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Recycling, Volume 7, Issue 4 (August 2022) – 14 articles

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Article
Experimental and Artificial Neural Network-Based Study on the Sorptivity Characteristics of Geopolymer Concrete with Recycled Cementitious Materials and Basalt Fibres
Recycling 2022, 7(4), 55; https://doi.org/10.3390/recycling7040055 - 09 Aug 2022
Viewed by 132
Abstract
The environmental concerns regarding the production of the most widely consumed cement construction material have led to the need for developing sustainable alternatives. Using recycled industry waste products such as fly ash and slag via geopolymerisation has led to the development of geopolymer [...] Read more.
The environmental concerns regarding the production of the most widely consumed cement construction material have led to the need for developing sustainable alternatives. Using recycled industry waste products such as fly ash and slag via geopolymerisation has led to the development of geopolymer cement—an efficient replacement for ordinary Portland cement (OPC). Adopting geopolymer cement and concrete as a construction material reduces greenhouse gas and promotes the recycling of waste products. This study explores the suitability of a unique geopolymer concrete mix made of recycled cementitious materials including industry waste products such as fly ash, micro fly ash and slag for use in aggressive environments. Sorptivity tests are conducted to assess the durability of concrete and indicate the cementitious material’s ability to transmit water through the capillary forces. This study thus reports on the sorptivity characteristics of a newly developed self-compacting geopolymer concrete and two other fibre geopolymer concrete mixes containing 1% (by weight) of 12 mm- or 30 mm-long basalt fibres. The addition of basalt fibres indicated less water absorption and moisture ingress than the mix without fibres. The study used 18 specimens from three geopolymer concrete mixes, and the results showed that adding fibres improved the durability performance in terms of resistance to moisture ingress. Finally, an artificial neural network model is developed to predict the absorption rates of geopolymer concrete specimens using MATLAB. The prediction models reported excellent agreement between experimental and simulated datasets. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Materials from Waste and Renewable Sources)
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Article
Agro-Industrial Wastewater Treatment with Acacia dealbata Coagulation/Flocculation and Photo-Fenton-Based Processes
Recycling 2022, 7(4), 54; https://doi.org/10.3390/recycling7040054 - 08 Aug 2022
Viewed by 158
Abstract
The removal of dissolved organic carbon (DOC) and total polyphenols (TPh) from agro-industrial wastewater was evaluated via the application of coagulation–flocculation–decantation (CFD) and Fenton-based processes. For the CFD process, an organic coagulant based on Acacia dealbata Link. leaf powder (LP) was applied. The [...] Read more.
The removal of dissolved organic carbon (DOC) and total polyphenols (TPh) from agro-industrial wastewater was evaluated via the application of coagulation–flocculation–decantation (CFD) and Fenton-based processes. For the CFD process, an organic coagulant based on Acacia dealbata Link. leaf powder (LP) was applied. The results showed that the application of the LP at pH 3.0, with an LP:DOC ratio of 0.5:1 (w/w), achieved a high removal of turbidity, total suspended solids (TSS), and volatile suspended solids (VSS) of 84.7, 79.1, and 76.6%, respectively. The CFD sludge was recycled as fertilizer in plant culture (germination index ≥ 80%). Afterwards, the direct application of Fenton-based processes to raw WW was assessed. The Fenton-based processes (UV/Fenton, UV/Fenton-like, and heterogeneous UV/Fenton) showed high energy efficiency and a cost of 1.29, 1.31 and 1.82 €/g/L DOC removal, respectively. The combination of both processes showed the near complete removal of TPh and DOC after 240 min of reaction time, with high energy efficiency. In accordance with the results obtained, the combination of CFD with Fenton-based processes achieves the legal limits for the disposal of water into the environment, thus allowing the water to be recycled for irrigation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Reuse of Wastewater: Recovery of Water, Nutrients, and Energy)
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Article
Unpicking the Gender Gap: Examining Socio-Demographic Factors and Repair Resources in Clothing Repair Practice
Recycling 2022, 7(4), 53; https://doi.org/10.3390/recycling7040053 - 05 Aug 2022
Viewed by 230
Abstract
Increased fashion consumption spurred by fast fashion has led to excessive textile waste, giving rise to a global crisis as textile waste pollutes land and waterways, while landfill and incineration contribute to global greenhouse gas emissions. Extending a product’s life for as long [...] Read more.
