonstrates how energy savings in plastic recycling processes have a direct impact on the efficiency and competitiveness of industries.

What may be waste to one industry may be a raw material or valuable by-product to another. In recent years, environmental concerns have made waste treatment a priority for industry. However, companies continue to generate different types of waste, the management of which represents a cost when, in reality, it could be a source of revenue or a saving.

Current legislation prioritises those methods with lower environmental impacts and penalises waste disposal, which has become increasingly costly for companies. Once waste has been produced, reuse is the most sustainable option, as it allows for subsequent use without processing. However, recycling and recovery give waste a second chance to be used as a substitute for other materials and these options are becoming increasingly widespread. Moreover, recycling and recovery often generate extra revenues for businesses.

But how can this be done efficiently? The European polynSPIRE project, led by the Spanish technology centre CIRCE, has received funding of eight million euros from the European Commission. The project is helping companies operating in sectors such as construction, the automotive industry and textiles to improve their efficiency and competitiveness by saving energy in the recycling of plastic materials.

Published in: Nº76 FuturENVIRO december 2020 – january 2021