WEEE: a project for the plastic recovery

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The WEEE system supports the circular economy with a project aimed at identifying new technologies for the recycling and treatment of plastic contained in WEEE. Ecolight (Italian consortium for the WEEE management), the Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering of the University of Brescia and Stena Technoworld (electronic waste treatment plant) have joined their expertise to study new technologies in order to improve the recovery of plastic materials contained in small household appliances, mobile phones and consumer electronics. The initiative “Separation and selection of plastics contained in the WEEE R4 (small household appliances): process innovations and improvement of recycling and recovery rates” provides for an investment of about 300,000 euros, half of which was financed by the Ministry of the Environment within the tender for the co-financing of research projects aimed at the development of new technologies for the WEEE recovery, recycling and treatment. The electronic waste belonging to the R4 group is made of plastic for more than 30% of its weight, but the recovery of this material from WEEE presents some difficulties due to the great diversity of used polymers and the presence of plastics with brominated flame retardants which imposes the need of a further separation process to maximize the recyclable component of the plastic itself. Therefore, identifying new technologies able to overcome these obstacles attributes to the project of Ecolight, University of Brescia and Stena Technoworld a national and European importance.

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