While recycling systems already exist for certain products, material recycling for contaminated plastics is often no longer technically or economically viable. Until now, these plastics have often been thermally recycled. Instead, these plastics could also be recycled as raw materials, broken down into petrochemical raw materials by pyrolysis, for example, and then processed into new products.
The aim of the KUBA collaborative project is to develop a concept for the sustainable use of plastics from the construction sector and for the recycling of a considerable proportion of the carbon in construction plastics.
The aim is to collect and evaluate basic data on plastics in existing buildings, material flows from the construction industry, process chains for the collection, recycling logistics, sorting, processing and conversion of mixed construction waste for raw material recycling, which have not yet been collected, as well as fundamental aspects of sustainability and economic feasibility. The resulting improved data basis is intended, for example, to support industrial companies in their decisions regarding their involvement in future research projects.
In KUBA, the establishment of cooperation and exchange between the various actors in the value chain is also important.
The objectives and tasks of the Wuppertal Institute sub-project are the life cycle-wide ecological and economic evaluation of recycling routes for plastics in the construction sector. In addition, the Wuppertal Institute will help to determine key figures on the quantities and qualities of plastics currently stored in Germany in the construction sector.