Plastics Unchained:  the Urban Circular Hub as a Factory for the Future

Leuven, Belgium

To drastically reduce dependence on new raw materials and CO2 production, a vital urban circular hub will be developed, aiming to revalorize plastics through recycling and reuse. This hub acts as a crucial link in the value chain by selectively collecting, sorting, and preparing different types of plastics for reuse or processing elsewhere.

Focus sectors
What do we want to achieve?

  • Objective #1: Set up specialized operation processes to handle plastics substreams resulting in output ready for high valorisation according to these specific subtypes.
  • Objective #2: Work on the intersection between materials science, mechanical engineering, digitalisation logistics and labour skills development to transform small scale manually-operated pilots into a scalable industrial blueprint for tomorrow’s Circular Factory of the Future. 
plastics recovery
What is our circularity impact?

  • Reduced material consumption  
  • Increased share of renewable and secondary raw materials in overall material demand  (virgin plastics avoided) 
  • Increased self-sufficiency / self-reliance (decreased dependence on raw materials, increased self-suffiency through recycling) 
  • Increased quantity of materials available for the next cycle 
  • Reduced waste generation (plastics) 
  • Reduced incineration and landfilling activities and amounts subjected (plastics incineration avoided) 
What is our circularity strategy?

Circular strategy 8: Recycle

Process materials to obtain the same (high grade) or lower (low grade) quality.

Circular strategy 4: Reuse

Reuse by another consumer of a discarded product which is still in good condition and fulfils its original function.

What are the SDGs for this project?
  • 8 - Decent Work and Economic Growth
  • 13 - Climate Action
  • 14 - Life Below Water
  • 15 - Life on Land
UZ Leuven
Stad Leuven

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