Project: Plastic ZERO – Public Private Partnerships for avoiding plastic as a waste

“Liepajas RAS” is a partner in an EU Life+ funded project in cooperation with other partners from Denmark, Sweden, Finland and Germany, namely:

–         City of Copenhagen

–         City of Malmö

–         Freie und Hansestadt Hamburg

–         Prikanmaan Jätehuolto OY (Tampere Region Solid Waste Ltd.)

–         Amagerforbrænding (waste & energy company)

–         Technical University of Denmark

–         Aalborg University, Denmark

“Liepajas RAS” contribution to the project is 89 000 EUR with 50 % co-financing from EU. The project period – 36 months starting from September 2011.

Project description:

Plastic waste constitutes a multi-headed problem: It is a waste of natural resources in the form of materials and energy resources, and when treating the residual waste it hinders waste incineration from being a carbon neutral energy source.

The Intergovernmental Panel for Climate Change warns against an expected rise in the average temperature on earth caused by emissions of greenhouse gases. The raise in temperature will have severe impact on the environment and cause significant problems for present and future generations. One important option for reducing the climate impact of modern societies is to substitute fossil fuels with waste as a carbon neutral energy source. However, this requires a reduction or elimination of the plastic contents in the waste. 

With the revised Waste Directive (2006/12/EC and 2008/98/EC) the measures that must be taken with regard to waste prevention have been strengthened. Further, the Directive specifies the waste hierarchy where the first priority of waste management is waste prevention, and that re-use and material recycling should be preferred to energy recovery from waste. Much of the plastic waste originates from packaging, and the Directive on Packaging and Packaging Waste (94/62/EC) holds a strong focus on prevention and recycling of packaging waste with a plastic waste recycling target in 2008 to 22.5 % by weight for plastics, counting exclusively material that is recycled back into plastics.

Project objectives:

The overall objective of the project is: To eliminate plastic in waste streams saving non-renewable resources and enabling carbon neutral energy production from waste.

The specific objectives of the project are:

–         Creation of a knowledge bank on plastic waste for European cities.

–         Demonstration of measures for prevention of plastic waste.

–         Demonstration of technologies and methods for sorting out plastic waste.

–         Demonstration of technologies for recycling plastic waste.

–         Disseminate experience, good practices and tools to European cities.

Expected results:

–         A knowledge bank on plastic waste in Europe, providing European cities with means to intervene in plastic waste streams in order to prevent or recycle plastic waste. 

–         New methods for plastic waste prevention in the entire value chain invented, tested and applied.

–         New methods for improved separation and collection of plastic waste invented, tested and applied in partner cities.

–         New methods for recycling of plastic waste invented, tested and applied by reprocessors and the waste recycling sector.

–         Information, methods, good practices, and tools thoroughly disseminated to European cities through international associations.