Increased fashion consumption spurred by fast fashion has led to excessive textile waste, giving rise to a global crisis as textile waste pollutes land and waterways, while landfill and incineration contribute to global greenhouse gas emissions. Extending a product’s life for as long as possible is a core principle of the circular economy (CE) to ensure that the maximum value of the original product is realized over its lifetime. As such, repair is an essential component of a CE because it supports the preferred waste hierarchy elements of reduce and reuse, with recycling being the last resort in a CE necessary to close resource loops. Consumers are an essential enabler of a CE; therefore, it is critical to understand consumers’ characteristics in the context of behaviors such as repair. The purpose of this study was to examine the role of gender on engagement in clothing repair practices; women have often only been the focus of clothing repair studies. An online survey was conducted to collect responses from Canadian and U.S. consumers (n = 512). Findings showed that self-repair was the most common form of clothing repair, with women being more highly engaged in self-repair practices, increasing with age. Paid repair is the type of repair that has the lowest level of engagement, and there are only negligible differences between the genders. Men utilize unpaid forms of repair more than women. However, among the youngest age group (18–24), both genders are equally likely to have clothing repaired for free. Gender gaps exist, but opportunities for increased utilization in repair can be created to encourage full participation within a CE. In particular, the findings point to the importance of increasing repair activities amongst men and younger consumers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers in Recycling 2022)
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Article
Factors Influencing Household Waste Separation Behavior: Cases of Russia and Finland
Recycling 2022, 7(4), 52; https://doi.org/10.3390/recycling7040052 - 28 Jul 2022
Viewed by 294
Abstract
This paper investigates the factors influencing the behavior of individuals in source-separation of municipal solid waste in an immature system for collection of recyclable waste (Saint Petersburg, Russia) and a more mature waste system (selected urban areas, Finland). Online questionnaires were applied to [...] Read more.
This paper investigates the factors influencing the behavior of individuals in source-separation of municipal solid waste in an immature system for collection of recyclable waste (Saint Petersburg, Russia) and a more mature waste system (selected urban areas, Finland). Online questionnaires were applied to collect data from citizens of Saint Petersburg and the Finnish urban population. The data were examined within an extended theory of planned behavior using structural equation modeling for the identification of factors affecting waste source-separation behavior. The findings indicate that the factors differed significantly in the two waste systems. In Russia, the inconvenience of waste collection limited waste source-separation behavior, while intentions of individuals and information availability had an almost equal positive effect. In Finland, waste source-separation behavior was mostly affected by people’s intentions. Based on the findings, recommendations for the development of recycling practices were made for practitioners in Russia and possibly other early-stage systems for the collection of recyclable waste. Limitations of the study pinpointed the possibilities for future research. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Solid Waste Management)
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Review
A State-of-the-Art Review on the Incorporation of Recycled Concrete Aggregates in Geopolymer Concrete
Recycling 2022, 7(4), 51; https://doi.org/10.3390/recycling7040051 - 27 Jul 2022
Viewed by 301
Abstract
Geopolymer concrete (GC) has the potential to incorporate recycled concrete aggregates (RCA) obtained from construction and demolition waste. This research aims to review the current state-of-the-art knowledge of the RCA in GC and identify the existing knowledge gaps for future research direction. This [...] Read more.
