Staff Publications

Staff Publications

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    'Staff publications' is the digital repository of Wageningen University & Research

    'Staff publications' contains references to publications authored by Wageningen University staff from 1976 onward.

    Publications authored by the staff of the Research Institutes are available from 1995 onwards.

    Full text documents are added when available. The database is updated daily and currently holds about 240,000 items, of which 72,000 in open access.

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    Verkenning maximaal haalbarekwaliteiten gerecyclede PET uit schalen : Praktische studie naar de maximaal haalbare kwaliteit van mechanisch gerecyclede PET uit schalen
    Thoden van Velzen, E.U. ; Smeding, I.W. ; Molenveld, K. - \ 2020
    Wageningen : Wageningen Food & Biobased Research (Rapport / Wageningen Food & Biobased Research 2069) - ISBN 9789463954662 - 37
    Dit rapport beschrijft een technische verkenning naar de maximaal haalbare kwaliteit gerecycled poly(ethyleen tereftalaat) (rPET) die verkregen kan worden uit PET-schalen met een mechanisch recyclingproces. PET is een veel gebruikt verpakkingsmateriaal voor verschillende verse levensmiddelen als vlees, vis, kaas, maaltijdsalades, noten, etc. Voor flessen zijn goed functionerende mechanische recyclingprocessen ontwikkeld waarmee food-grade rPET wordt verkregen. Voor de grotere markt van PET-schalen is dit tot nu toe nog niet op industriële schaal gelukt, ondanks meerdere pogingen door verschillende bedrijven. Deze pogingen om uit het sorteerproduct PET-schalen PET te recyclen zijn tot nu toe gestrand op te lage massa-opbrengsten PET-product, teveel afvalstromen en een te lage kwaliteit van het eindproduct. PET-schalen zijn een ingewikkelde grondstof: ze zijn divers in grootte, kleur en samenstelling. Bovendien bestaan PET-schalen uit meerdere componenten en materialen. Mede hierdoor zijn er ook problemen met de kwaliteit van het gerecyclede PET materiaal, die de toepasbaarheid van het gerecyclede PET-materiaal aanzienlijk beperken. Om te bepalen wat de maximaal haalbare kwaliteit gerecycled PET uit schalen is, werden vier soorten schone PET-schalen getest in dit onderzoek. Het ging hier om mono-PET-schalen, maar ook om schalen met een sealmedium, een PE-laag of een rest top-folie. Al deze soorten schalen werden apart van elkaar gemalen, gedroogd, geëxtrudeerd en spuit-gegoten tot testsamples. De materiaaleigenschappen van deze mechanisch gerecyclede schalen-PET-soorten werden bestudeerd in relatie tot de samenstelling van de ingaande PET-schalen. Hieruit bleek dat gerecycled PET gemaakt van zuivere PET-schalen, waaraan dus geen sealmedium is toegevoegd, transparant en nauwelijks gekleurd is. Helaas was de intrinsieke viscositeitswaarde van dit soort gerecycled PET veel te laag, waardoor het materiaal te bros wordt. Dit materiaal zal eerst een nacondensatie-proces moeten ondergaan. Hierna zal dit materiaal sterker zijn, eenvoudiger te verwerken en breder toe te passen. Een andere en aanvullende optie om de intrinsieke viscositeit te verhogen is bijmengen met nieuw PET. In het geval de grondstof voor recycling nog een sealmedium of een restant top-folie bevat, wordt het gerecyclede PET grijs en ondoorzichtig. De intrinsieke viscositeitwaarden voor deze typen gerecycled PET waren wel iets beter, maar eigenlijk nog steeds te laag om goed te kunnen verwerken. Ook deze soorten gerecycled PET zullen dus een nacondensatie moeten ondergaan. Voor deze soorten gerecycled PET bestaat momenteel geen markt van betekenis. Deze resultaten laten zien dat de gewenste kwaliteit van transparante gerecyclede PET alleen kan worden verkregen uit PET-schalen die ook echt alleen uit PET bestaan en waaraan dus geen andere materialen zijn toegevoegd. Dit betekent dat PET-schalen die ontworpen worden voor mechanische recycling alleen uit PET mogen bestaan en uit andere verpakkingscomponenten (zoals labels) die met zeer hoge efficiëntie kunnen worden afgescheiden tijdens het wasproces. Overigens is de afwasbaarheid van verpakkingscomponenten niet onderzocht in deze studie, aangezien dit buiten de opdrachtbeschrijving valt. Deze studie opent – op basis van de eigenschappen van het gerecyclede materiaal - mogelijkheden voor de mechanische recycling van een deel van de PET-schalen. Het gaat om het deel waarvoor een gegarandeerde luchtdichte afsluiting niet noodzakelijk is, en waarvoor dus geen sealmedium nodig is, zoals bij klemdeksels voor druiven, tomaten, zacht-fruit, noten, etc. Voor PET-schalen die wel gegarandeerd luchtdicht afgesloten moeten worden (vlees, vis, kaas, vleeswaar, vleesvervangers, etc.) is een seal-systeem nodig dat of verenigbaar is met PET of volledig afgescheiden kan worden in het mechanische recyclingproces. Om verder te komen met de mechanische recycling van PET-schalen is meer onderzoek naar een dergelijk sealsysteem en de afwasbaarheid daarvan in een mechanisch recyclingproces noodzakelijk. In de tussentijd kan alleen een beperkte hoeveelheid PET-schalen mechanisch worden gerecycled mits er een sorteertechnologie wordt ontwikkeld om de zuivere PET-schalen uit het mengsel van PET-schalen te halen. Los hiervan, blijven er nog uitdagingen met het beperkte massa-rendement van het mechanische recycling proces.