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WWF releases chemical recycling implementation principles

YarnsandFibers News Bureau 2022-02-09 11:03:49 – Switzerland

Switzerland-based NGO World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) has established a set of principles to help ensure that chemical recycling technologies play a beneficial, complementary role in the circular economy. These principles are intended to assist decision-makers in identifying circumstances in which chemical recycling technologies could add value to the system and contribute to overall improvements in circularity and environmental advantages.

According to WWF's principles, chemical recycling should not divert resources away from efforts to implement existing proven approaches to address the global plastic pollution problem; chemical recycling processes should have a lower carbon footprint than the production of virgin resin, and chemical recycling should not have a negative impact on local communities and must demonstrate that its operation is safe for human health.

The principles include protecting nature – chemical recycling technologies must not have a negative impact on our air, water, and environment; chemical recycling should be used in conjunction with existing waste management systems rather than competing for feedstock with mechanical recycling; plastic waste streams should be matched to the most environmentally efficient technology available; and only material-to-material applications of chemical recycling should be considered recycling and part of a circular economy.

The WWF also states that chemical recycling systems should not convert recyclable material into non-recyclable material, that claims about chemical recycling should be true, clear, and relevant, and that plastic recycled using chemical recycling technologies should be verified with a chain of custody.

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