Bulgarian polyolefin recycling company Integra Plastics has started building a EUR 40 million plant in the town of Elin Pelin, on the outskirts of the capital Sofia.
Integra CEO Julian Belev said in an interview with Bloomberg TV Bulgaria that the plant is expected to open in February 2019 and employ 85 highly qualified members of staff, Emerging Europe reported.
Integra Plastics will focus on household waste instead of industrial waste, with Belev noting that it is easier to control enterprises that produce industrial waste, making its recycling is guaranteed.
The situation with household waste is different. “When we throw away our garbage, we know that a lorry comes and picks it up, but we don’t really know what happens to it after that. Waste management should have much more public attention in Bulgaria,” Belev said.
“After its recovery, waste becomes a resource for the economy, and the circular economy saves the planet from being clogged up with waste. As a concept, the circular economy requires the extraction of the maximum amount of raw materials from waste. The materials are to be returned to the production cycle where they originate from,” said Belev.
Belev described the current state of plastics production linear in structure: there is a reliance on processed raw materials that have been extracted from nature, which are then consumed and then disposed of, he said, noting that society should transition from such a linear form of economy to a circular one.
The company’s first undertaking is the recycling of plastic with sufficiently high indicators, in order to answer the needs of consumers in Bulgaria, Europe and on the international market.
Belev also noted that there is a dent in the process of production, usage and disposal of plastic in Europe.
“China no longer takes in Europe’s plastic waste, so there should be a greater incentive to recycle plastics, use recyclable plastics more and wean ourselves off unrecyclable plastics, even if they might be well designed for their use.”
China’s strict limitations on the import of 24 types of “foreign garbage,” including plastic scraps and mixed, unsorted paper, came into force at the beginning of 2018. The limitations include a flat-out ban on plastics, Emerging Europe recalled.