Klöckner Pentaplast (kp) has announced it is taking part in a four-year collaboration project to recover plastics from general domestic waste collections.

The first of its kind, this unique project is being trialled in Pravia, Spain and is designed to recover plastics from domestic general waste collections – upon its success it could be rolled out nationwide.

CEUS – “Circular Economy for Urban Plastic Waste” – has been established with a number of stakeholders working to avoid plastics from domestic general waste collections ending up in landfill that could otherwise be recycled. This innovative project delivers value both financially and environmentally to a future with less waste, helping towards kp’s goals in their Positive Plastics Pledge.

The project partners believe transformation and collection of all recoverable domestic waste plastics will be possible thanks to research and development implemented in the municipal waste management plants. The new state of the art equipment and sorting process can segregate the contaminated general waste, including food waste, and remove any plastics and other materials that can be recovered, recycled or down-cycled, rather than sending them to landfill.

The PET (polyethylene terephthalate) plastic material recovered from CEUS is being used in trials with kp to demonstrate tray to tray recycling, and to encourage consumers to recycle all of their PET food packaging regardless of its condition. kp will be using the recovered PET from the trial to create mono PET trays that can be used for more food packaging, creating a closed loop process.

Other polymers and materials are being recovered and used by other stakeholders involved in the project. Over a four-year period, the scheme will be running several trials to see if the new sorting process methodology can be rolled out nationwide in Spain, making a change to the way we recycle.

Ana Fernandez, Global Innovation Director for Food Packaging, says that until now residues from the collection of mixed plastic materials from domestic general waste bins presented a particular recycling challenge. “The CEUS project will research and trial new treatments that can transform and create value from domestic plastic waste for the first time. Different types of domestic waste mixed together present a major challenge when classifying, sorting, during treatment, and transformation. Sustainability is a top priority for kp, and we are so pleased to be part of a trial which gives so much added value to materials currently only seen as waste”.

Working on CEUS alongside kp are several companies across the full value chain: URBASER for waste management, ACTECO as a recycler, and converters PICDA, NORTPALET and ERUM. The CEUS project is funded by the working framework CIEN of CDTI (Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation) and co-funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).