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Technological options to make plastics circular

10 Nov 2021
Eliminating Plastic Waste

The presentation will outline the technological options to make plastics circular. In this respect, the well-established method of chemical recycling plays an important role and the technology needs to be further developed, including the collecting, sorting and separating of plastic waste so that the amount of mechanical recycled plastic can be increased. However, not all plastics can be mechanically recycled, e.g. if they are meltable, which is the case, for example, for polyurethanes. This is where new technology options like chemical recycling will enable a circular economy. Chemical recycling is often understood as using pyrolysis for mixed plastic waste. At Covestro we are looking at other, less energy-intense, options with a focus on pure and sorted waste streams, that we can use in targeted chemolysis and low-temperature pyrolysis (smart pyrolysis). We are also pioneers in using biochemistry for recycling by researching enzymes that can recycle plastics. We will give an overview of the current status of our particular approach to making our products circular, including the business environment that needs to be developed to enable more recycling of plastics in our economy.