Geopolymer concrete (GC) has the potential to incorporate recycled concrete aggregates (RCA) obtained from construction and demolition waste. This research aims to review the current state-of-the-art knowledge of the RCA in GC and identify the existing knowledge gaps for future research direction. This paper highlights the essential factors that impact the GC’s mechanical and durability properties. Moreover, the influence of various percentages of coarse and fine RCA and the pattern of their replacement will be assessed. The effect of aluminosilicate material, alkaline activators, and curing regime also will be evaluated. Besides, the durability-related characteristics of this concrete will be analysed. The impact of exposure to a higher temperature, freeze–thaw cycles, marine environment, and acid and alkali attack will be comprehensively reviewed. A literature review revealed that increasing alumina silicate content, such as slag and metakaolin, and increasing the Na2SiO3/NaOH ratio and alkali-activator-to-binder ratio improve the hardened GC. However, increasing slag and metakaolin content and the Na2SiO3/NaOH ratio has an adverse impact on its workability. Therefore, finding the optimum mix design for using RCA in GC is vital. Moreover, there is a scope for developing a self-compacting GC cured at ambient temperature using RCA. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Materials from Waste and Renewable Sources)
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Article
Use of a Design of Experiments (DOE) for Studying the Substitution of Natural River Sand (NRS) by Gold Mine Tailings (GMT) in Concrete Manufacturing
Recycling 2022, 7(4), 50; https://doi.org/10.3390/recycling7040050 - 26 Jul 2022
Viewed by 223
Abstract
The extraction of precious minerals leaves behind an important amount of tailings. When stored in nature, these tailings contribute to environmental degradation. To reduce this degradation, tailings are incorporated in construction as substitute to natural materials. The objective of this study was to [...] Read more.
The extraction of precious minerals leaves behind an important amount of tailings. When stored in nature, these tailings contribute to environmental degradation. To reduce this degradation, tailings are incorporated in construction as substitute to natural materials. The objective of this study was to use a design of experiments (DOE) to reveal how the substitution of natural river sand (NRS) by gold mine tailings (GMT) in concrete manufacturing can be optimally achieved. This DOE considered three constituents: the amounts of NRS/GMT, that of gravel and of cement. The experimental domain was defined within the concrete standards dosage of 350 kg/m3 and 400 kg/m3 as the lower and upper levels, respectively. The smallest compressive strength on standard cubic specimens on the 28th day varied between 11 N/mm2 and 37 N/mm2 following to the experimental domain. The values of the compressive strength of the experiments carried out allowed to acquire the model of the strength with the coefficients of each factor: Strength=23.255.86*A+4.56*B1.96*C0.56*A*B+1.41*A*C+1.08*B*C+0.71*A*B*C (with A: GMT+NRS; B: cement; C: gravel). The values of the cumulative weight of the coefficients of each factor were 36.7% (A), 64.5% (B) and 76.6% (C). The study also found that a larger dosage of gravel (40 kg) improves the concrete compressive strength when GMT substitutes NRS between 70% and 100% and when 15 kg of cement is used. For a sustainable and better reuse of GMT as construction materials, an economic and environmental study (the leaching of metals) of the concrete based on GMT would be ideal to consider a large scale production. Full article
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Article
Stakeholder Assessment on Closing Nutrient Cycles through Co-Recycling of Biodegradable Household Kitchen Waste and Black Water between Rural and Urban Areas in South India
Recycling 2022, 7(4), 49; https://doi.org/10.3390/recycling7040049 - 20 Jul 2022
Viewed by 224
Abstract
Agricultural land degradation, urban migration, increasing food demand and waste, and inadequate sanitation systems all affect farmers, local society, and the environment in South India. Joint recycling of biodegradable secondary household resources to close nutrient cycles between urban and rural regions can address [...] Read more.
Agricultural land degradation, urban migration, increasing food demand and waste, and inadequate sanitation systems all affect farmers, local society, and the environment in South India. Joint recycling of biodegradable secondary household resources to close nutrient cycles between urban and rural regions can address all these challenges and thus several SDGs at the same time. Efforts are being made to this end, but many attempts fail. The central research question is, therefore: how can co-recycling concepts be evaluated in this context? For this purpose, composting plants, biogas fermenters, and a high-tech concept to produce plant charcoal, design fertilizer, and biopolymers are considered. The aim of this study is to evaluate the recycling concepts from the stakeholders’ perspective to avoid gaps between theory and practice. Six expert and one focus group interviews on two successful on-site case studies and 15 online expert interviews with thematic actors were qualitatively evaluated and presented in a social network analysis to identify preferences and indicators for the further evaluation of co-recycling concepts. The results show that the focus is on mature technologies such as compost and biogas. High-tech solutions are currently still in rudimentary demand but will play a more important role in the future. To evaluate such concepts, seven key indicators and their measured values were identified and clustered into the categories ecological, social, technical, economic, and connective. The results show that this methodology of close interaction with stakeholders and the evaluation of successful regional case studies minimize the gap between practice and theory, contribute to several goals of the SDGs, and thus enable such concepts to be implemented sustainably. Full article
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Article
An Approach for Automated Disassembly of Lithium-Ion Battery Packs and High-Quality Recycling Using Computer Vision, Labeling, and Material Characterization
Recycling 2022, 7(4), 48; https://doi.org/10.3390/recycling7040048 - 20 Jul 2022
Viewed by 363
Abstract
A large number of battery pack returns from electric vehicles (EV) is expected for the next years, which requires economically efficient disassembly capacities. This cannot be met through purely manual processing and, therefore, needs to be automated. The variance of different battery pack [...] Read more.
