POLYNSPIRE - Demonstration of Innovative Technologies towards a more Efficient and Sutainable Plastic Recycl

  • Dates: September 2018 – August 2022
  • Leader: CIRCE
  • Grant agreement number: 820665
  • Financed by



PolynSPIRE aims at improving the overall performance of plastics recycling, looking for a more sustainable plastic value chain.

PolynSPIRE project is a research project funded by Horizon2020 EU’s research and innovation programme, with the aim to demonstrate a set of innovative, cost-effective and sustainable solutions, aiming at improving the energy and resource efficiency of plastic recycling processes for post-consumer and post-industrial waste streams containing at least 80% of plastic materials.

The project concept will address plastic containing waste streams ensuring the recycling of at least a 50% of total plastics containing PA (Polyamide) and PU (Polyurethane) leading to a reduction of 30 to 40% CO2 equivalent emissions. To this end, three innovation pillars are addressed at TRL7:

  • Chemical recycling assisted by microwaves and smart magnetic catalysts as a path to recover plastic monomers and valuable fillers (carbon or glass fibres)
  • Advanced additivation and high energy irradiation to enhance recycled plastics quality
  • Valorisation of plastic waste as carbon source in steel industry

The demonstration is completed by the performance of a rigorous holistic environmental and economic analysis (LCA and LCC) to ensure the industrial feasibility and the accomplishment of environmental restrictions.

Furthermore, non-technological barriers such as legislative or standardization ones are also addressed at EU level and business models to integrate the aforementioned solutions in the overall plastic waste management system will be set up. polynSPIRE implies the development of a comprehensive business plan, gathering 7 business models and establishing a cross-linked relation between plastic, chemical and steel manufacturing industries.

The project brings together 22 leading European research/academic institutions, governmental organisations, and industries and SMEs. polynSPIRE has a duration of 48 months and a total budget of 9.95 Million Euros.


The main goals polynSPIRE is addressing are:

  • To enhance plastic recycling through an increase of the flexibility to utilise heterogeneous plastic waste
  • To increase energy efficiency of chemical recycling by reducing energy use up to 68%
  • To decrease the utilisation of primary fossil resources in at least a 32% in the polyamide and polyurethane sectors and to reduce landfilling in 25% in polyolefin sector
  • To decrease CO2 equivalent emissions in the plastic sector between 30% and 40%


CIRCE is the project coordinator, thus responsible for all management activities of the project. Beside, CIRCE carries out technical tasks regarding the alignment of the demo cases and their optimization, the use of machine learning algorithms, the expertise in LCA, LCC and exergy and thermoeconomic analysis and the co-design of the microwaves generator.


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