Chemical Recycling Examples

Discover Cefic’s members concrete examples on chemical recycling

In Europe, about 30 million tonnes of plastic waste is collected every year. Still, 85% of that is incinerated, exported or sent to landfill.  This is not only a source of CO2 emissions but is also a waste of valuable resources.

The chemical industry is determined to change this. How?

With chemical recycling technologies, the industry has developed complementary solutions to existing mechanical recycling to recycle mixed or contaminated plastic waste that otherwise would be incinerated or sent to landfill. These technologies can break down plastics and transform them into valuable secondary raw materials to produce new chemicals and plastics of equivalent quality to those made from fossil resources. Together with value chain partners, the chemical industry has already successfully developed consumer products like food packaging, refrigerator parts, mattresses, carpets, and dashboards in cars.

Learn more about the technologies behind chemical recycling:

  • Depolymerisation: It is a method that breaks plastics down into their fundamental building blocks.
  • Conversion: Another approach is converting plastic waste into useful raw materials. For instance, this can involve transforming plastic waste into oil and gas feedstock.

Dissolution or physical recycling is another recycling route: This process involves dissolving plastic waste using solvents to extract valuable polymers.

Stay tuned as the list of examples (below) will continue to grow!

Want to find out about chemical recycling innovations? Check them out here.