Recycling Technology 2020
The can-do wave
ecycling technology experts and scientists
are true optimists. No matter how tough and
complex the challenges may seem, there’s al-
ways a solution looming on the horizon.
Take Boyan Slat, the young Dutchman and ini-
tiator of the Ocean Clean-up project. When Slat’s
U-shaped, floating arm was being tested in the
middle of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch (the
world’s largest accumulation of ocean plastics),
the 600-metre sweep-up system suffered a
structural malfunction and was shipped
back on a 1000 kilometre-plus voyage to
shore, causing months of delay and un-
You and I would call this a major set-
back. Entrepreneur Slat describes it as
‘a predictable repair job’: don’t worry,
we’ll fix it and try again.
That’s the optimist, the go-getter.
Or better: the inspirer.
The fifth edition of Recycling
Technology is all about optimism
and optimists. Prof. Dr Peter Rem
of Delft University of Technology in
the Netherlands is certainly one of them. Rem assists
recyclers in improving and refining their processes.
Through smart applications of technology, he helps
them to obtain higher-quality scrap fractions, making
their businesses more competitive.
Another example of optimism and inspiration
is Prof. Veena Sahajwalla of the University of New
South Wales in Australia. This year is shaping up to
provide a tipping-point moment in terms of actively
addressing the challenges surrounding global sus-
tainability and waste management, she says. Accord-
ing to Sahajwalla, a ground swell is underway across
the globe as corporates, communities and societies
move from the linear economic approach of ‘make,
use, dispose’ to a circular economy where the aspira-
tion is to keep materials out of landfills or incinerators
and in use for as long as possible.
Of course, that’s all good news for recyclers and
technology providers. But it’s also a major challenge.
Boosted both by circular economy thinking and regu-
latory developments around the globe, the need for
higher-quality scrap will only increase. And so, there-
fore, will the hunger for smart and clean recycling
I wish you much reading pleasure.
Recycling International/Recycling Technology
Recycling Technology is an annual
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global recycling industry.
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