Despite the large potential of secondary raw materials worth recovering, there are few incentives to redirect recyclable plastic streams (mainly polyolefins, such as polyethylene and polypropylene) from waste incineration to recycling. However, the EU Circular Economy Package, published by the European Commission (EC) on 2 December 2015 and approved by the European Parliament and the EC on 12 April 2018, provides for an increase in the recycling rates of municipal and packaging waste by 2025. According to the Federal Ministry for Sustainable Development and Tourism, Austria achieved a recycling rate of 33.6 wt % for plastic lightweight packaging in 2015. With regard to the European 2025 recycling target, this implies a catch-up requirement of around 17 wt %. The recyclable polyolefins may make a useful contribution to meeting the ambitious European recycling targets, as most of these plastics in residual waste and separate package collection are currently not made available for recycling. By employing scientific and technical aspects, this dissertation aims to demonstrate the availability (in terms of occurrences and quantities) of polyolefins in the Austrian waste management system. For this purpose, a polyolefin-oriented material flow analysis helped identify those waste streams that contain recyclable secondary raw materials. The potential of secondary raw materials in the Austrian waste streams was estimated to amount to an annual volume of around 429,000 tonnes. In addition, evidence is provided that the expansion of the separate package collection of plastics may contribute to redirecting around 33.9 wt % of recyclable plastics from residual waste to recycling. By means of an innovative wet-mechanical waste pretreatment plant, high-purity polyolefin concentrates (polyolefin content > 90 wt %) were separated from these polyolefin-containing waste fractions (e.g. rejects, mixed plastic waste fraction, refuse-derived fuel), which may be used as input for material or feedstock recycling. Thus, the findings of this dissertation may be regarded as an important contribution to meeting the EU recycling targets in Austria and other EU member states.
|Translated title of the contribution||Plastic Recycling – the Potential, Collection, and Pre-processing of Polyolefins for Feedstock Recycling in Austria|
|Publication status||Published - 2018|
Bibliographical noteembargoed until 23-08-2023
- Circular Economy
- Plastic Recycling