---A technical exploration study has been executed to define the maximal achievable quality of recycled poly(ethylene terephthalate) (rPET) that can be made from PET trays with a standard mechanical recycling process. PET is a versatile packaging material used to package multiple fresh food products such as meat, fish, cheese, salads, nuts, etc. Multiple recycling processes have been developed for PET bottles that deliver food-grade rPET. For the larger market of PET trays this has not been successful, yet, on an industrial scale, despite multiple attempts by various companies. The attempts to process the sorted product PET trays into recycled PET have failed because of low mass yields for the PET product, large volumes of waste being generated and insufficient quality of the final product. Sorted PET trays are a complicated feedstock. It is heterogeneous in size, colour and composition. Moreover, PET trays are composed of multiple components and materials. This translates in quality issues with the recycled PET material, which limit the applicability of the PET material largely. To determine the maximum achievable quality of rPET that can be made from trays, four types of trays were studied. It involved PET trays that were composed of only PET, but also PET trays with a sealing layer on the flange, PET trays with a PE coating on the inside and PET trays with sealing layers and residues of top-film. All these trays were separately comminuted, dried, extruded and injection moulded into test specimen. The material properties of the mechanically recycled PET trays were studied in relation to the composition of the feedstock trays. This revealed that recycled PET made from pure PET trays, to which no seal medium has been added, is transparent and hardly coloured. The intrinsic viscosity of this type of recycled PET is unfortunately too low, which results in a brittle material. This material will first have to be subjected to a solid-state post-condensation process. This will make the material stronger, easier to process and wider applicable. An additional and alternative option to increase the intrinsic viscosity is to mix with virgin PET. In case the feedstock contains a seal medium or a residue of top-film the rPET turns grey and hazy. Although the intrinsic viscosities of these types of rPET were slightly better, they are still too low to process the material smoothly. Also these types of rPET will need to be subjected to solid state postcondensation. For these types of recycled PET there is currently no market of significance. These results show that the desired quality of transparent recycled PET can only be obtained from PET trays that are solely composed of PET and to which no other material has been added. This implies that PET trays that are designed for mechanical recycling are only allowed to be composed of PET and the packaging components (such as labels) should be removed during recycling with very high separation efficiencies. The removal efficiency of packaging components during the washing step of the recycling process was not analysed, as this fell outside the scope of this study. According to this study the mechanical recycling should be possible for the subset of PET trays that does not rely on a gas tight closure of the trays, such as clam shells for grapes, tomatoes, soft fruit, nuts, etc. For PET trays used in modified atmosphere packages, that hence need to be sealed hermetically (meat, fish, cheese, cured meats, meat replacements, etc.), first a sealing system is required that is either compatible with PET or can be completely removed during recycling. To progress with the mechanical recycling of PET trays, further research into such a sealing system, including its removal during a mechanical recycling process, is paramount. In the meantime, only a limited amount of PET trays can be mechanically recycled, provided that a sorting technology is developed that can sort out pure PET trays from a mixture of PET trays. Besides these challenges, also the limited mass yield of the mechanical recycling process for PET trays has to be resolved.
