Fraunhofer Representative Office Beijing
Revamped plastics recycling chain

© Holger Jacoby
These days, the majority of consumable and everyday items are made from petroleum-based plastic. In Germany alone, some six million tons of plastic waste are generated every year. Approximately half of this is mechanically recycled into new materials; the rest is used for energy recovery. Incinerating this waste releases CO2, a greenhouse gas. So from a climate and environmental protection point of view, it is important to keep more plastics in the materials cycle. As part of the Waste4Future flagship project, eight Fraunhofer institutes are developing new ideas and processes to significantly improve the mechanical recycling rate for plastic materials.