University students visited mechanical recycling facility in Tampere – 8.12.2022

Plastic recycling is one of the three key value chains in TREASoURcE. The project aims to find optimized process for mechanical and thermochemical recycling.

“Plastic waste is complex, but also it is valuable when they are collected, sorted and recycled with suitable technologies in harmony. In TREASoURcE project, household, agricultural and industrial plastic wastes are going to be classified according to their suitability for different recycling technologies. These technologies will be applied to upgrade the properties of the plastic waste to increase the recycling rates and boost circularity”, describes Ugur Kaya, Senior Scientist, VTT.

“Here at VTT’s facilities in Tampere, we are doing the physical tasks related to mechanical recycling within the project but also helping the other partners, for example, with roadmap and data analysis”, adds Sarianna Palola, Research Scientists, VTT.

Students are important stakeholders

On Monday 5 December, a group of material science students from Tampere University visited VTT’s mechanical recycling facility in Tampere, Finland.

“University students are the future innovators, decision makers and business developers for sustainable solutions, so it is crucial to engage them in the discussions and co-operative approach towards development of low-carbon value chains and promoting circular economy with other stakeholders. Their input gives fresh insights to the development work both from technological and consumer points of view”, says Pirkko Eteläaho, Business Advisor, CE, Business Tampere.

During the visit, students heard about plastic recycling and were introduced to mechanical recycling process equipment. They also brainstormed how to improve plastics’ circularity. Especially product design and proper education of all actors were highlighted.

Circular economy needs collaboration and engagement of different actors

The event was organized with co-operation with project partners VTT, Ekokumppanit, Business Tampere and MTK.

“Circular economy needs collaboration between different actors. In addition to project external stakeholders, I am happy we have been able to create good co-operation between different TREASoURcE partners”, comments Linda Rekosuo, Project Manager, Ekokumppanit.

“One of the main drivers for the circular economy transformation is to raise awareness, knowledge and understanding, and there one of the keys are the students. We want to show the possibilities for next generations. We have good opportunity to develop this concept of student involvement further and replicate it in other regions”, says Riina Kärki, Project Manager, MTK.

8.12.2022 | Linda Rekosuo (Ekokumppanit),