LIFE13 ENV/ES/000067

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Contact details:

Contact person: Itziar CARRACEDO FERNÁNDEZ
Tel: 34961366040
Fax: 34961366041
Email: proyectos@aimplas.es

Project description:


Around 3% of waste generated in the EU27 is hazardous, which represents about 12 kg of hazardous waste per capita (2006 data, EUROSTAT). EU legislation covering hazardous waste requires Members States to comply with certain rules concerning its collection, handling, recycling and treatment.

The conventional method for reducing or eliminating threats from hazardous waste containers involves the triple rinsing and draining of empty containers. In the case of plastic packaging, it involves pre-rinsing, crushing, washing (with different washing agents, detergents or surfactants) and subsequent rinsing and drying. After drying, the material can then be passed through an extrusion line, to produce a recycled material in pellet form.

This process requires large amounts of water, cleaning agents, and energy. It also produces large volumes of wastewater. Additionally, the recycled plastic obtained from a conventional recycling process is used in applications with low added value (e.g. pallets), as they generally have inferior mechanical and organoleptic properties.


The project’s main objective is to demonstrate the viability of a new technique for eliminating hazardous substances from waste polyethylene (PE) packaging for solvents or phytosanitary products. The project will use a technology that applies a supercritical carbon dioxide (sc-CO2) in the extrusion phase of the plastic recycling process

This process is expected to partially, or totally, substitute for two of the three stages involved in conventional treatments, which should reduce the labour requirement and the consumption of energy and water. The recycled material will then be employed in the production of packaging for hazardous substances, closing the life cycle. The project aims to provide a reference for the implementation of new solutions in the plastics recycling industry, leading to more efficient and environmentally-friendly processes, as well as higher quality recycled material.

Expected results: The project will develop a new recycling technology for waste plastic packaging for hazardous substances. If applied in ATECO’s plastic waste management facilities, which uses three washes with a capacity of 18 m3 of water and has an annual output of 1000 tonnes/year, the project expects to achieve:

  • A reduction in water consumption: from 558 m3/year to 279 m3/year;
  • A reduction in chemicals use: from 45 tonnes/year of surfactants, NaOH and wastewater treatment substances, to 15.75 tonnes/year;
  • A reduction in energy consumption: from 15 000 kWh/year to 1500 kWh/year, which equates to a cut of 630kg CO2/year.



Environmental issues addressed:


Energy - Efficiency
Energy - Savings
Risk management - Industrial risks - Hazardous substances
Waste - Packaging and plastic waste
Waste - Waste recycling
Waste - Waste reduction - Raw material saving
Water - Water saving


waste management‚  water saving‚  waste use‚  waste recycling‚  waste reduction‚  plastic waste‚  recycling‚  packaging‚  plastic‚  greenhouse gas‚  industrial waste water‚  hazardous substance‚  alternative technology

Natura 2000 sites

Not applicable



Coordinator Asociación de Investigación de Materiales Plásticos y Conexas
Type of organisation Research institution
Description AIMPLAS is a private technological institute operating in the plastics sector. It has a strong track record in compounding, processing, recycling, product development and the analysis of plastic materials for different sectors, such as construction, the automotive sector, packaging and other traditional areas.
Partners AIDIMA(Aosciación de Investigación y Desarrollo en la Industria del Mueble y Afines), Spain ENPLAST(Enplast SA), Spain ARVET(AGRUPACIÓN DE EXPORTADORES DE TRANSFORMADOS - ARVET), Spain ACTECO(Acteco Productos y Servicios SL), Spain


Project reference LIFE13 ENV/ES/000067
Duration 01-JUL-2014 to 31-DEC -2016
Total budget 1,473,010.00 €
EU contribution 674,254.00 €
Project location Comunidad Valenciana(España)


Read more:

Project web site Project's website
Video link Project's video [ES - 5'29]
Video link Project's video [EN - 5'29]


Project description   Environmental issues   Beneficiaries   Administrative data   Read more   Print   PDF version