15:00 – 16:40
Chairs / Presidenti: L. Rigamonti, C. Santella (IT)
The session will focus on the quality of the materials obtained from the recycling of packaging waste and on their actual return to the market. In general, in fact, the recycling processes lead to a reduction of the quality of the material (i.e. the so-called phenomenon of “downcycling”): this is well known for example for paper and the mix of plastics, but a more detailed analysis should be conducted also for metals. During the melting of metal scraps, in fact, a part of impurities and alloying elements remains in the metallic phase. Moreover, the accumulation of dangerous substances, such as stabilizers, flame retardants or mineral oils, could compromise the use of secondary materials. The session will thus take stock of the existing research activities on the quality of secondary materials and their subsequent use in the market. This is of fundamental importance to understand the actual replacement of the materials produced from virgin raw materials with secondary materials. It would also help to increase the reliability of Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) studies used as a support decision tool in the choice of technologies and treatments aimed at the sustainable use of resources and to close the loop.