LIFE RECYPACK - Circular economy of commercial plastic packaging in urban environments - LIFE RECYPACK

LIFE16 ENV/ES/000305

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Contact details:

Contact person: Raquel Giner Borrull
Tel: 34961366040
Fax: 34961366041
Email: proyectos@aimplas.es

Project description:


There is scope to improve the management of commercial plastic packaging waste (CPPW) in the EU. More CPPW is sent to landfill than is necessary, leading to social, economic and environmental problems. There is a body of legislation that requires proper management of CPPW and that promotes the end of landfilling and the efficient use of resources. However, in most situations, the aims of the legislation are not fulfilled.

On average, CPPW represents 15-30% of household waste in the EU. According to Plastics Europe, 62% of the total EU packaging waste stream derives from households while the remaining 38% comes from commercial and industrial sources. On average, 30.8% of total post-consumer plastic waste goes to landfill and 39.5% to energy recovery. In Greece and Bulgaria, however, the landfill share exceeds 80%.

If CPPW were to be recycled at 80% efficiency, AIMPLAS calculates that the EU plastics market would benefit from more than 820 000 tonnes of recycled material per year, worth about €500 million annually.


LIFE-RECYPACK is a demonstration project to foster green public procurement (GPP) of CPPW in urban areas. The project will demonstrate that this waste stream is a valuable resource from which new recycled added-value materials and products can be obtained. The project will implement an innovative management model to assist local authorities in decision making, and to provide companies with incentives to participate.

The project will evaluate the generation of CPPW by business/shopping centres, urban commercial centres, distribution companies and professional small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). The project will focus on polyethylene, which is the most common type of plastic, and expanded polystyrene, which is a concern because of its low density. The project will operate two recycling facilities, in Hungary and Spain, which will produce recycled polyethylene and recycled polystyrene from CPPW. The recycled material will be used to manufacture new plastic products, thereby closing the loop. The project will also evaluate the potential for replication of its recycling systems in Belgium, Croatia, Poland, Romania and Turkey.

LIFE-RECYPACK will be an example of a circular economy business model and will contribute to the recycling of plastic waste, which is one of the priority sectors in the EU Circular Economy Action Plan. The project will also help the implementation of the Waste Framework Directive, the Landfill Directive and the Packaging Waste Directive.

Expected results:

  • Creation of a new value chain for recycled plastics;
  • Demonstration of four logistics models (in Spain and Italy) for separating and managing polyethylene and polystyrene;
  • Two recycling demonstration facilities: for polyethylene in Hungary and for polystyrene in Spain, which will produce recycled material from CPPW;
  • Production of 99.44 tonnes of recycled polyethylene and polystyrene for use in different applications (as raw material to create new products in the packaging and electrical/electronics sector);
  • Production of 79.55 tonnes of high-quality recycled polyethylene and recycled polystyrene (replacing the equivalent amount of virgin plastic);
  • Prevention of 79.55 tonnes of plastic waste going to landfill, or 362 cubic metres less landfill space used;
  • Reduction of emissions of 117 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (net reduction of greenhouse-gas emissions from plastics recycling, calculated as the difference between avoided and direct emissions);
  • Creation of 0.7 full-time equivalent direct jobs and 1.0 full-time equivalent indirect jobs; and
  • An economic benefit of €15 000.



Environmental issues addressed:


Environmental management - Green procurement
Waste - Packaging and plastic waste


waste recycling‚  packaging‚  plastic‚  landfill‚  resource conservation

Target EU Legislation

  • Waste
  • Directive 2004/12 - Amending Directive 94/62/EC on packaging and packaging waste (11.02.2004 )
  • Directive 2008/98 - Waste and repealing certain Directives (Waste Framework Directive) (19.11.200 ...
  • COM(2015)614 - "Closing the loop - An EU action plan for the Circular Economy" (02.12.2015)
  • Environmental management & assessment
  • Directive 2014/24 on public procurement and repealing Directive 2004/18/EC (26.02.2014)

Natura 2000 sites

Not applicable



Coordinator AIMPLAS - Asociación de investigación de materiales plásticos y conexas
Type of organisation Research institution
Description AIMPLAS, the Plastics Technology Centre, is a research institute that works with the plastics industry. It has expertise in the compounding, processing and recycling of plastic, product development, analysis of waste and analysis of plastic materials for the automotive, electrical/electronic and packaging sectors, among others.
Partners COMERCIALIZADORA ELECTRODOMESTICOS, S.A., Spain ASOCIACIÓN VALENCIANA DE EMPRESARIOS DE PLÁSTICOS, Spain RECYCLING, CONSULTING AND SERVICES, S.L., Spain Diputació de València (Valencia Provincial Council), Spain ReMat Recycling Material Inc., Hungary Scuola Superiore di Studi Universitari e di Perfezionamento Sant'Anna, Italy


Project reference LIFE16 ENV/ES/000305
Duration 01-OCT-2017 to 31-MAR -2020
Total budget 984,466.00 €
EU contribution 566,323.00 €
Project location Comunidad Valenciana(España) Kozep-Magyarorszag(Hungary Magyarország) Kozep-Dunantul(Hungary Magyarország) Nyugat-Dunantul(Hungary Magyarország) Del-Dunantul(Hungary Magyarország) Eszak-Magyarorszag(Hungary Magyarország) Eszak-Alfold(Hungary Magyarország) Del-Alfold(Hungary Magyarország) Extra-Regio(Hungary Magyarország) Associated Hungary (H)(Hungary Magyarország) Piemonte(Italia) Valle d'Aosta(Italia) Liguria(Italia) Lombardia(Italia) Trentino-Alto Adige(Italia) Veneto(Italia) Friuli-Venezia Giulia(Italia) Emilia-Romagna(Italia) Toscana(Italia) Umbria(Italia) Marche(Italia) Lazio(Italia) Campania(Italia) Abruzzo(Italia) Molise(Italia) Puglia(Italia) Basilicata(Italia) Calabria(Italia) Sicilia(Italia) Sardegna(Italia)


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