The four countries in the Interreg 2 Seas region (England, France, Belgium and The Netherlands) are major producers of plastic waste in the EU. Despite previous efforts, overall recycling rates are limited to around 20% - 30%. One of the main causes is the lack of collaboration and management between different actors (industry, public, private) to come to an optimized plastic waste management scheme. This results in suboptimal logistics, economic costs, but also in environmental impact, such as plastic debris ending up in water bodies.
Furthermore, cities in this region are also huge exporters of plastic waste. By doing so, they do not only displace the problem, but they are also missing economic opportunities. Countries like China closed their borders to European export of plastic waste. As a result, waste management companies are urgently searching for solutions.
PlastiCity developed strategies and solutions to improve waste management practices and an attitudes towards plastic in the circular economy. Various project reports and videos are available to download.
I participated in this project via the University of Portsmouth and the project ended before I joined Surrey, but we just published the ACM article.
Lase IS, Frei R, Gong M, Vazquez-Brust D, Peeters E, Roelans G, Dewulf J, Ragaert K, and De Meester S (2023). A method to develop potential business cases of plastic recycling from urban areas: A case study on non-household end-use plastic film waste in Belgium. ACS Sustainable Chemistry and Engineering Journal. https://pubs.acs.org/doi/10.1021/acssuschemeng.3c02748
Frei R, Gong M, Vazquez-Brust D and Litaudon, V (2023). PlastiCity scenarios and modelling: plastic waste collection in urban environments. In Proceedings of the Operational Research Society Simulation Workshop 2023 (SW23), C. Currie and L. Rhodes-Leader, eds., pp.129-138. (https://www.theorsociety.com/media/7331/doiorg1036819sw23016.pdf)