MARIETTA, Ga., Aug. 9, 2017– UL Environment, a division of UL (Underwriters Laboratories), a global safety science leader, announced today that it is joining a team led by the Fraunhofer Institute for Reliability and Microintegration (IZM), to support a Horizon 2020 circular economy project in the European Union. The EU Post-Consumer High-Tech Recycled Polymers for a Circular Economy (“PolyCE”) project is a multi-year, multi-stakeholder demonstration project focused on the feasibility of circular plastics supply and value chain, specifically related to waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) plastics.

Despite efforts to improve the collection and recycling of WEEE plastics, most of this plastic ends up incinerated or “downcycled” in applications such as in plastic timbers. This waste is inefficient and represents economic loss. By bringing together 20 key players from research, business and technology with distinguished expertise in every single step of the supply and value chain of high-tech plastics, the PolyCE project aims to eliminate this loss by demonstrating feasible changes in manufacturing and consumption. Project objectives include setting technical requirements addressing the entire value chain and developing a grading system for recycled plastics, strengthening the market for recycled plastics through an online platform integrating the different plastic grades according to their material properties and final application suitability, and more. Longer term project goals are to scale the demonstration up to engage specific cities, their green procurement efforts and engaging in consumer awareness raising and engagement initiatives.

UL Environment was invited by Fraunhofer IZM to join as a bidder in the PolyCE project based on work completed by Dr. William (“Bill”) Hoffman, senior scientist and UL Corporate Fellow, who created and executed the validation of Dell’s closed loop recycled content claim related to its OptiPlex computer.

“UL Environment is very pleased to be able to contribute its expertise to the success of this important circular economy project,” said Alberto Uggetti, vice president and general manager, UL Environment. “Our Zero Waste to Landfill work has made it clear that we must change the old “take, make, waste” economic model for the long-term safety of our planet. We also know that there are hidden economic opportunities and unrealized benefits in circular economic models, and we are looking forward to bringing our scientific expertise to this challenge.”

The EU PolyCE project kicks off this month with a multi-stakeholder meeting in Fraunhofer IZM’s offices in Germany. “We aimed to put together the best team to accomplish the objectives of this project,” said Gergana Dimitrova, project coordinator at Fraunhofer IZM. “Shifting toward a circular economy requires systematic transformation. It also requires good science. UL’s work in qualifying the closed loop recyclability of electronics plastics for Dell showed us that they were the right partner to develop and implement standardized test methods to assess the chemical composition, flame retardance and electrical performance of recycled WEEE plastics.”

About UL Environment
UL Environment works to advance global sustainability, environmental health, and safety by supporting the growth and development of environmentally preferable products, services, and organizations. We help companies achieve their sustainability goals—and help purchasers, specifiers, retailers, governments, and consumers find products they can trust. UL Environment offers environmental claim validations, multi-attribute product certifications, environmental product declarations, indoor air quality certification, product emissions testing, organizational sustainability certification, and consulting. For more information, visit ul.com/environment, and connect with us via Twitter, LinkedIn, or Facebook.

About UL
UL fosters safe living and working conditions for people everywhere through the application of science to solve safety, security and sustainability challenges. The UL Mark engenders trust enabling the safe adoption of innovative new products and technologies. Everyone at UL shares a passion to make the world a safer place. We test, inspect, audit, certify, validate, verify, advise and train and we support these efforts with software solutions for safety and sustainability. To learn more about us, visit UL.com.

About Fraunhofer IZM
Fraunhofer IZM is part of the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft, a German research organization with 67 institutes spread throughout Germany, each focusing on different fields of applied science. Working hand-in-hand with industry and government institutions, Fraunhofer IZM has many years of experience in developing cutting-edge technologies and smart system integration techniques. Its goal is meeting the demand for higher reliability and multifunctionality while reducing manufacturing costs and enhancing the environmental performance of electronic products.

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