Kim Ragaert

Circular plastics – from wishful thinking to reality

Bringing polymers to full circularity is one of the great scientific and industrial challenges of our time. Many potential solutions present themselves, butso far none of them is the allround silver bullet that society is looking for. Large discrepancies remain between available plastics for recycling and effective collection and recycling rates. The public opinion has turned strongly against plastics as a whole,mechanical recycling seems unable to close the gap and chemical recycling remains unproven on an industrial level. True design for recyclability is only just taking off and still has a long way to go.
This lecture will discuss the current state-of-affairs for plastics recycling, describe the main hurdles for increased plastics circularity and offer some insightsinto where polymer science can help pave the way for truly circular plastics.