Closed Plastic Circle – from Pilots into Practice
Achieving the recycling targets for plastics requires a well-functioning market for recycled plastics. The Closed Plastic Circle – from Pilots into Practice -project develops the know-how and business models of plastic recycling with various plastic experts in Uusimaa and Päijät-Häme. Improved plastic circularity translates into better business, better environmental well-being, and more sustainable living.
What is it all about?
Plastic plays a key role in our society. It is a cheap, lightweight, durable and versatile material with good protective properties. The negative effects of plastic – such as carbon dioxide emissions from its manufacture or the harm when it ends up in the environment – can be effectively reduced through a circular economy. In this project, we focus on supporting plastic professionals to find functional recycling business models and develop material know-how. The project aims to strengthen sustainable economic growth and business activities by promoting plastic circularity and the recycled plastics market.
The project is part of the Closed Plastic Circle scheme, continuing the work started by the Smart & Clean Foundation in 2018–2021. After the foundation ceased operations, the responsibility for the coordination of the project was transferred to the City of Espoo. Espoo aims to be a responsible forerunner, and to achieve carbon neutrality by 2030 and the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals by 2025. Improving plastic circularity is a significant step towards achieving these objectives.
The project is carried out by experts in the field of plastics from Uusimaa and Päijät-Häme, two regions creating significant plastics streams. The regions feature significant plastic operators and industry, including development and research organisations. Besides the City of Espoo, the participants include VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland Ltd, HSY Helsinki Region Environmental Services Authority, Metropolia University of Applied Sciences, LAB University of Applied Sciences, Salpakierto Ltd, Muovipoli Ltd, and the Finnish Plastics Association.
The measures are divided into five work-packages, with the first two focusing on practical pilots and the other three on increasing knowledge. The practical pilots aim to find the best and most effective ways to recycle the selected plastics. For example, we will take a closer look into the use of construction plastic, test mushroom species that can eat plastic and try to increase the number of plastic containers in the deposit return scheme. Laboratory analyses and surveys will be used to increase knowledge about the properties of different plastic waste fractions, the products from them, and their processing and use possibilities. We will also investigate the role of the city’s procurements in supporting the recycled plastic market and prepare a road map for plastic up to the year 2050.
Tell us about information needed for improving the circulation of plastic (published 31.3.2023)
Get a grip on plastic: give a useless plastic item a new lease of life by bringing it to a library collection point or participating in a plastic workshop (published 17.3.2023)
Work to increase the plastic recycling rate continues (published 1.2.2023)
Below, we will publish information produced under the Closed Plastic Circle project.