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The issues at stake

The linear system sustaining our economy – extracting, manufacturing, consuming, discarding – is now reaching its limits: hence we have to fight against wasting our resources and so promote the circular economy.

Given the growing scarcity of raw materials, the circular economy goes well beyond mere recycling; it also has to contribute to securing supply to fast growing markets and to minimising extraction at source.

The project

Altuglas® PMMA (polymethyl methacrylate), or acrylic glass, typically is a material that best meets the circularity criterion, as one of its features – quite unique for a polymer – is to be reversible, namely able to be regenerated into its original monomer and so be reintroduced into the new "resins" manufacturing process. 

Accordingly, the REVERPLAST project aims to create in Europe an end-of-life PMMA recovery stream to obtain new acrylic "resins". These will then be entered into the composition of thermoplastic composite materials, themselves recyclable, to serve highly promising markets such as wind power, boat building and automotive, as they will replace the thermoset resins currently used, which cannot be recycled.

With the backing of the State, the commitment to green growth that we have signed up to today will help mobilise, within the REVERPLAST project, five players heavily engaged in the circular economy to create an actual double loop: recovering a fully recyclable polymer, PMMA or acrylic glass, in order to add it to the manufacture of composites which are themselves recyclable, in order to serve dynamic markets such as boat building and wind power, but also automotive where recyclability requirements at end of life are a growing criterion.

The partners

This collaborative project is run in partnership with:

  • CANOE, an Aquitaine-based technology platform dedicated to advanced materials

  • PAPREC, a plastics recycling specialist

  • INDRA, leader in the recycling of end-of-life vehicles

  • PLASTINOV, a specialist in the processing of composite materials for the wind power market

The Arkema Group confirms its commitment to ecological and energy transition by encouraging the reuse of products and recycling its wastes. The Group is also looking to bring together a whole chain of upstream and downstream players in some of its relevant key product sectors, as illustrated by this REVERPLAST project which will be based in part in the new Aquitaine Region.