Special Issue "Recycling for Circularity and Sustainability"

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050). This special issue belongs to the section "Environmental Sustainability and Applications".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 December 2020.

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Peter C. Rem
Website
Guest Editor
Delft University of Technology, Department of Materials and Environment, Delft, The Netherlands
Interests: circular innovation, recycling technology, quality assessment
Dr. Francesco Di Maio
Website
Guest Editor
Delft University of Technology
Interests: circular economy, resource efficiency, recycling
Dr. Benjamin Megevand
Website
Guest Editor
Delft University of Technology
Interests: polymer characterization, plastic sorting & recycling, life cycle analysis

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Governments and the public are increasingly accepting what scientists have argued for some time: that the future of society must be sustainable. A systemic change is necessary and should start now. With the realization of this important turn in societal opinion, science and technology must take on a new responsibility: to develop sustainable concepts and methods of production and consumption along with economic, social, and environmental accountability (triple bottom line). This issue means to highlight novel developments and technologies in the field of recycling, in relation to the design and manufacture of circular products. Here we mean recycling technologies that enable the design and manufacture of products with a minimal input of virgin material value in the course of their life cycle.

(For authors) As guest editors of this Special Issue, we hope you will contribute your latest results on this topic in a way that allows readers to understand the implications of advances in recycling for circular product design, economics, resource dependency, and socioenvironmental impact.

(For readers v1) As guest editors of this Special Issue, we hope you will feel inspired by reading the latest advances in this challenging field.

Prof. Dr. Peter C. Rem
Dr. Francesco Di Maio
Dr. Benjamin Megevand
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Sustainability is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1800 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Advanced recycling technologies
  • Circular economy
  • Innovative product cycles
  • Social, economic and environmental impacts

Published Papers (2 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle
From Disposal to Technological Potential: Reuse of Polypropylene Waste from Industrial Containers as a Polystyrene Impact Modifier
Sustainability 2020, 12(13), 5272; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12135272 - 29 Jun 2020
Abstract
The practice of recycling over the years has been increasingly encouraged, with the aim being the manufacturing of materials that contribute to sustainable development. In light of this, the present work evaluated the potential of mixtures of polystyrene (PS)/recycled copolymer polypropylene (PPr), using [...] Read more.
The practice of recycling over the years has been increasingly encouraged, with the aim being the manufacturing of materials that contribute to sustainable development. In light of this, the present work evaluated the potential of mixtures of polystyrene (PS)/recycled copolymer polypropylene (PPr), using styrene-(ethylene/butylene)-styrene (SEBS) as a compatibilizing agent. Initially, the mixtures were prepared in a co-rotational twin-screw extruder, and, afterwards, the extruded granules were molded by injection. The properties of torque rheometry, impact strength, tensile properties, differential scanning calorimetry (DSC), heat deflection temperature (HDT), and scanning electron microscopy (SEM) were evaluated. The formulation PS/PPr/SEBS (70/20/10 %wt.) demonstrated an increase in viscosity, corroborating with an increase of 123% and 227% in the elongation at break and impact strength, respectively, compared to neat PS. Though the elastic modulus and tensile strength suffered losses, the reduction was not drastic. Furthermore, the addition of a semi-crystalline recycled material in the amorphous matrix (PS) contributed to an increase in thermomechanical strength, as seen in the HDT. The morphology revealed that SEBS is effective in making PS/PPr mixtures compatible because the dispersed phase is well adhered to the PS matrix and promotes greater morphological stability. Thus, it is possible to add value to discarded material and reduce the costs of the final product, which can reduce pollution. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recycling for Circularity and Sustainability)
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Open AccessArticle
The Identity of Recycled Plastics: A Vocabulary of Perception
Sustainability 2020, 12(5), 1953; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12051953 - 04 Mar 2020
Abstract
As designing with recycled materials is becoming indispensable in the context of a circular economy, we argue that understanding how recycled plastics are perceived by stakeholders involved in the front end of the design process, is essential to achieve successful application in practice, [...] Read more.
As designing with recycled materials is becoming indispensable in the context of a circular economy, we argue that understanding how recycled plastics are perceived by stakeholders involved in the front end of the design process, is essential to achieve successful application in practice, beyond the current concept of surrogates according to industry. Based on existing frameworks, 34 experiential scales with semantic opposites were used to evaluate samples of three exemplary recycled plastics by two main industrial stakeholders: 30 material engineers and 30 designers. We describe four analyses: (i) defining experiential material characteristics, (ii) significant differences between the materials, (iii) level of agreement of respondents, and (iv) similarities and differences between designers and engineers. We conclude that the three materials have different perceptual profiles or identities that can initiate future idea generation for high-quality applications. The study illustrates the potential of this evaluation method. We propose that designers can facilitate the valorization and adoption of these undervalued recycled materials, first by industry and ultimately by consumers as well. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recycling for Circularity and Sustainability)
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