Design from recycling: A complex mixed plastic waste case study

Date of publication 29 June 2020

Authors Ragaert, Kim; Huysveld, Sophie; Vyncke, Gianni; Hubo, Sara; Veelaert, Lore; Dewulf, Jo; Du Bois, Els.

Sources Resources, Conservation and Recycling : 155, 104646.



With today’s continued drive to increase recycling rates of plastics, the low-hanging fruit of clean mono-streams of plastic waste has long since been picked. If Europe’s ambitious recycling targets are to be met, plastics waste streams that have until now been labeled ‘problematic’ and have consistently been sent to incineration, must be considered as well. One such stream is the sink fraction obtained from float-sink sorting of mixed post-consumer packaging waste. It is a very complex stream in terms of composition. Moreover, it contains a sizeable amount of PVC, which is considered detrimental to further mechanical recycling of any mixed plastic waste. Within the current research, the sink fraction was extensively analyzed for composition and mechanical properties, as well as treated for removal of PVC and non-ferrous metals. Subsequently, the Design from Recycling strategy was applied to successfully develop a new product with this material, called the Greentile. The Greentile was effectively manufactured and found to be a useful construction element for slanted green roofs.

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