Accelerating Dematerialisation of Plastic Demand and Circularity in Plastic-Based Material Systems

  • Project no.451507
  • Duration 03/2018 - 12/2018

At present, less than 40 per cent of plastics are recycled. Due to this the complex value chain has to change significantly, in order to avoid plastics being "down-cycled", incinerated or landfilled. The project eCircular focuses on the prevention of plastic waste by using digital technologies, such as block chain. It is an initiative of Climate-KIC, one of Europe's largest private-public innovation partnerships in the context of climate. That way, the project contributes to the overall goal of recasting material production towards net-zero emissions until 2050. The eCircular flagship will act as a bridge between academia, industry, public administration and citizens at a European level, to pave the way towards a dematerialised circular economy. In order to tackle the barriers voiced by the European Commission, regarding a carbon-neutral material system, the project has identified 6 levers to focus on:

  • Use digital systems to gather information on material and traceability, in order to increase the recyclability of plastics.
  • Draft new industry standards and regulations promoting recyclability, eco-design and public procurement of second-life products as well as the reduction of the demand of plastics.
  • Promote Eco design and actions to overcome obstacles related to production processes, habits, lack of dialogue and the need for definitions and standards.
  • Information, skills and behaviour: enhance the communication and collaboration within and across value chains as well as between different actors in the plastic system by creating a common platform to work on standards.
  • Skills and behaviour: enable the sharing of knowledge and experience in order to create skills in the circular economy and dematerialised plastic system to ultimately create a change of behaviour.
  • Market opportunities: implement new business models to overcome low pricing of virgin materials and create incentives to improve circularity and dematerialisation.

The Wuppertal Institute is a core partner of the flagship. It leads the work packages "Innovation Accelerator" and "Networking", addressing the essential tasks of creating a network for all stakeholders, as well as accelerating innovations for a more efficient use of plastics.