We believe we can tackle the challenge and make recyclates the new feedstock for our society


Our approach

The project partners will develop new data-driven sorting solutions to prevent potentially hazardous substances to enter the recycled plastics system and combine complementary recycling technologies (mechanical, chemical and solvent based) to increase the overall recycling yield. Traceability is essential; therefore, the project will rely on an innovative blockchain approach. The overall concept will be applied to and validated by the specific business cases. INCREACE will also analyse implications of systematic changes in the plastic industry from different perspectives.

The project will furthermore empower people and communities to play their role in the circular plastics transition by engaging them to improve waste plastics collection and to increase the demand for products containing recycled plastics. The impact of the generated knowledge and results will be scaled up through targeted inputs into standardisation work, policy making and active and inclusive engagement of all relevant stakeholders as actors of the circular plastic transition. By this means, INCREACE will contribute to the EU Plastics Strategy, the first and second Circular Economy Action Plan and the Green Deal which calls for particular action within resource-intensive sectors such as electronics and plastics.

Business cases

At the heart of the project, there are 5 business cases including challenging applications in the EEE sector: 

1. Food contact applications
2. Medical applications
3. Electrostatic Discharge (ESD)
4. UL94 flammability standards
5. High-tech plastic components in EEE

We expect to proof that polymers can be recycled at quality levels suitable for demonstration applications, pushing current boundaries for new applications of PCR plastics in challenging applications (food contact, medical) and requirements (ESD, UL94 V0).

about us objectives


The highest purpose is to pave the way to increased recycled content in added value products for a resilient and digitized circular economy. We want to reach this with the following objectives:

  1. Develop and standardize methods for traceability.
  2. Deliver a clear data-driven approach to improve pre-processing of plastic waste and prevent some potentially hazardous substances to enter the recycled plastics system.
  3. Increase the recycling yield of mixed plastics and quality control for recyclates.
  4. Pave the way towards recyclable-by-design plastics.
  5. Characterize and demonstrate the suitability of recyclates for specific value added products.
  6. Enhance engagement of the society as actors of the circular plastics transition.
  7. Prove a systemic framework for an enhanced uptake of recycled plastics in added value products.
  8. Maximise impacts by active involvement of all actors in the value chain and effective dissemination and exploitation of the project results.

Work Packages

The project is organised in nine Work Packages (WPs) for which a well-defined working plan is presented in this section. Read more information about each Work Package. 

Work Package 1: Data driven sorting, analysis and traceability

WP1 will enable data-driven optimisation of the sorting processes and a higher traceability during the pre-processing of plastic recyclates. To achieve this, more detailed data is needed on the material composition and characteristics throughout the processing steps that are commonly adopted. Therefore, sampling procedures and on- and off-line AI based characterisation methods to define the composition of plastic recyclates during preprocessing will be developed.

WP1 leader: KUL and SAP.

Partners involved: Erion, Mirec, IVV, IZM and Pezy.

Work Package 2: Advanced recycling technologies

The main objective of WP2 is the optimization and complementary analysis of different recycling technologies (mechanical, chemical, solvent-based). First, in close cooperation with WP1 feedstock materials will be adjusted to each recycling technology. Technologies are not assumed to compete with the same materials. Instead, the best combinations of raw materials, technologies, upgrading potential and product specifications are developed. This work is essential for the further three sub-objectives. The effectiveness of the three technologies will be further elaborated in the different sub-tasks and they will be demonstrated on different business cases in WP4. Finally, digital information management, blockchain and related technologies of WP1 will be further adapted to recycling processes in order to enable transparent traceability and identification of origin of recycled materials.

WP2 leader: IVV, Mirec, Neste and SAP.

Partners involved: Erion, Mirec, Neste, UM, Skaza, Cabka, Philips, Pezy, IZM and IVV.

Work package 3: Circular Product Design

This WP looks at the challenge from a design/er perspective. It is divided in three sub-objectives. First, in close collaboration with WP1 and WP2, the team will contribute to establishing a common definition for recyclates and related verification methods for recycled content (incl. traceability) for the EEE sector. Second, the project team will quantify the environmental impact of the innovative INCREACE approach through a LCA and show possible trade-offs, mainly with data inputs from WP1, WP2 and WP4. Third, the team will create practical and granular design guidelines for different recycling technologies that will enable designers to increase the share of recycled plastics in their products, evaluate the sustainability of their existing concepts and suggest improvement options. These guidelines will also take into account the user acceptance of r-plastics (WP 5) and be made publicly available.

WP3 leader: IZM and Pezy.

Partners involved: Vorwerk, VITO, UM, Erion, KUL, Neste, VITO, EGEN, Cabka, IZM, IVV, Philips, Skaza and Cabka .

