PolyMethyl MethAcrylate (PMMA) is a well-established polymer known for its optical properties. About 300 000 tons of PMMA are produced in Europe every year, or close to 1 billion Euro of market value.
It is estimated that currently only 30 000 tons of PMMA waste is collected to be recycled annually in Europe, or only around 10% of the yearly production, although PMMA can be turned back into its monomer by thermal depolymerization, thus saving precious resources and CO2 emission.
For a large part, recycling of PMMA in Europe is currently reliant on a lead-based process which does not allow to reprocess the lower PMMA qualities. Moreover, PMMA scraps current recycling processes focus on post-industrial PMMA, rather than end-of-live PMMA which represents the main share of the total PMMA waste stream which is either exported, landfilled or incinerated.
The challenge of this project consists in converting PMMA post-industrial scraps and end-of-life waste into high quality raw material and therefore contribute to the circular economy.