    Samenvatting: Gerecycled PET in nieuwe flessen : Het effect op migratie, verkleuring en flessterkte
    Thoden van Velzen, E.U. ; Alvarado, F. ; Brouwer, M.T. - \ 2020
    Wageningen : Wageningen Food & Biobased Research - 5 p.
    biobased economy - plastics - recycling - bottles
    Effect of recycled content and rPET quality on the properties of PET bottles, part II: Migration
    Thoden van Velzen, E.U. ; Brouwer, M.T. ; Stärker, Carina ; Welle, Frank - \ 2020
    Packaging Technology and Science 33 (2020)9. - ISSN 0894-3214 - p. 359 - 371.
    Polyethylene terephthalate (PET) bottles were produced from three types of recycled PET (rPET) with four levels of recycled content. The migration of substances from these bottles to water was studied. Several migrated substances were detected. The migrated amounts of acetaldehyde and ethylene glycol complied with the limits given in the food contact material (FCM) legislation. Migration of 2‐methyl‐1,3‐dioxolane was below the limit of 10 μg·L−1, which is conventionally applied for non‐intentionally added substances (NIAS) not classified as ‘carcinogenic’, ‘mutagenic’ or ‘toxic to reproduction’ (CMR). Limonene, acetone, butanone and furan were also detected as migrants, of which limonene is a natural fragrant, and the other three are probably residues from solvents used to clean and protect the mould at the small‐scale production facility. Finally, benzene and styrene were also found as migrants from rPET. These migrants appear to originate from heat‐induced reactions within the PET matrix, which involve contaminants. The formation of benzene in rPET is attributed to polyvinylchloride as contaminant. The migrated amounts of benzene from the PET bottles with recycled content to the water simulant are relatively small (0.03–0.44 μg·L−1) after 10 days at 40°C. Consequently, the margin of exposure is 3.105–8.106. Hence, the level of concern for the public health is low, and the migrated amount represents a low priority for risk management. The FCM legislation demands a risk assessment for migrating NIAS. Depending on the underlying data and exposure scenario, different threshold limits in the food can be derived which can still be considered as safe.
    Effect of recycled content and rPET quality on the properties of PET bottles, part III : Modelling of repetitive recycling
    Brouwer, Marieke T. ; Alvarado Chacon, Fresia ; Velzen, Eggo U.T. van - \ 2020
    Packaging Technology and Science 33 (2020)9. - ISSN 0894-3214 - p. 373 - 383.
    accumulation - contamination - modelling - PET bottles - recycled content
    The presence of contaminants in polyethylene terephthalate (PET) bottles and derived materials from the various steps in the recycling loop is studied. Based on these measurements, a model is proposed to generically describe the accumulation of these contaminants within closed‐loop recycling schemes for PET bottles. The measured levels of particle contamination and chlorine content of PET bottles, pellets, and intermediate recycling products are used to derive the modelling parameters. Previously determined relations between these measured parameters and critical bottle properties are used to model the effect of the accumulation of the contaminants on the bottle properties. The measurements reveal that the type of collection system influences the accumulation of contaminants in PET bottles greatly. PET bottles in mono‐collection systems accumulate less contaminants than PET bottles in co‐collection systems do. Therefore, PET bottles within recycling schemes using mono‐collection systems can contain more recycled content than those from co‐collection systems, without exceeding acceptation limits on critical bottle properties such as haziness, yellowing, and migration.
    A first assessment of the impact of impurities in PP and PE recycled plastics
    Alvarado Chacon, F. ; Brouwer, M.T. ; Thoden van Velzen, E.U. ; Smeding, I.W. - \ 2020
    Wageningen : Wageningen Food & Biobased Research (Report / Wageningen Food & Biobased Research 2030) - ISBN 9789463953580 - 95
    Seeking circularity : Finding sustainable packaging solutions for fresh products
    Thoden van Velzen, E.U. - \ 2020
    Wageningen : Wageningen Food & Biobased Research (Report / Wageningen Food & Biobased Research 2068) - ISBN 9789463954679 - 43
    This study explores the options to make fresh food packages more sustainable, recyclable or even circular recyclable. The packaging options for two fresh food products were examined: snack tomatoes and poultry meat products. The study revealed that there are indeed possibilities to make these packages recyclable and limit the environmental impact of the product-packaging combination. None of the currently available packages is circular recyclable and neither will they not potentially contribute to the formation of litter. However, existing packaging options can become circular recyclable in the near future when the required recycling technologies are developed. The quest for more circular recyclable packages did reveal several dilemmas. These dilemmas concern the whole value chains of both the product and the package and cannot be resolved by the food company alone. The quarry for more circular recyclable packages can only succeed when all the stakeholders are involved, including the citizens. Food companies can pursue multiple sustainability strategies (limit food waste, limit environmental impacts of the food-packaging combination, recyclability, circularity, limit the impact of littered packages) and all these strategies will render different packaging designs.
