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Hazardous substances in plastics

ways to increase recycling

image of Hazardous substances in plastics

The aim of the project is to create knowledge on how plastics recycling can increase without increasing the risk of emitting hazardous substances to the environment.The first general conclusion is that to be able to increase recycling there are measures needed at different levels. The following areas are of interest:

  • Legislation: new legislation is not necessary, but harmonisation and clear guidance to the existing one is.
  • Market: to create a market safety on content is needed.
  • If substances added are less hazardous the recycled raw material would be “more safe” to use.
  • There should be higher attention put on the knowledge of the recyclers.
  • Traceability and content: Further work on labelling reaching the recycle part of the value chain needs to be developed. It is also needed to develop a systematic approach towards risk assessments linked to recycling.

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Collection and recycling of plastic waste in the Nordic countries

Fundamental to recycling of plastics is to have collection and recycling systems in place. Collection systems dedicated for plastic waste can be organised and practically operated in different ways dependent on the country, the legislation behind the collection and recycling, and the actors involved. Plastic waste can also be collected for recycling as part of another waste stream where the target fractions might not necessarily be plastics. This is the case for example end-of-life vehicles (ELVs) and Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE). The opposite is when the waste stream is meant to completely constitut of plastics, such as the plastic packaging waste stream.

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