A large number of battery pack returns from electric vehicles (EV) is expected for the next years, which requires economically efficient disassembly capacities. This cannot be met through purely manual processing and, therefore, needs to be automated. The variance of different battery pack designs in terms of (non-) solvable fitting technology and superstructures complicate this. In order to realize an automated disassembly, a computer vision pipeline is proposed. The approach of instance segmentation and point cloud registration is applied and validated within a demonstrator grasping busbars from the battery pack. To improve the sorting of the battery pack components to achieve high-quality recycling after the disassembly, a labeling system containing the relevant data (e.g., cathode chemistry) about the battery pack is proposed. In addition, the use of sensor-based sorting technologies for peripheral components of the battery pack is evaluated. For this purpose, components such as battery pack and module housings of multiple manufacturers were investigated for their variation in material composition. At the current stage, these components are usually produced as composites, so that, for a high-quality recycling, a pre-treatment may be necessary. Full article
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Article
Skid Resistance Performance of Asphalt Mixtures Containing Recycled Pavement Materials under Simulated Weather Conditions
Recycling 2022, 7(4), 47; https://doi.org/10.3390/recycling7040047 - 19 Jul 2022
Viewed by 261
Abstract
One of the challenges of using recycled materials in road structures is to maintain safe and durable pavements. A multitude of research has been conducted over the years on various recycled materials, with a focus on the structural performance of pavements. Another crucial, [...] Read more.
One of the challenges of using recycled materials in road structures is to maintain safe and durable pavements. A multitude of research has been conducted over the years on various recycled materials, with a focus on the structural performance of pavements. Another crucial, but almost overlooked, aspect is the pavement’s ability to provide adequate skid resistance for road users under different climatic conditions. With this in mind, the present study aimed to investigate the skid resistance of asphalt mixtures containing two different types of recycled materials under laboratory-simulated weather conditions. Conventional hot-mix asphalt (HMA) and mixtures containing either reclaimed asphalt pavement (RAP) for aggregate replacement or crumb rubber (CR) as a bitumen additive were prepared and tested at different temperatures and different surface conditions (i.e., dry/wet) following a wetting protocol. Skid resistance was measured using a British Pendulum Tester (BPT). The results showed that the recycled mixtures performed similarly to conventional ones in terms of the skid resistance when the temperature was varied and under variable simulated surface conditions too. In some cases, they performed even better than conventional mixtures. Overall, a promising potential is demonstrated towards the use of the investigated recycled materials in asphalt surface courses. Full article
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Article
Leading the World: A Review of Household Recycling in Wales
Recycling 2022, 7(4), 46; https://doi.org/10.3390/recycling7040046 - 18 Jul 2022
Viewed by 298
Abstract
Wales is one of the world leaders in household waste recycling with a steady recent recycling rate of ~65%. The Welsh Assembly Government (WAG) set a statutory target of achieving a 70% recycling rate by 2024/25. We reviewed historical trends in waste management [...] Read more.
