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The Essentials of Chemical Recycling

Developed by The Sustainable Packaging Coalition®

Part of the full Essentials of Sustainable Packaging Training Program

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The Essentials of Chemical Recycling is an introduction to the emerging chemical recycling technologies for plastics, with insights into how these technologies intersect with packaging and the mechanical recycling system.

The course identifies key trends that are driving the increased interest in chemical recycling technologies, including concerns about plastic waste, packaging trends, commitments to recyclability, and the limitations of mechanical recycling.  It reviews the basics of polymer chemistry, with an overview of key characteristics that affect the recyclability of different categories of polymers. Next, the course breaks chemical recycling technologies down into the categories of purification, decomposition, and conversion. It offers examples in each category, as well as information about the types of materials for which different technologies are best suited. The course sheds light on the challenges and opportunities involved with scaling up chemical recycling technologies, and how chemical recycling fits with current infrastructure and regulatory frameworks.  Finally, the Essentials of Chemical Recycling provides key takeaways and enables you to engage with these emerging technologies in an informed way.

Course Curriculum: 

  • Trends and Drivers – Industry concerns about non-recyclable plastics and the  limitations of mechanical recycling
  • Polymer Chemistry – How plastics can be broken apart at the molecular level 
  • Chemical Recycling Technologies – Technologies being applied to different types of polymers
  • Challenges and Opportunities – What’s next for scaling chemical recycling technologies 

Course length: 1 hour and 16 minutes

Learning Objectives

After taking this course, the Learner will be able to:

  • Identify the key differences between various types of chemical recycling technologies
  • Analyze the challenges and opportunities associated with efforts to scale up chemical recycling of plastics
  • Identify factors that influence market demand for chemical recycling technologies
  • Outline how recycling processes affect the chemical structure and performance of polymers 

The Essentials of Chemical Recycling is included in the online subscription to The Essentials of Sustainable Packaging.

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From the course: 

 

 

Courses in The Essentials of Sustainable Packaging:

Essentials of Sustainable Packaging Core Content
Project 1 of 7

Essentials of Sustainable Packaging Core Content

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Essentials of Bioplastics
Project 2 of 7

Essentials of Bioplastics

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Essentials of Sourcing Fiber
Project 3 of 7

Essentials of Sourcing Fiber

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Essentials of Compostable Packaging
Project 4 of 7

Essentials of Compostable Packaging

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Essentials of Material Health
Project 5 of 7

Essentials of Material Health

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Essentials of Goal Setting
Project 6 of 7

Essentials of Goal Setting

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Essentials of Reusable Packaging
Project 7 of 7

Essentials of Reusable Packaging

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