    Potentie voor de recycling van aluminiumverpakkingen eind 2020 : Studie naar de mogelijkheden voor de recycling van aluminiumverpakkingen en verwante consumentenartikelen in Nederland eind 2020
    Thoden van Velzen, E.U. ; Smeding, I.W. - \ 2020
    Wageningen : Wageningen Food & Biobased Research (Wageningen Food & Biobased Research report 2060) - ISBN 9789463954471 - 44
    Recycling Aluminium Verpakkingen Nederland (RAVN) has asked Wageningen Food & Biobased Research to investigate the recycling of aluminium packages and related consumer articles by the end of 2020 in the Netherlands. Aim is to estimate – based on best available technologies – the maximum possible recycling rate for aluminium packages and related consumer articles that can be obtained by the end of 2020. The new EU calculation method for the recycling percentage will be used. This report describes the flow of aluminium packages and related consumer articles (like for instance aluminium foil) through the Netherlands with a material flow analysis model. This model describes all relevant collection and recycling pathways. Three pathways are relevant: the recovery from bottom ashes of waste incineration plants, the separate collection of light-weight packaging waste (locally abbreviated as PMD) and the mechanical recovery of metals from mixed municipal solid waste. For every step in these recycling pathways data was collected. For lacking data substantiated assumptions were made. This model was validated with data of 2017. The model predicted the amount of recovered non-Ferro metals from the bottom ashes of Dutch waste incineration plants correctly. This model was used to predict how much aluminium could be recycled in the Netherlands in 2020 in case all incumbents would implement the best available technologies. The resulting calculated recycling rate is 83 to 85% based on the new EU calculation method. A sensitivity analysis of this model showed that, as expected, the final results are sensitive for the selection of base parameters and assumptions. A ten percent increase in oxidation loss at the incineration plant would for instance cause the recycling rate to drop with 5%. Whereas a different method for the recycling of mixed plastics (in which small shares of aluminium are present) would lower the recycling rate with 7%. Conversely, in case the Dutch government would demand that beverage cans are added to the existing deposit refund systems, the recycling rate increases to 88 to 92%. In short, this model proves that high recycling rates can be attained for aluminium in the Netherlands in case the incumbents would implement the best available technologies.
    Moleculaire verontreiniging in gerecyclede kunststoffolie uit bron- en nascheiding
    Maaskant-Reilink, E. ; Thoden van Velzen, E.U. ; Smeding, I.W. - \ 2020
    Wageningen : Wageningen Food & Biobased Research (Rapport / Wageningen Food & Biobased Research 2033) - ISBN 9789463953689 - 89
    Vraag en antwoord over verpakkingen in relatie tot houdbaarheid en duurzaamheid
    Thoden van Velzen, E.U. ; Pereira da Silva, F.I.D.G. ; Paillart, M.J.M. ; Immink, V.M. ; Bos-Brouwers, H.E.J. ; Hetterscheid, S. - \ 2020
    Wageningen : Wageningen Food & Biobased Research (Wageningen Food & Biobased Research report 2045) - 39
    Flexible laminates within the circular economy
    Thoden van Velzen, Ulphard ; Weert, Lisanne de; Molenveld, Karin - \ 2020
    Wageningen : Wageningen Food & Biobased Research (Report / Wageningen Food & Biobased Research 2037) - ISBN 9789463953702 - 36
    This report focusses on flexible laminated packages that are composed out of multiple polymer types and their impact on the recycling chains. Approximately 3-4% of the packaging products used in Europe is a laminated flexible packaging film. By nature, these films are either more difficult to recycle than mono-material packaging products, or even impossible to recycle. In the Netherlands roughly 65% of the laminated flexibles are discarded with the mixed municipal solid waste and 35% are collected in separate collection schemes for lightweight packaging wastes. After sorting the laminates are distributed over the various sorted products; roughly 60% ends up in the sorted product MIX, 25% in the sorted product FILM, 10% in the various sorting residues and 5% in valuable sorting products like PP and PE where they may hinder recycling of these valuable sorting products. Current and future options for the waste management of multi-material laminated flexible packaging films include mechanical-, chemical- and organic recycling. Next to technical feasibility and technical hurdles there are various practical and economical limitations and acceptance issues that presently limit recycling of flexible laminates. Most stakeholders involved in plastic packaging are committed to develop a more sustainable, circular plastics industry. Despite the willingness of industry to move to sustainable and recyclable packaging products there are numerous challenges with respect to flexible laminates for packaging applications. Strategies to improve the end-of-life options for flexible laminates can be categorised in four main categories; avoid the use of laminates, redesign the laminates, redesign the collection & recycling scheme or improve the sort-ability and recognisability. As a first step (agreement on) a precise definition of recyclability is needed to allow evaluation of the recyclability of laminated flexible packages. This implies that a test method is needed to verify if newly developed laminated flexibles are recyclable.