Wales is one of the world leaders in household waste recycling with a steady recent recycling rate of ~65%. The Welsh Assembly Government (WAG) set a statutory target of achieving a 70% recycling rate by 2024/25. We reviewed historical trends in waste management in Wales from 2006 to 2020, with a focus on recycling. Authoritative, official data were obtained from WasteDataFlow, an Internet system for municipal waste data reporting by UK local authorities to government. Data are collected quarterly allowing the generation of time series plots, trendlines and like-for-like comparisons between groupings of various characteristics, such as number of separate kerbside collections, income, political preference, and impact of policy changes. Results showed that the approach taken by the WAG to politically prioritise and encourage participation in household recycling has achieved impressive results that contrast starkly with the recycling performance of other UK countries. In Wales, household waste disposed annually per person via landfill decreased from ~410 kg to <50 kg and household waste recycled increased from to ~150 kg to ~310 kg, with a recent increase in incineration with energy recovery to ~135 kg as infrastructure has come online. Recycling rates show a seasonal variation due to increases in garden waste sent for composting in the summer. There are variations in local authority performance across Wales, mainly caused by variations in the number of separate collections. Co-mingled collections tend to lead to higher contamination of recyclates that are then not able to be sold for recycling. Deprivation, as indicated by differences in income, also influences total waste arisings and recycling rates. A plateau of ~65% recycling rate was reached in 2020, with incineration reaching a rate of >25%. The recycling rate plateaus at exactly the same time as incineration comes on stream. Evidence demonstrates that improvements to recycling rates can become more difficult when incineration becomes available. Whilst further reductions and improvements to recycling in Wales will be more challenging, the WAG’s track record of focused proactive political and policy support shows what can be achieved when there is suitable political will. The WAG has demonstrated that it tends to deliver on its waste-related plans, and it clearly has the best chance of any of the UK’s four countries of achieving its aims. Full article
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Article
Recycling of Lead Pastes from Spent Lead–Acid Batteries: Thermodynamic Constraints for Desulphurization
Recycling 2022, 7(4), 45; https://doi.org/10.3390/recycling7040045 - 12 Jul 2022
Viewed by 356
Abstract
Lead–acid batteries are important to modern society because of their wide usage and low cost. The primary source for production of new lead–acid batteries is from recycling spent lead–acid batteries. In spent lead–acid batteries, lead is primarily present as lead pastes. In lead [...] Read more.
Lead–acid batteries are important to modern society because of their wide usage and low cost. The primary source for production of new lead–acid batteries is from recycling spent lead–acid batteries. In spent lead–acid batteries, lead is primarily present as lead pastes. In lead pastes, the dominant component is lead sulfate (PbSO4, mineral name anglesite) and lead oxide sulfate (PbO•PbSO4, mineral name lanarkite), which accounts for more than 60% of lead pastes. In the recycling process for lead–acid batteries, the desulphurization of lead sulfate is the key part to the overall process. In this work, the thermodynamic constraints for desulphurization via the hydrometallurgical route for recycling lead pastes are presented. The thermodynamic constraints are established according to the thermodynamic model that is applicable and important to recycling of lead pastes via hydrometallurgical routes in high ionic strength solutions that are expected to be in industrial processes. The thermodynamic database is based on the Pitzer equations for calculations of activity coefficients of aqueous species. The desulphurization of lead sulfates represented by PbSO4 can be achieved through the following routes. (1) conversion to lead oxalate in oxalate-bearing solutions; (2) conversion to lead monoxide in alkaline solutions; and (3) conversion to lead carbonate in carbonate solutions. Among the above three routes, the conversion to lead oxalate is environmentally friendly and has a strong thermodynamic driving force. Oxalate-bearing solutions such as oxalic acid and potassium oxalate solutions will provide high activities of oxalate that are many orders of magnitude higher than those required for conversion of anglesite or lanarkite to lead oxalate, in accordance with the thermodynamic model established for the oxalate system. An additional advantage of the oxalate conversion route is that no additional reductant is needed to reduce lead dioxide to lead oxide or lead sulfate, as there is a strong thermodynamic force to convert lead dioxide directly to lead oxalate. As lanarkite is an important sulfate-bearing phase in lead pastes, this study evaluates the solubility constant for lanarkite regarding the following reaction, based on the solubility data, PbO•PbSO4 + 2H+ ⇌ 2Pb2+ + SO42− + H2O(l). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recycling of Spent Batteries—Trash to Treasure)
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Article
Improving the Separation of PS and ABS Plastics Using Modified Induced Air Flotation with a Mixing Device
Recycling 2022, 7(4), 44; https://doi.org/10.3390/recycling7040044 - 04 Jul 2022
Viewed by 418
Abstract
A dramatic increase in plastic waste has resulted in a strong need to increase plastic recycling accordingly. A selective flotation has been highlighted due to its outstanding efficiency for the separation of mixed plastics with analogous physicochemical characteristics. In this study, the effects [...] Read more.
