H2020 MultiCycle: Advanced and sustainable recycling processes and value chains for plastic-based multi-materials

Project ID: 820695

Funded underCE-SPIRE-10-2018 – Efficient recycling processes for plastic containing materials (IA)

MultiCycle is a SPIRE project in the EU’s Framework Programme “Horizon 2020”. Τhe project started on 1st of November 2018, having a duration of 36 months. MultiCycle will deliver an industrial recycling pilot plant for fossil and bio-based thermoplastic multilayer packaging and fibre reinforced composites using a novel solvent based selective extraction process which allows recovering pure plastics and additives in mixed wastes for their later reprocessing into value-added applications.

Plastics bring unprecedented value in terms of convenience, versatility of design and lightweight to European consumers as well as increasingly advanced performances even in high end applications. But only 31% of plastic packaging are currently recycled due to infra-developed technologies or to their unsatisfactory economic viability. This is in fact aggravated by considering plastics as commodity where their economic value is linked to a single use, often not taking into account the potentially generated end of life hurdles. In line with the just released Plastic Strategy for Europe, the time has come to stop the depletion, lanfilling and incineration and shift to a Circular Model in the plastic sector improving the recycling rate but also the value of secondary raw materials from plastic recycling.
MultiCycle will deliver an industrial recycling pilot plant for thermoplastic-based multi-materials. This is a solvent based selective extraction process which allows recovering pure plastics in mixed wastes but also fibres without downgrading. The later compounding of recovered materials will also be optimised in terms of process and formulation. Our economically and environmentally sustainable MultiCycle process will be demonstrated in 2 main large volume sectors (as providers of waste to recycle and end users of the recycled materials):
-Multilayer packaging but also flexible films that cannot be recycled cost effectively to date and altogether account for around 50% of plastic packaging, i.e. ca. 10 millions tons/year in EU.
-Fibre reinforced thermoplastic composites for the automotive sector from which plastics constitute around 16% of End-of-Life Vehicles weigth, i.e. ca. 1 million tons/year in EU.