Plastic waste as a raw material for a circular port

19 April 2024
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Reading time: 2 minutes

Plastic is the perfect product with which to make all kinds of products. It has a long lifespan, is light and easy to maintain. But production also means waste: no fewer than 1.5 million tonnes per year in the Netherlands. Almost half the plastic waste is recycled. If it were up to the Rotterdam port that would be much more.

Simone Opschoor interviews an employee of Pryme

Currently, half the plastic waste disappears into waste incineration installations. That leads to a loss of valuable raw materials and to CO2 emissions because plastic is made from oil and consists largely of hydrocarbons. The Port of Rotterdam Authority’s ambition is that 20% of the fuel production volume and chemical products in the port are produced circularly by 2030. Plastic recycling is a vital element to achieve this ambition.

Plastic hub

Several companies in the port are actively recycling plastic. Parties that recycle plastic have a good supply of material here and there is a lot of potential for purchasing the new product in the port. Various techniques are used to recycle plastic. One of these is ‘advanced recycling’ with, for instance, pyrolysis technology. In Rotterdam, Pryme recycles plastic using a pyrolysis process.

Plastic recycling fits perfectly within Rotterdam port’s aim of making the industry sustainable. This form of recycling contributes to lowering CO2 emissions and making the production processes circular. Value chain collaboration will be the catalyst for circular plastics solutions. The value chain, (petro)chemical manufacturers, brand owners, plastic recycling solution providers, waste management companies, packaging producers, key industry non-governmental players and governmental institutions work alongside each other to address the plastic waste challenge.

The Port of Rotterdam Authority also aims to give these technological high-quality and innovative industries a place in the Rotterdam port and industrial complex.