    Afval scheiden moet, maar heel Nederland doet het anders
    Thoden van Velzen, Ulphard - \ 2020
    Krantenartikel
    Bijdrage aan een krantenartikel van NRC over PMD inzamelen versus nascheiden van kunststofverpakkingsafval
    Effect of recycled content and rPET quality on the properties of PET bottles, part I: Optical and mechanical properties
    Alvarado, F. ; Brouwer, M.T. ; Thoden van Velzen, E.U. - \ 2020
    Packaging Technology and Science 33 (2020)9. - ISSN 0894-3214 - p. 345 - 394.


    The effect of recycled content and type of recycled poly (ethylene terephthalate) (rPET) on the haziness; colour parameters L*, a*, and b*; total colour change; ultraviolet‐visual spectrum (UV‐VIS) absorption; and environmental stress cracking (ESC) of PET bottles was studied. Three series of PET bottles were made at a small scale production facility with same type of virgin PET and three different types of rPET with recycled contents of 25%, 50%, 75%, and 100%. Also, the particle contamination of the produced PET bottles was studied by dissolving bottle fragments and counting the insoluble particles. A linear relationship was found between the haziness of PET bottles and the particle contamination, with a coefficient of determination of 0.96. Linear relationships were also found between the colour parameters L* and b* and the particle contamination of the PET bottles, but the slope differed for each type of rPET. The origin of rPET (mono‐collection or cocollection) seems to be the crucial factor determining particle contamination and colour of the produced bottles. No correlation was found between the recycled content and the incidence of ESC. However, PET bottles in which high intrinsic viscosity (IV) values were measured showed lower chances of ESC than PET bottles with low IV values
    Verkenning effect verschuiven meetpunt recycling kunststofverpakkingen
    Brouwer, M.T. ; Smeding, I.W. ; Thoden van Velzen, E.U. - \ 2019
    Wageningen : Wageningen Food & Biobased Research (Rapport / Wageningen Food & Biobased Research 1923) - ISBN 9789463439275 - 25
    Verkenning effect verschuiven meetpunt recycling verpakkingen
    Thoden van Velzen, E.U. ; Smeding, I.W. ; Brouwer, M.T. - \ 2019
    Wageningen : Wageningen Food & Biobased Research (Wageningen Food & Biobased Research report 1984) - ISBN 9789463951722 - 35
    The impact of collection portfolio expansion on key performance indicators of the Dutch recycling system for Post-Consumer Plastic Packaging Waste, a comparison between 2014 and 2017
    Brouwer, Marieke ; Picuno, Caterina ; Thoden van Velzen, Ulphard - \ 2019
    Wageningen University & Research
    Plastics - Flow Analysis - Recycling - Waste Collection - Packaging
    This dataset corresponds to the paper: “The impact of collection portfolio expansion on key performance indicators of the Dutch recycling system for Post-Consumer Plastic Packaging Waste, a comparison between 2014 and 2017” (2019). The dataset includes two folders, one for the MFA model for 2017 and one for the model results of both the 2014 and 2017 model. Folder 1 (Tables A to I) contains the model description. Tables A, B and C list general input data for the model, such as gross collected amounts and the sorting distribution. Tables D, E, F and G relates to compositional data of separately collected post-consumer plastic packaging waste (PCPPW). In tables D and E the measured average compositions of collected materials and sorted products are listed (input STAN). The output of STAN for collected PCPPW and sorted products made therefrom, are listed in tables F and G. Tables H and I list the compositional data of PCPPW that was mechanically recovered from mixed municipal solid waste (MSW). In table H the measured average compositions of mechanically recovered PCPPW and sorted products made therefrom are listed (input STAN). The output data of STAN for mechanical recovered PCPPW and the sorted products made therefrom are listed in table I. Folder 2 (Tables J to W) shows all modelling results for 2014 and 2017. Table J lists the average gross composition of the separately collected PCPPW. Table K lists the collection fates of all the packaging types. Table L lists the sorting fates of all packaging types for separately collected PCPPW. Table M lists the sorting fates of all packaging types for mechanical recovered PCPPW. Table N lists the