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European trends in the feedstock recycling of plastic wastes

  • Authors
    Aguado J.
    Serrano D.
    San M.
Abstract

Consumption of plastic products has increased dramatically over the past few decades. This
trend results in the generation of a vast waste stream that needs to be properly managed to
avoid environmental damage. Increasingly stringent European legislation is setting new
standards that promote the application of novel recycling technologies capable of absorbing
large amounts of plastic wastes. An option with great potential is feedstock recycling, which
includes a variety of processes like pyrolysis, catalytic conversion, depolymerisation and
gasification, designed to transform plastic waste into hydrocarbon products for use in the
preparation of recycled polymers, refined chemicals or fuels. This paper summarises the
current situation regarding the generation of plastic residues in Europe and provides a
general view of alternative recycling methods. Up-to-date information is also included on
commercial or demonstration recycling activities currently in operation, paying special
attention to the development and application of novel catalytic feedstock recycling processes.