ECRN is proud to be a part of the SYSCHEMIQ project launch. On September 7-8, we met our 20 partners from across 3 different countries in Limburg, at the Brightlands Chemelot Campus for a successful two-day event.
The project in February 2022 has been successfully evaluated and awarded €9.6 million in funding from the Horizon Europe programme. It brings together local governments, knowledge institutes, industry representatives and stakeholders from the Netherlands, Belgium, and Germany. The new project will start this year and continue through 2025.
The partnership aims to facilitate the systemic transition to a circular economy in the region, focusing on collecting, sorting, and recycling used plastic but also on designing plastic materials that can help improve recycling itself.
Currently, only 42% of the plastic packaging in European households is collected for recycling. The rest is disposed of in landfills or incinerated. According to the EU most recent targets, in the next three years half of all consumer plastics must be collected for recycling, and by 2030, this target figure must increase to 55%. Plastic recycling can also have a strong impact in reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
Yet, the project does not only focus on technological innovation, it will also develop and test new ways of cooperating across different regions: sharing data, skills, and best practices for an innovative model. If local and regional governments make more of a systematic effort to improve plastic sorting and recycling, it will be more attractive for industry to invest in more large-scale recycling.