End-of-Life fates of all packaging types. Table O lists the average compositions of sorted products and compares those to the DKR sorting specifications to verify general compliance. In order to verify compliance of the sorted products, several interpretations had to be made to translate our list of packaging types in the list of criteria named in the specifications. The ‘benefit of the doubt’ principle was applied when required in this translation process. Table P lists the total amounts of washed milled goods produced. Table Q lists the recovered masses for the mechanical recycling process of the separately collected and sorted PCPPW. Table R lists the recovered masses for the mechanical recycling process of the mechanical recovered and sorted PCPPW. Table S lists the material composition of the produced washed milled goods. Table T and U list the share of desired polymers in the produced washed milled goods made from either separately collected and sorted or mechanical recovered and sorted PCPPW, respectively. Table V and W list the origin of contaminants in the produced washed milled goods made from either separately collected and sorted or mechanical recovered and sorted PCPPW, respectively.
    Marketing heeft de sleutel in handen voor rPET in flessen : in de huidige praktijk kan het aanbod van rPET de marktvraag niet bijbenen
    Thoden van Velzen, E.U. - \ 2019
    Kunststof en Rubber 2019 (2019)1. - ISSN 0167-9597 - p. 34 - 35.
    De lange weg naar een cirkel : Praktische problemen bij het streven naar circulaire verpakkingen
    Thoden van Velzen, E.U. - \ 2019
    In: Roadtrip, not business as usual - p. 127 - 136.
    Separate collection of lightweight packages by 21 individual Dutch households in 2017
    Thoden van Velzen, Ulphard ; Brouwer, Marieke - \ 2019
    Wageningen University & Research
    waste collection - plastic waste
    It contains the composition of the mixed municipal solid waste (MSW) and lightweight packaging waste (LWP) (locally named PMD) of 21 households in two municipalities (Oosterhout and Waalwijk) and of the reference samples of the whole municipalities; mixed MSW and LWP taken from municipal cross-docking stations.
    Onze plasticrecycling is nog lang niet optimaal: ‘Dode katten moeten er eerst uit'
    Thoden van Velzen, E.U. - \ 2019
    The impact of collection portfolio expansion on key performance indicators of the Dutch recycling system for Post-Consumer Plastic Packaging Waste, a comparison between 2014 and 2017
    Brouwer, Marieke ; Picuno, Caterina ; Thoden van Velzen, Eggo U. ; Kuchta, Kerstin ; Meester, Steven De; Ragaert, Kim - \ 2019
    Waste Management 100 (2019). - ISSN 0956-053X - p. 112 - 121.
    Collection portfolio expansion - Net recycling yields - Polymeric purity of recycled products - Post-consumer plastic packaging waste - Recycling

    The recycling network of post-consumer plastic packaging waste (PCPPW) was studied for the Netherlands in 2017 with material flow analysis (MFA) and data reconciliation techniques. In comparison to the previous MFA of the PCPPW recycling network in 2014, the predominant change is the expansion of the collection portfolio from only plastic packages to plastic packages, beverage cartons and metal objects. The analysis shows that the amounts of recycled plastics products (as main washed milled goods) increased from 75 to 103 Gg net and the average polymeric purity of the recycled products remained nearly constant. Furthermore, the rise in the amounts of recycled products was accompanied with a rise in the total amount of rejected materials at cross docking facilities and sorting residues at the sorting facilities. This total amount grew from 19 Gg in 2014 to 70 Gg gross in 2017 and is over-proportional to the rise in recycled products. Hence, there is a clear trade-off between the growth in recycled plastics produced and the growth in rejects and residues. Additionally, since the polymeric purity of the recycled plastics did not significantly improve during the last years, most of the recycled plastics from PCPPW are still only suited for open-loop recycling. Although this recycling system for PCPPW is relatively advanced in Europe, it cannot be considered circular, since the net recycling yield is only 26 ± 2% and the average polymeric purity of the recycled plastics is 90 ± 7%.

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