REMADYL aims at recycling the so-called “old PVC”, i.e. PVC additivated with hazardous legacy substances (LS) such as low molecular weight phthalate plasticisers (mainly DEHP) and heavy metal based stabilisers (mainly lead). This “old PVC” constitutes most of current hard (e.g. window frames, tubes) and soft (e.g. flooring or cables) PVC post-consumer waste. The presence of LS is a persistent barrier for PVC recycling as there are currently no economically viable solutions for their removal. To tackle this major challenge, REMADYL will develop a breakthrough continuous process based on extractive extrusion technology in combination with novel solvents and melt filtration, which has the potential of rejuvenating ‘old PVC’ into high purity PVC tuned towards the demands of various soft and hard PVC products at market competitive cost. The process also has potential for other plastics applications, e.g. removal of (halogenated) flame retardants. Using this process, REMADYL will demonstrate the circular use of PVC for window profiles and waterproofing sheets, providing a flagship example for the circular economy. The extracted phthalate plasticizers will be safely disposed (with energy valorisation) and the lead will be re-used in batteries.
REMADYL will deliver a breakthrough support to the Circular Economy Package and resource efficiency targets for Europe as recovered PVC will reduce incineration and landfilling.