An integrated approach needed
One of the eight program lines of Circular Plastics NL (CPNL) focuses on systems integration & design. The goal is to bring stakeholders together to achieve an integrated approach to get 50% of the plastics chain in the Netherlands circular by 2030, starting from the design and development of plastic materials. This involves monitoring current themes and identifying various bottlenecks and opportunities and conducting research where necessary.
CPNL focuses on making the largest polymer-based material streams circular. These are used in packaging, construction, transportation, electronics, agriculture and horticulture, consumer goods and textiles. The biggest challenge in moving from a linear value chain (from production to waste) to a circular value chain is engaging all parties in the chain. With the development of topical themes into models for all users and buyers, working together to close value chains becomes more efficient: from producer, packer, brand owner, waste collector to recycler.
Through a study of scenarios and applicable models, direction can be given to the circular plastics transition and ensure the right investments in innovation. The first step for starting and developing a scoping study was taken on Oct. 11.
Susanne Waaijers - Van der Loop program manager for 'systems integration' at Circular Plastics NL
Susanne Waaijers has been appointed program manager for the Systems Integration component of this CPNL program line. She is responsible for the content of this program component. This will involve looking at which innovations in the other program lines are necessary to strengthen the distinctiveness of the industry. The quality and speed of innovation is also important in this regard, in order to model the interrelationships between the various links in the chain and their solution capabilities.
Susanne: "CPNL offers an opportunity for the Netherlands to contribute to the major social changes needed to make and (re)use safe and sustainable plastics. One of the biggest challenges of the moment is for the world's population to live healthily and sustainably within planetary boundaries. Plastics can help with this and plastics can also degrade it. The current plastics economy is not sustainable and this must and can be changed. I am committed to interdisciplinary collaborations so that together we can strengthen the positive impact of plastics and prevent and reduce negative effects."
Marc Spekreijse, general manager Circular Plastics NL, on Susanne: "CPNL has appointed an adept colleague with Susanne as program manager for systems integration. With her expertise on the effects of chemicals on the environment, she will strengthen the team. Her background as a chemist and experience in international and national collaborations related to plastics will enable her to support us in addressing the interconnections and challenges and opportunities we face. Susanne will work closely with Roland ten Klooster, who is working on the sub-topic of design."
About Susanne Waaijers
Dr. Susanne Waaijers-van der Loop researches effects of chemicals on their environment. She holds a PhD in environmental chemistry and ecotoxicology and has worked on national and international projects such as recycling with substances of very high concern (EU CleaR) and monitoring Plastic Pact Netherlands. In addition to her role as systems integration program manager at CPNL, she works at the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM). As senior scientific officer Circular Economy and Sustainability and as manager of the Knowledge Base Program on Sustainability and Health for the Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport (VWS). She is a member of the RIVM Plastics Core Team active at home and abroad. She is also a board member for MilieuChemTox (Royal Dutch Chemical Society & Dutch Society for Toxicology section) and represents the Netherlands in the environmental division of the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC).
At Circular Plastics NL, industry and the research community work together to technologically innovate and make the value chain of plastic products circular. As part of the National Growth Fund, in October 2023 the first open calls for the other program lines (characterization, sorting and washing, mechanical recycling of polyolefins, styrene, thermochemical recycling, chemical depolymerization and the incubator) have been opened through NWO and RVO for innovative projects to accelerate the transition with the help of funding .