A consortium of 17 European organisations, including Michelin Group, have launched a major initiative to process hard-to-recycle post-consumer waste, including composite industrial waste and multilayer clothes. The WhiteCycle project, coordinated by Michelin, was launched on Friday, July 1. Co-financed by the Horizon Europe program of the European Commission, this public/private European partnership includes 17 organizations.
The WhiteCycle ambition by 2030 is to foster the annual recycling of more than 2 million tons of PET. This project should make it possible to reduce CO2 emissions by approximately 2 million tons and to avoid the landfilling or incineration of more than 1.8 million tons of plastic each year.
The consortium will establish the new processes required for the various steps in the value chain:
- Sorting technologies that make it possible to considerably increase the plastic content of complex waste streams in order to better process them;
- A pre-process for recuperated plastic, followed by a very innovative recycling process (using an enzyme) which sustainably disintegrates the pre-processed plastic into pure monomers;
- Repolymerization of the resulting plastic monomers to produce like-new plastic;
- Quality verification of the new products made with the plastic resulting from recycled complex waste.