VTT Webinar

Designed for recycling – How to lower boundaries for plastics recycling?

How can we design easily recyclable plastic products? How can we maximize the quality of recycled plastics? The diversity of plastic types is a key reason that makes recycling difficult and reduces the quality of recycled plastics. Watch our webinar to learn and share about these topics!

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About the webinar

In past decades, plastic material design has focused on optimizing performance and production costs. Recyclability has not been an issue until recently. Today, design for recycling is a key tool to improve the recycling rate of plastics and the quality of recycled plastic. What is the true potential of these efforts, and in what timeframe? Can multi-layer barrier packaging materials be replaced by simpler solutions?

Better sorting and washing of plastic waste are in focus to improve the quality of mechanically recycled plastics. Unwanted plastic types or other impurities can easily deteriorate the product. But what else can be done to improve the quality of the recyclates?

Watch the webinar to hear the latest insight from the plastic industry and what opportunities VTT can offer. The Q&A session provides a possibility to get more info from the experts, but also a forum to provide your view.


  • Introduction, Mika Härkönen, Professor of practice, Industrial chemistry and technology infrastructures, VTT
  • Design for Recycling – Necessity for plastics circularity, Sanna Martin, Sustainability project manager, Borealis
  • Advanced mechanical recycling – VTT perspective​, Joonas Mikkonen, Senior scientist, Materials processing and circular solutions, VTT
  • High-performance recycled plastics, ​Pekka Laurikainen, Research scientist, Materials processing and circular solutions, VTT
  • Q&A
Circular plastics


Mika Härkönen
Mika Härkönen
Professor of Practice, Industrial chemistry, VTT

Mika Härkönen works as Professor of Practice of Industrial Chemistry and Technology Infrastructures at VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland. He is an experienced professional with broad knowledge in chemical process technologies from industrial and applied R&D perspectives.  He has worked at VTT for 18 years in management and expert positions in process chemistry, plastic recycling, piloting and research infrastructure development, and before that for about 15 years in product and process development in the petrochemical and plastics industry. He is co-author of 16 peer reviewed scientific publications and 20 patents.

Sanna Martin
Sanna Martin
Sustainability Project Manager, Borealis

Sanna Martin has over 20 years career in plastics industry. Her background being M.Sc in Chemical Engineering she has experience in R&D, Operations, Supply Chain, Customer Service and Product Management roles in Borealis Polyolefins business. She has recently taken the lead in ‘Enablers for green transition’ work package under SPIRIT programme. The research area entails topics like design for/from recycling, reuse, recycled content, regulation and standardisation. SPIRIT is Borealis led collaborative research and development programme driving the sustainable plastics industry transformation, and is funded by Business Finland.

Joonas Mikkonen
Joonas Mikkonen
Senior Scientist, Materials processing and circular solutions, VTT

Joonas Mikkonen (MSc. Tech.) is a Senior Scientist and Project Manager at VTT Finland. Master’s degree in polymer technology and biomaterials science from Tampere University of Technology in 2003. Almost 20 years of industry experience from plastic materials R&D and process development, mainly medical grade plastics. Joined VTT 2 years ago in the Materials Processing and circular solutions team and been participating in EU- and Customer-projects focusing on circular plastics and plastics mechanical recycling (EU CIMPA, EU PRIMUS, EU STOPP, BF MSWPlast, BF ReMatCh). 

Pekka Laurikainen
Pekka Laurikainen
Research Scientist, Materials processing and circular solutions, VTT

Pekka Laurikainen (DSc. Tech.) is a Research Scientist at VTT Technical Research Center of Finland. After finishing a doctorate and collecting over 10 years of experience in polymer research - including research of composite recycling - at Tampere University, he joined the Materials processing and circular solutions team at VTT last autumn. Since then, he has participated in several circular plastics related projects (EU CIMPA, EU PRIMUS, EU STOPP, EU TREASoURcE) and has an active role in the development of the Advanced mechanical recycling pilot line - VAREX. His topics of primary interest include structure-property relationships in polymeric materials, polymer chemistry and rheology.