LIFE ECO-PULPLAST - Local circular economy by an innovative approach for recycling paper industry pulper waste into new plastic pallets

LIFE14 ENV/IT/001050

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Contact details:

Project Manager: Marco SEVERINI
Tel: 39058337111
Email: project@selene-spa.it

Project description:


Europe is among the world’s largest producers and consumers of pulp, paper, and cardboard. More specifically, the Lucca paper district is the largest European industrial cluster with an overall production of 1.2 million tonnes of tissue paper and 950 000 tonnes of paper for packaging (75% and 40% of the total Italian production respectively). A large percentage of waste paper is recycled. However, although the transformation chain is highly optimised, recovered paper contains a share of materials that cannot be reused and are discarded. This scrap makes up some 7% by weight of the recovered paper and constitutes pulp waste, which is mostly composed of mixed plastics. All pulp waste currently produced (100 000 t/year in the Lucca district alone) is disposed in landfills or burnt in incinerators with significant and unsustainable environmental and economic impacts.


The overall objective of LIFE ECO-PULPLAST is to reduce to zero the amount of paper mill pulp waste sent to landfills and incinerators. In order to reach this goal, the project will demonstrate the technical and economic feasibility of an innovative technology to recycle pulp waste into new plastic compounds and products, creating industrial symbiosis between the paper and the plastic sectors.

The identified technology has already shown good performance in recycling mixed plastics from other industrial wastes. Moreover, laboratory-scale tests conducted on pulp waste have produced promising results.

Specific project aims are to:

  • Demonstrate the applicability of the technology at industrial scale, including the establishment and testing of a demonstration production line designed specifically for the characteristics of pulp waste;
  • Produce plastic euro-pallets to be reused within the same paper district, creating a local circular economy; and
  • Reduce the environmental impact due to the current transportation of pulp waste to incinerators and landfills as well as the impacts of the related disposal.

In addition, by replacing common wooden euro-pallets, which require large amounts of natural raw materials, with reusable plastic pallets from recovered waste materials, the project addresses the EU’s strategy for a resource-efficient Europe.



Environmental issues addressed:


Industry-Production - Paper - Pulp - Printing
Waste - Waste recycling


waste use‚  waste recycling‚  plastic‚  resource conservation

Target EU Legislation

  • Waste
  • Directive 2008/98 - Waste and repealing certain Directives (Waste Framework Directive) (19.11.200 ...
  • COM(2014)398 - "Towards a circular economy: a zero waste programme for Europe" (02.07.2014)

Natura 2000 sites

Not applicable



Coordinator SELENE SCaRL
Type of organisation Large enterprise
Description Founded in 1959, Selene S.p.A. is a leader in the production of flexible packaging for industry. The company converts plastic materials by way of extrusion, printing, and sealing. Its main area of expertise lies in the development of plastic compounds by using specific combinations of additives to achieve the required performance. Selene is strongly committed to using recovered plastics in its production process and has recently started a production line that reuses its production scrap.
Partners LUCENSE(LUCENSE SCpA), Italy SERVECO(CONSORZIO SERVIZI ECOLOGICI – SOCIETA' A R.L.), Italy ZWE(Zero Waste Europe Stichting), Netherlands


Project reference LIFE14 ENV/IT/001050
Duration 01-SEP-2015 to 31-AUG -2018
Total budget 1,244,978.00 €
EU contribution 746,986.00 €
Project location Toscana(Italia) Noord-Holland(Nederland)


Read more:

Leaflet "ECOPULPLAST: Locla circular ECOnomy by an innovat ...
Project web site Project's website
Project web site - 2 Project's Facebook page
Video link Link to the project's video on Youtube (3:01)


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