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EASME H2020 Projects Workshop

To kick-start the new year adequately, Circular Flooring participated in the workshop “Innovative methods to remove hazardous substances and contaminants from secondary raw materials for the circular economy” organized by the Executive Agency for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (EASME), held online on 29 January 2021. Together with six other research and innovation projects (CREAToR, Plast2bCLEANED, NONTOX, REMADYL, REACT and PureNano) funded under the call H2020-SC5-1-2018 “Methods to remove hazardous substances and contaminants from secondary raw materials”, we not only discussed recent activities and project results, but also identified specific collaboration opportunities in order to subsequently support our common goal for implementing innovative methods for recycling and/or processing secondary raw materials.

Starting with the opening of Mr. Arnoldas Milukas (Head of Unit H2020 Environment and Resources, EASME), stressing the need for circular solutions for the EU Green Deal, all project partners firstly reported on their research subject and main achievements for a circular economy. The workshop was divided into two sessions to elaborate policy recommendations deriving from project results and possible synergies between the projects to increase their impact and visibility. Thomas Diefenhardt of Fraunhofer Institute for Process Engineering and Packaging IVV presented Circular Flooring that aims at enabling the circular use of plasticized PVC from waste flooring by with a recycling process to eliminate legacy phthalic acid esters that are not conform to the EU REACH directive. By further developing the CreaSolv® Process, Circular Flooring demonstrates circularity of PVC and applicability of phthalate-free plasticizers. The extracted legacy phthalic acid esters will subsequently be deactivated by catalytic hydrogenation, which allows for recycling into REACH-compliant alternatives. The recovered PVC will then be further upgraded with tailored additives before it can be reused in new floor coverings and re-enter the market, thus holistically contributing to an European circular economy by innovative recycling of secondary raw materials.

With summarizing closing remarks by EASME’s Senior Project Adviser Keti Medarova-Bergstrom, the workshop was a great success, attended by more than 160 persons involved in the above-mentioned projects and seven other invited projects. Great thanks to EASME’s team for organizing such a helpful event under current circumstances of the Covid-19 pandemic. Read the full event report and project presentations with key take-away messages by EASME here.

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