A dramatic increase in plastic waste has resulted in a strong need to increase plastic recycling accordingly. A selective flotation has been highlighted due to its outstanding efficiency for the separation of mixed plastics with analogous physicochemical characteristics. In this study, the effects of design and operational factors on the bubble’s hydrodynamic and mixing parameters in induced air flotation (IAF) with a mixing device were investigated through a design of experiment method (DOE) analysis for improving the plastic separation efficiency (i.e., PS and ABS). As a result of DOE analysis, the increase in the induced air tube diameter together with the rotational speed could generate a smaller bubble size. This led to the enhancement of the ratio of interfacial area to velocity gradient (a/G), which was interestingly found to be a significant factor affecting plastic recovery apart from the chemical agents. It demonstrates that operating IAF with a mixing device at a greater a/G ratio improved the plastic separation performance. These findings suggest that operating an IAF process with a mixing device at suitable a/G conditions could be a promising technique for separating plastic wastes, which have similar physicochemical characteristics as PS and ABS. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in the Recycling and Processing of Plastic Waste)
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Article
Environmental and Economic Comparison of Natural and Recycled Aggregates Using LCA
Recycling 2022, 7(4), 43; https://doi.org/10.3390/recycling7040043 - 30 Jun 2022
Viewed by 440
Abstract
Recycled aggregates (RAs) have been playing an important role in replacing natural aggregates (NAs) in concrete production, thereby contributing to a reduction in the extraction of natural resources and the promotion of a circular economy. However, it is important to assess the global [...] Read more.
Recycled aggregates (RAs) have been playing an important role in replacing natural aggregates (NAs) in concrete production, thereby contributing to a reduction in the extraction of natural resources and the promotion of a circular economy. However, it is important to assess the global impacts of this replacement, in both environmental and economic terms. In this study, an overview of the impacts of the production of natural and recycled aggregates is presented, using the life cycle assessment (LCA) methodology. Through this methodology, products with the same function are compared and information about the best solutions is given, considering their environmental and economic impacts. Studies with data collected from specific producers were compared, as well as environmental product declarations (EPDs) and generic databases, regarding the production of natural and recycled, coarse and fine, and rolled and crushed aggregates. This study intends therefore to provide the environmental and economic impact comparison at the global level through LCA from different data sources. According to this literature review, the best and worst environmental results are assigned to lower and higher transport distances, respectively. Regarding EPDs, the lowest environmental impacts are related to recycled coarse aggregates and the highest to natural coarse crushed aggregates. In terms of generic databases, the results are similar, with the lowest impacts associated with natural fine rolled aggregates and the highest to natural coarse crushed aggregates. In what concerns the economic impacts, in general, recycled aggregates are associated with the lowest costs. However, these results are highly dependent on transport distances and costs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers in Recycling 2022)
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Article
Understanding Business Requirements for Increasing the Uptake of Recycled Plastic: A Value Chain Perspective
Recycling 2022, 7(4), 42; https://doi.org/10.3390/recycling7040042 - 29 Jun 2022
Viewed by 536
Abstract
Circularity and recycling are gaining increased attention, yet the amount of recycled plastic applied in new products remains low. To accelerate its uptake by businesses, it will be useful to empirically investigate the barriers, enablers, needs and, ultimately, requirements to increase uptake of [...] Read more.
Circularity and recycling are gaining increased attention, yet the amount of recycled plastic applied in new products remains low. To accelerate its uptake by businesses, it will be useful to empirically investigate the barriers, enablers, needs and, ultimately, requirements to increase uptake of recycled plastic feedstock for the production of new plastic products. During the six focus group sessions we conducted, a value chain approach was used to map the factors that actors face regarding the implementation of recycled materials. The identified factors were structured based on three levels: determining whether a certain factor acted as a barrier or enabler, identifying the steps in the value chain that the factor directly affected and the category it could be subdivided into. The results were then further processed by translating the (rather abstract) needs of businesses into (specific) requirements from industry. This study presented eight business requirements that require actions from other actors in the value chain: design for recycling, optimised waste processing, standardisation, material knowledge, showing possibilities, information and education, cooperation, and regulation and government intervention. The main scientific contributions were the value chain perspective and the applied relevance of the findings. Future studies may delve deeper into the individual factors identified. Full article
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