Sustainably produced bioplastics can contribute to the transition to a circular economy, certainly if there is maximum recycling. An earlier (2019) CE Delft study concluded that it may be interesting from both an economic and a sustainability perspective to sort out PLA packaging in a plastics sorting machine and then recycle it mechanically or chemically. In this project the theoretical analysis was put to a practical test in a PLA sorting trial at the National Circular Plastics Testing Centre (NTCP) in Heerenveen. The main question addressed was:
How well can 3D PLA be sorted out from Dutch PMD waste with a higher volume fraction of PLA, and how does the higher share of PLA affect other sorted plastic fractions like PET?
The main conclusions are:
Based on the literature and interviews with stakeholders it was then also explored how the sorted material can be mechanically or chemically recycled.