Paris, France — The production of plastics in Europe has multiplied 150-fold over the last 50 years and is still on the increase, reaching 50 million tonnes a year today. Only 25 percent of the 25 million tonnes of plastic waste produced is recycled. At the same time, current changes to the rules at both national and Community level are setting ambitious new recycling targets, in particular in relation to household packaging (80 percent), most of which is made of plastic. So the recycling of plastics has become a major economic and environmental challenge, due to the fact that the use of recycled plastic reduces energy consumption by 80 percent to 90 percent compared to the production of virgin plastic.
Through its subsidiary SITA, the Suez Environnement Group has already a quality manufacturing tool in Europe capable of sorting and preparing over 400,000 tonnes of plastic waste each year, 135,000 tonnes of which are recycled by its nine specialist plants. In response to the growing demand for secondary raw materials, Suez Environnement aims to double its production of recycled plastics in Europe within the next five years in this rapidly expanding market.
To achieve this objective, the Group is looking to develop partnerships with industries that are major consumers of plastics with a view to working together to come up with “tailored” solutions for the provision of high quality recycled plastic. To this end, Suez Environnement is opening PLAST’lab®, an innovative laboratory dedicated to plastics and their recycling.
At Suez Environnement`s main Research Centre (CIRSEE), PLAST’lab makes it possible to analyse, test and classify plastic materials and formulate new ranges of plastics from recycled plastics that meet the demands of manufacturers. According to Suez, this laboratory is unique in the plastic recycling market because it focuses on the manufacturers’ demand to obtain and secure the necessary plastic materials, optimize their formulation (resistance to impact, heat, etc.) and produce the high quality recycled raw material that meets a manufacturer’s specifications.
“PLAST’lab will allow us to make greater strides towards improving the quality and quantity of recycled plastics and is entirely consistent with our determination to place the circular economy at the heart of our strategy. By focusing on plastic recycling, we are confirming our role as a key player in the achievement of Europe’s targets for the recycling of household waste, set at 50 percent by 20204”, says Jean-Louis Chaussade, Chief Executive Officer of Suez Environnement.
Source: Suez Environnement