A product that is easy to make and cheap to make, but has a centuries-old environmental impact. It would not be an exaggeration to say that all the plastic produced in the world is still here with us. Furthermore, with a lifespan of up to 400 years and amazing versatility, this group of synthetic polymers is the basis for many products and accessories. And yes, it can be an ally of sustainability based on preventive and innovative solutions. Is the cat jumping? circular economy.
With this in mind, the National Industrial Education Service (SENAI) prepared a pilot study aligned with the sector to encourage changes in the production chain from manufacturing to post-consumer plastics. As a practical result, a roadmap for solutions with goals up to 2030 was presented on Wednesday (26), during the launch of the National Diagnostic Study of the Circular Economy – Plastic Chain, at a ceremony held at the Federation of Industries of the UAE. Rio de Janeiro (Ferjan).
The circular economy is one of the four pillars of the industry’s strategy for a low-carbon economy, and the study aims to be the driving force behind the course of circular study programs nationwide. The initiative is coordinated by the SENAI Institute for Innovation in Green Chemistry (RJ), Polymers (RS) and Biosynthetics (RJ), and the SENAI Institute for Chemical Technology and Environment (RJ).
“Based on the concept of circularity, professional qualification and technological development, the alliance signed between the companies sought to materialize a new economic scenario for the sector, in line with global sustainability guidelines”, says the director of Innovation and Technology of SENAI Nacional, Jefferson Gomez. .
Extension of Circular Economy Measures Until 2030
A set of proposals are programmed, from 2024 to 2030, to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) of the United Nations (UN). The most ambitious is that companies in the sector have, by 2030, 100% of the partners that implement the circular economy in their companies.
“It is also conditioned by the objective of having, in addition to this, at least one partner that implements an initiative related to waste, one partner with an initiative related to the water footprint, one partner with an initiative related to the energy footprint and one partner of an initiative related to plastics”, explains the technical coordinator of the study, a specialist in Technological Services from the SENAI Institute for Innovation in Green Chemistry (RJ), Tiago Santiago Gómez.
Partners include Casa Firjan, Braskem S.A., Eletropaulo Metropolitana Eletricidade de São Paulo S.A. (ENEL S.A), Botica Comercial Farmacêutica LTDA (Grupo Boticário), Motech Plásticos, Wirklich Plastics, TOCO Engenharia, METHANUM, Biomédica, Grupo Petrópolis, JOTUN Brasil, Greenpeople, Brazilian Association of General Cleaning and Special Waste Companies (Abrelpe) Luiz Coimbra Graduated from the Institute of Engineering and Research (COPPE) of the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ) and the Federal Rural University of Rio de Janeiro (UFRRJ).
The tool chosen for the preparation of the study was the agenda. Technological Alliance, from the Innovation Platform for Industry, to help companies obtain concrete knowledge on how they can accelerate the transition to a circular economy and what opportunities are presented with this approach.
In the evaluation of the technical coordinator of the study, the work was a boost for industries linked in some way to plastics. “Give a comprehensive vision of the entire chain and the challenges faced by this material, which despite its extreme importance has been questioned many times. In this study, which included industries, universities and the Sinai network, we directed actions in research, training and technology to make the sector more circular”, highlights Tiago.Santiago Gómez highlights.
The Circular Economy is a Priority for Industry Associations
The implementation of the circular economy in the production chain has been identified as a priority for the Brazilian Association of the Plastics Industry (Abiplast) and for the Brazilian Association of the Chemical Industry (Abiquim). Among the central objectives of the entities is the expansion of the use of recycled materials and the promotion of greater recyclability and the use of new materials in the industry. Abiplast data shows that in 2021 only 11.5% of the plastics manufactured in the country were recycled.
Abiplast considers that an increase in recycling rates implies a greater availability of raw materials from selective collection, such as recyclable plastic waste. Another challenge is to train suppliers such as cooperatives and wholesalers of recyclables to behave appropriately and take into account the new reality of the circular economy.
For the president of Abiplast, José Ricardo Rurez Coelho, the moment deserves to discuss new technologies and new energy matrices to promote the business environment, industry and circular economy 4.0.
“Today, some markets are turning to more polluting energy packages due to the challenging scenario, while there are concerns about the sustainability, circular economy and ESG agenda,” he says. “The use of technologies is essential to solve the challenges that are imposed in the production chain, this is the case of the project where Abiplast and ABDI are working on traceability technologies, where we can already see success stories with plastic containers, complying with all the processes and stages of the circular economy”, he points out.
For the Brazilian chemical industry, the circular economy is a key component of sustainable development, in such a way that resources and materials can be continuously distributed to eliminate the generation of waste, adding value to all operations. The links of the chain.
“One of the actions that thus generates investments in research and innovation, alliances with educational institutions and the strengthening of recycling cooperatives, thus promoting environmental, economic, commercial and social sustainability”, explains the general director of the association’s practice, André Passos Cordero.
Learn about the processes of the circular economy for plastics
Reduce the amount of material, energy and other resources used in the production of plastic and reduce the weight of plastic used in products.
The reuse of an object or material, for its original purpose or a similar purpose, without substantially altering the physical form of the object or material.
The process of restoring used durable plastic products to their new condition and useful life whenever possible.
Recycle end-of-life plastic products to make plastic. Recycling changes the properties of the material.