Project budget9 450 154 €
ERDF amount5 501 451 €
The 2S region is one of the most proliferative regions in the EU when it comes to generating plastic waste, but overall, plastic recycling rates are incredibly low (20-30%). Within the urban environment – often including cities near water bodies – a lot of plastic waste is available that would, in terms of quality, technically be eligible for recycling but is not effectively validated. These so-called ‘lost plastics’ can form a prominent role in the circular economy, providing actors and stakeholders with an economic opportunity to benefit by stepping away from traditional plastic disposal methods. These economic opportunities are not fully known/understood, collection logistics not fully developed, sorting facilities not well equipped or stakeholders not fully engaged. These are all barriers to realize the full potential of plastic in the circular economy and need to be overcome if the 2S region is to play a key role in delivering the EU strategy for plastics in the Circular Economy.
The objective of the PlastiCity project is to develop replicable strategies and solutions that are able to increase recycling rates in urban environments from 20-30% to over 50% by unlocking the use of ‘lost plastics’ as secondary resources from the urban environment. Additional objectives are:
- Develop technical strategies for (reverse) logistics and reprocessing
- Inducing behavioral change and creating capacity of stakeholders such as local governments and companies through urban platforms
- Demonstrate this in 4 case study cities in the 2Seas area (Ghent (BE), Den Haag (NL), Southend On Sea (UK) and Douai (FR))
- Creating new value chains and designing new products, amongst others by unlocking the full potential of ‘medium’ size actors (SME’s, offices, retail, schools, etc.)
- Deploy a mobile unit for testing, demonstration and sensitisation
- Create business activity and employment in the circular economy (100-400 jobs)
The main project output is a strategy to create PlastiCity hubs to significantly increase the recycling rates lost plastics in urban environments in the 2Seas region. Such a hub is defined as a local network of relevant partners and physical infrastructure, supported by a digital environment/Urban Platform
We also deliver:
- A methodology to deliver tailored solutions for logistics and lumping waste streams with optimized balance between quantity and quality of plastic collection and reprocessing
- A replicable model to create capacity for plastics in the circular economy through urban platforms (with digital data management) and new business models
- Demonstration and implementation of the Plasticity approach in 4 case study areas with the development of 4 new value chains with business cases, the design of 4 new products and first investments to actually start up (parts) of the hub
- A mobile unit that is used for testing, demonstration and sensitisation in the 4 case study areas
Cross border approach
We foresee a quadruple helix co-creation process involving industry, government, research and citizens. This brings together a diverse range of urban and academic skills, expertise and approaches and different national and local systems that will help identify best practice, ensuring that we can develop a replicable model that is relevant to other urban environments in the 2S region. Indeed, cities in the 2S area display huge differences in economic typologies, waste management schemes, cultural context, and local and regional policies. Insights in this variety and its impact on the business models facilitates the assessment of specificities and best practices and facilitates replication towards other urban areas. PlastiCity involves 4 case study cities, each focusing on demonstrating specific aspects of the strategy. To facilitate cross-border collaboration, PlastiCity involves a mobile unit that travels in the 2S region to perform testing, demonstration and sensitisation actions.
The PlastiCity project started in January 2019 and has been running now for one year. An efficient management structure was set-up, partners had the chance to get a better insight in the each others' role and expertise to achieve a fruitful collaboration. A scheme of regular meetings (physical as well as videocalls) has been organised at project as well as at work package level. The main drawback is that for many of the partner (the consortium counts 13 different partners in total) it took some time to hire personnel to work on the project. This has led to certain small delays in the tasks and activities and in spending the budget. Moreover, for different project partners, it is the first time they participate in an Interreg project and for some it is even the first time they collaborate with partners in the triple helix. Hence, it took time and effort to initiate all partners in the rules and procedures.
In this first project year, no outputs or specific objectives needed to be finalised. However, in each of the work packages, good progress is made.
In WP1, the first mapping of actors is conducted for the four regions (cross border collaboration) and the necessary preparation has been done to conduct a behavioural survey in the four regions.
In WP2, different brainstorm regarding innovative logistics have been conducted and this input will be used to develop a plan in the coming months; next, first characterisation of films was done in a collaboration between academic and industrial partners.
For WP3, discussion amongst the involved cities were conducted to better define what the urban platforms need to involve.
For WP4, both PP02 and PP11 have put a lot of effort in selecting, tendering and buying the material for the mobile unit that will later on in the project be used in all four regions.
Within WP5 (investments), tasks and activities were performed on partner level, but always in consultation with the project consortium. Moreover, the idea is grown to develop a cross-border learning network among the WP5 partners to better exchange learnings and knowledge gained.
In WP6, all necessary management tools and procedures are in place for an efficient management on project level, including financial management.
For WP7 (communication), all necessary tools and templates are prepared and used by the partners. Moreover, many partners put effort in communicating about the project and its objectives to get the project known by many relevant stakeholders.