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Engineering Materials

Tackling climate change with sustainable materials solutions

Sign up today for Advanced Materials Forum Europe to learn about DSM’s roadmap for sustainable post-consumer plastics recycling 

Since 1896 it has been known that carbon dioxide increases the atmospheric temperature. The first articles about carbon dioxide and global warming were written by Swedish Chemist and Physicist Svante Arrhenius, and published in The London, Edinburgh, and Dublin Philosophical Magazine and Journal of Science. These articles focus on how and why carbon dioxide concentrations in the atmosphere may affect Earth’s climate via the greenhouse effect.

Fast forward to now. … Consumers are becoming more knowledgeable about sustainability and want to purchase products that have a positive impact on the environment. They also want more transparency over the total impact of ownership and throughout the entire value chain. It is time for raw material suppliers, plastics processers and brand owners to work together toward a more sustainable and circular world.

We realize the transition towards renewable energy is indeed challenging, yet DSM has set challenging ambitions on GHG emissions and a transition to renewable energy. We are focused on overcoming the  challenges of climate change, accumulating plastic waste and depleting fossil fuel resources.

We are not only looking into our own sustainability and energy transformation, but we are helping customers with this transformation too—our products can help reduce energy need or prolong the life of our customers’ products.

Five drivers of circularity

One important aspect of fighting climate change, accumulating plastic waste and depleting resources is circularity—unlocking more value from the limited resources available and securing the future availability of natural resources. DSM is focusing on these five circular drivers:

  • Reduce the use of critical resources
  • Replace scare, hazardous, and potentially harmful resources
  • Extend the lifetime of products
  • Design for recyclability
  • Recover waste streams

Currently, many polymer products are difficult to recycle directly because of their properties and mixes, not to mention national and regional legislation for recycling. For example, think about recycling a car—there is a big separation challenge when recycling its many parts. There are 30,000 parts in a modern car; 10,000 plastic parts, and great than 500 compounds. Therefore it is no surprise that a lot of polymers often end up in the environment.

Learn more about this topic

What is DSM doing to ensure recycling is facilitated correctly and directly? How can recycling be done in a commercially attractive way? How is DSM leveraging current and emerging technologies to increase use of recycled and bio-based materials solutions?

Sign up to attend the Advanced Materials Forum Europe, on Thursday, April 23, to learn the answers to these questions and more. During the free, 100% online event, Gerard Kwant, Senior Scientist Polymerization Process Technology, and member of the DSM Engineering Materials Sustainability team, will present the session A Realistic Roadmap for Sustainable Post-Consumer Plastics Recycling.

To register for this session or for more information on the Advanced Materials Forum Europe click here.

Gerard Kwant

Senior Scientist, Polymer Process Technology at DSM Engineering Plastics

Published on

17 September 2020

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Gerard Kwant

Senior Scientist, Polymer Process Technology at DSM Engineering Plastics

Gerard Kwant holds a Ph.D. in chemical engineering and for the last 12 years has worked in various roles for bioprocesses and expertise development with a focus on polymerization processes. For the past three years, he has been involved in greenhouse gas reduction, alternative raw materials, polymer recycling for technology and policy development.

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