Circularity and Resource Efficiency

Waste Becomes Resource

The chemical and plastics industry plays an important role in realising a circular economy. Transforming linear chemical value chains into circular value chains is therefore the core of the Circularity and Resource Efficiency (CRE) innovation program.

plastic waste


This innovation program seeks circular solutions for all types of side and waste streams that arise in chemical value chains. These include industrial sidestreams as well as post-industrial and post-consumer waste streams. In addition, the circular technologies that we develop can also help to increase circularity in other sectors.

Within this program, we work on all side and waste streams that occur in the broad domain of the chemical industry, including for example used lubricants, paints or plant protection products and water. In addition to this broad scope, the circularity of plastics and the development of technologies for the recycling of plastic waste are also focussed on.


The main driver for this program is resource efficiency. By making value chains more circular, dependency on virgin resources decreases. This way, our industry and society in general can deal with its limited resources in a smarter way. Additional drivers are:

  • increasing the value of side and waste streams
  • creating new value chains from side and waste streams
  • avoiding pollution


The goal of this program is to, each year, develop a number of new processes that enable circularity by transforming waste and sidestreams into valuable products. This way, new value chains are created, starting from the waste or sidestreams over the conversion or recycling process up to the use of the resulting streams for the production of new products. By doing so, we want to underline the intrinsic value of waste and sidestreams and create value where before there was none. Our innovations will help to increase the recycling rate and circularity of waste and sidestreams as well as decrease the overall environmental impact of chemical and plastic value chains.

Every project within this program has the ambition to deliver an innovation in one or more phases of existing or new circular value chains, while safeguarding the valorisation potential of the whole value chain.

Focus Topics

  • Plastics sorting 
  • Separation and purification
  • Mechanical recycling of plastics
  • Chemical recycling of plastics
  • The valorisation of sidestreams from the chemical industry
  • Closing the water loop