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Chair of Waste Processing Technology and Waste Management // Montanuniversitaet Leoben


Project long title

Circular plastics network for training


Project description

The Circular Plastics Network for Training (C-PlaNeT) is a European research project of 8 universities (or beneficiaries) and 20 industrial partners (partner organisations), with a duration of 01.01.2020 to 31.12.2023. There are 15 Early Stage Researchers (ESRs) distributed amongst the beneficiaries, and their research topics encompass different stages of the circular plastics network. Within the project, fundamental research is conducted to decouple plastics from fossil resources, to design plastics for circularity, to involve the consumer as a stakeholder in the circular economy, and to develop efficient waste-to-resources strategies for circular plastics. These are the overall objectives of the project and the research topics of the 15 ESRs are distributed amongst them (Figure Below).

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Structure of the C-PlaNeT project

Each ESR will be awarded a joint degree by two European universities (home and host universities). Additionally, each ESR will be required to undertake a minimum 6-month long academic internship in the host university, where they will learn about different tools, methodologies & technologies, which could then be applied to their research. Moreover, they will also conduct an industrial internship of at least 2 months, where they will focus on the dissemination of their acquired knowledge as well as become engaged with the industrial working environment.


ESR 7 Introduction

Namrata Mhaddolkar is the Early Stage Researcher 7 (ESR 7) and her aim in the project is to improve the capture of bioplastics from the waste stream via waste collection and sorting. She will be receiving a joint degree from Montanuniversität Leoben (MUL - home university) and Technical University of Denmark (DTU ­– host university). Additionally, she will be undertaking two industrial secondments in Saubermacher Dienstleistungs AG, Austria and TOMRA Sorting GmbH, Germany.


ESR 7 Research – Development and evaluation of waste collection and sorting systems for bioplastics

New environmental challenges will change the “fossil” material plastic by the development of eco-designed new materials and products (e.g. bioplastics). The present research will be focused on bio-based biodegradable plastics (hereafter called bioplastics). The main research aim is to investigate product-oriented collecting and sorting systems for bioplastic waste.

  • The first research objective is to develop new source separation concepts and to evaluate their impact on logistic and sorting efficiency.
  • The second research objective is to investigate the dependence between collection systems and sorting technology focused on sensor-based sorting and material impurities.

Extensive experiments will be conducted on the lab-based near-infrared sorted with the bioplastics to study their spectra and sortability (test stand). Additionally, the effect of source-separated collection on the sorting efficiency of bioplastics will also be looked into with the help of an excel model.