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Benchmark analysis for different recyclates in the Austrian Waste Management
The circular economy package of the EU, especially the amendment of the Waste Framework Directive, sets a new goal for the use of different types of recyclates as there will be a certain compulsory percentage of recycled materials in the manufacturing process of new consuming products. Currently, the image of those secondary materials is tarnished. Equivalent virgin materials can assure reliable qualities within stable physical and chemical properties. Besides, the production of recyclates is often even more expensive compared to the production of primary materials. Processors and recyclers provide a variety of specification sheets with detailed information. These sheets show the demands for secondary materials. Still, the quality inspection is often executed by checking few technical parameters. There is no doubt that the price of the recyclates is linked to the price of the virgin primary material. Practice, however, shows that the price also correlates with different quality parameters such as degree of mixing, degree of degradation and presence of impurities. All these factors lead to a precise price. The present work is checking the connection between different quality aspects and how they affect the price of recyclates. Experts from the Austrian processing and recycling business will be interviewed about the most important parameters of their quality inspection and how they influence the price. In order to obtain detailed answers, an interview guide has been prepared. The acquired information will be used to set a full picture of the different quality parameters. Additionally, different prices of various secondary materials will complete the regression analysis in favour of finding a correlation between the parameters quality and price. The main goal of the present work is to show the different quality parameters and how they exactly affect the price. A reliable characterisation will lead to the added value: customers of secondary materials will get to know the fundamental criteria of their recyclates just as the quality of those materials can be improved. Thus, this information will guarantee a purposeful applicability of recyclates, which is an important step towards circular economy. As the European strategy for plastics in a circular economy is going to promote the use of a certain percentage of plastic recyclates in new products, the present work focuses on secondary plastic waste. But the paper also searches for a connection between quality and price for glass and construction waste recyclates.