EU project takes aim at plastic e-waste

October 17, 2019 //By Jean-Pierre Joosting
EU project takes aim at plastic e-waste
PolyCE, a European Commission-funded project supported by the United Nations is calling for consumers to demand electronic and electrical products made with recycled plastic, and for manufacturers to redesign products to both improve recyclability and integrate recycled plastics in new products, thus reducing e-waste.

PolyCE (for Post-Consumer High-tech Recycled Polymers for a Circular Economy) is a multinational consortium led by Fraunhofer IZM that comprises universities, civil society organisations, and numerous companies that is working to find ways to cut e-waste.

According to the Nordic Council of Ministers, plastics account for about 20% of all materials in electronic and electrical equipment (EEE), most of it not designed for recovery and reuse.

The PolyCE consortium is launching a two-year campaign to raise awareness among consumers and manufacturers in order to change their attitudes towards recycled plastics and improve their market uptake.

According to project partner Kim Ragaret, University of Gent: "Plastics are a valuable resource with a great potential for circularity. Plastics themselves aren't the problem – our so-called plastics problems relate to attitudes and waste management."

Plastics are essential for making many different components of electronic and electrical products, including phones, computers, TVs, vacuum cleaners, hairdryers and household appliances.

According to PolyCE consortium experts products can be designed in ways that make material recovery of plastic components easier.

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