Challenges of Implementing New Technologies in Future Waste Management - Example of Chemical Recycling

Conference Dates

June 5 – 10, 2022


Circular economy plays a prominent role in the transition of Europe towards a more sustainable society. To achieve its ambitious targets for waste, the EU will most likely have to explore new technological pathways. The ongoing transition towards circular economy has induced more ambiguity in waste management due to many new suggestions for how individual waste fractions should be managed and processed. Over the past years, there has been an ongoing debate about the potential environmental benefits of introducing new technologies into the sector, the integration of these technologies within the waste management system, and the implementation roadmap for new technologies. Plastic waste represent one of the more complex material fractions for which recycling can be achieved in different ways. One of technologies that has received a lot of attention is chemical recycling. It is often seen as an attractive supplement to mechanical recycling potentially resulting in recycled material of higher quality and thereby contributing to circular economy targets. On the other hand, implementation of a new technology, and chemical recycling is no exception here, is often limited by several challenges: What are the challenges of implementing new technologies in future waste management with focus on increased resource recovery and recycling? How can chemical recycling technologies best support the transition towards circular economy and to which extent should chemical recycling be prioritized over mechanical recycling? The presentation will address strategic technology implementation with chemical recycling as an illustrative case in the perspective of potential: i) technology performance and configurations, ii) strategic implementation scenarios, and iii) roles of new technologies in a changing waste management system.

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