Work package 4: Business cases

The business cases of WP4 are the ‘motor’ of the project where each task corresponds to a business case and is led by an industrial partner. In the tasks driving questions are formulated to the other WPs. The actual answering of these questions belongs to those WPs. Each task will have a continuous exchange with the relevant WPs and from the WP4 tasks, all these various inputs will be carefully aligned and brought into a single coherent value chain. The WP also includes trials at the relevant companies with PCR from these new and improved value chains. UM will guide the cases from a material science/recycling perspective and Pezy from a product development/value chain perspective. These key questions are forwarded by all WP4 tasks:

  • WP 1: How can materials be sourced at scale with the necessary quality requirements and traceability?
  • WP 2: Which recycling technology (mechanical/solvent-based/chemical) is the best fit for this BC?
  • WP 7: What is the impact of sourcing for and recycling of this PCR material on the system?
  • WP 8: What are the next technology steps?

WP4 leader: Maastricht University

Partners involved: Vorwerk, VITO, UM, Erion, KUL, Neste, VITO, EGEN, Cabka, IZM, IVV, Philips, Skaza and Cabka.

Work package 5: Circular society: Empowering people and communities in a circular plastic transition

WP5 engages people and communities in the circular plastics transition through design, to drive demand for recycled plastic products in the purchase phase (Theme A) and to improve the collection of waste plastics for recycling after the use phase (Theme B). The aim of Theme A is to increase the demand for recycled plastic products. The aim of Theme B is to demonstrate how engaging people and communities can help improve the quality and quantity of collection of added value products containing plastic.

WP5 leader: PfI.

Partners involved: IZM, Philips, Erion, Cabka,  Pezy, IVV and Skaza.

Work package 6: Market and regulatory aspects

This WP shows the implications of (future) systematic changes in the plastic industry from an economic perspective and complement the material and technological perspective of other WPs. It aims at building a model of the plastics industry that takes into account price developments, substitution of materials and the creation of new market applications for recycled materials, but also regulatory changes that affect different parts of the value chain and might create new market opportunities. This WP contributes to answering the crucial question for the plastics industry of identifying sustainable end markets for recycled plastics. This WP connects many of the findings of the overall project, e.g. by complementing the analysis of other WPs or by cooperating on the design of the model. Most importantly, many of the findings of the other WPs, namely the business cases in WP4, will be an important input for describing the systemic change to be foreseen in the industry.

WP6 leader: ETH.

Partners involved: VITO, UM, SAP, Vorwerk, Cabka, Skaza, Philips, IVV, IZM KUL and Pezy.

Work package 7: CE System perspective

WP7 demonstrates how and where OEMs can source secondary plastics. Currently the vast majority of available information on feedstock refers to generic quantities of waste, distinguishing, in the best case, only on the level of polymer type. WP7 will specify the systemic framework from a circular economy perspective for the total plastic recycling value chain ensuring transparency on qualities and an increased uptake of recycled content in value added products. The WP will facilitate the transition from plastic waste management to circular economy (or from waste to materials perspective) by approaching recycled content from a (secondary) resources availability perspective (how to source secondary plastics?) rather than from a waste management perspective (what is the best way to treat plastic waste?).

WP7 leader: VITO.

Partners involved: IZM, IVV, KUL, UM, ETH, PfI, EGEN, Cabka and Skaza.

Work package 8: Dissemination, communication and exploitation

WP 8 ensures to maximise the project impacts by effective dissemination, communication and exploitation of the INCREACE results amongst targeted stakeholders. The team will identify and engage the most important stakeholders and inform them on project results and progress, consulted for input in key project decisions, or supported to further work on their exploitation efforts. 

WP8 leader: EGEN and IZM.

Partners involved: IZM, IVV, VITO, KUL, Pezy, Skaza, Vorwerk, Neste, PfI, Mirec, Cabka, UM, ETH, SAP, EGEN, Philips and Erion.

Work package 9: Project Management and Coordination

he main goal of WP9 is to ensure the sound management of all INCREACE activities. It has the following specific objectives: i) Sound coordination and management of the project covering technical, administrative and financial issues; ii) Ensuring and overseeing effective communication flow with the EC and amongst the project partners, iii) Monitoring of project progress and achievements, iv) Timely delivery of project deliverables to the EC, v) Coordination of general project meetings and workshops including Advisory Board meetings, vi) Continuous control of quality, expenditures and deadlines, vii) Conflict resolution.

WP9 leader: IZM.

Partners involved: IZM, IVV, VITO, KUL, Pezy, Skaza, Vorwerk, Neste, PfI, Mirec, Cabka, UM, ETH, SAP, EGEN, Philips and Erion.