INCREACE is a European research project funded by the Horizon Europe program. 19 leading European research institutions and industrial partners participate in it. Among them, Plastika Skaza is the only partner from Slovenia. The family company from Velenje leads a research study in the project, which deals with the development of advanced recyclates for applications in electric smart meters and charging stations for electric vehicles. Due to strict safety requirements, only basic plastic materials are currently used in electrical equipment, as suitable recycled materials are not yet available on the market. With the successful implementation of the project, Skaza is consolidating its position as a leading Slovenian company in the development of sustainable solutions and plastic products. In addition to its own, it also strengthens the competitiveness of the Slovenian economy.
Increasing the share of recycled plastic in new products is one of the goals of the European Plastics Strategy. With its implementation, at least 10 million tons of recycled plastic will be used to make new products on the European market by 2025. Compared to four million tons in 2016, this is an ambitious goal that can be achieved by sustainability-oriented companies. Increasing the share of recycling will also affect the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions and the amount of deposited waste. That is why 19 leading European research institutions and industrial partners, including Plastika Skaza, joined forces in the INCREACE project, a European research project funded by the Horizon Europe program. They are determined to contribute to increasing the uptake of recycled plastics in high added value products by introducing innovative solutions throughout the recycling value chain.
"It is estimated that household electrical appliances cause 51,000 fires, nearly 500 deaths, 1,400 injuries and 1.3 billion in damages annually".
In the INCREACE project, Plastika Skaza leads a research study dealing with the development of advanced recyclates for applications in electrical and electronic equipment. The main product families targeted by Skaza are electric smart meter boxes and charging stations for electric vehicles. Applications of this type have extremely high demands on the materials used, especially in terms of flammability, electrical properties, and long-term durability. Plastic components must ensure adequate safety in use. Due to strict safety requirements, only basic plastic materials are used for demanding applications in electrical equipment, as suitable recycled materials are not yet available on the market.
As part of the INCREACE project, Skaza, together with its partners, is developing recyclables from post-consumer waste plastics based on polycarbonate (PC) and mixtures of PC and acrylonitrile butadiene styrene copolymer (ABS), which will meet all the requirements of the mentioned applications, including one of the strictest flammability standards for plastic materials UL 94 V0. The main challenges faced by the consortium are related to securing adequate sources of waste plastic, developing advanced recycling technologies that include cleaning, sorting, and reprocessing processes and meeting strict regulations.
The successful development of recyclate will represent a major breakthrough in the field of the use of recycled materials in electrical and electronic equipment, thereby significantly contributing to wider social goals - reducing greenhouse gas emissions in the production of new products and preventing environmental pollution with plastic waste.
More information about the project can be found on its website: https://increace-project.eu/.