Challenges

The recycling rate of plastics in Europe and in France remains relatively low and well below that of other materials. This point is particularly true for polymers from WEEE streams because they are dark (black) and the resins used in them are complex. To date, there is no technology available on the market that is easily deployable and which can sort black polymers efficiently.

FRANCE EUROPE
WEEE total on the market 1700 kT/year
(Ademe WEEE 2011)
12 000 kT/year
(WEE forum 2010)
Total WEEE weight collected (collection 1/3) 500 kT/year
(Ademe DEEE 2011)
3500 kT/year
(WEE forum key figure 2011)
Total weight of screens (20%) 100 kT
(source ES annual report)
700 kT
(France 7 et WEE forum)
Total screen polymers
weight (15% to 20%)
15 – 20 kT/year 100 -140 kT/year
(France *7)
Total screen polymers
with WEEE pro weight
20 – 30 kT/year 140 – 210 kT/year
(France *7)
Polymer upgrading
(€200 to €400/T)
5-10M€/year
(25*200 et 25*400)
35 – 70M€/year
(France *7)

Assessment of screen streams (TV and computer monitors) from WEEE in France and in Europe.

To date,

  • Europe generates 25 million metric tons of plastics waste and of this only 24% is recycled
  • “(…) a significant portion of non-sorted plastics is sent to Asia (50% for screen plastics)” (retrieved from ADEME symposium ES presentation) -> Attributed to non-compliance in processing
  • Black polymer waste from screen recycling activity in France is between 20 and 30 kT (metric tons), 100 to 140 kT in Europe, and a similar figure for USA and for China
  • Taking into account the increase in the WEEE per capita in developed countries or developing countries and the collection objectives and increasing recycling rates in Europe (new Directive), the volumes of plastics will continue to increase.

However,

  • One metric ton of recycled plastic can save 830 liters of oil (Antoine Frérot, Industrial plan road map “Recyclage et matériux verts” (“Recycling and green materials”), source FEDEREC)
  • The value of non-sorted plastics is between €150 and €200/metric ton. Such plastics may be valued at between €400 and €600/metric ton if they are sorted, for a Secondary Raw Material at between €700 and €1100/metric ton
One of the objectives of the Inspire project is to demonstrate the feasibility of the sorting, recycling and reuse of WEEE black polymers by plastics manufacturers in order to create and boost the sector.