Chemical Recycling

Chemical recycling (feedstock recycling) refers to operations that aim to chemically degrade the collected plastics waste into its monomers or other basic chemicals. The output may be reused for polymerisation into new plastics for the production of other chemicals or as an alternative fuel.
Several technologies have been or are being developed by major chemical companies. In general, investment levels and energy consumption are such that only very large-scale plants are expected to be economically viable. Therefore, another key factor is ensuring the supply of sufficient input materials of the right quality.

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Even very low quantities of degradable plastics that end up in the traditional plastic waste streams have a significant, negative impact on recycled plastics.

The average yield of the PET recyclers has decreased from 73% to 68% since 2011. This 5 points decrease has led to substantial and additional cost for the European PET recyclers. Additionally, recyclers are obliged to discard more material in order to achieve good quality of recycled PET.