VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland and the City of Nokia aim to develop a new type of plastic recycling concept in the ECO3 business park for the bio and circular economy in Nokia. This will enable the creation of new business based on the industrial development of plastic recycling and recycled plastic.
Developing new concepts for the use of recycled plastics will provide tangible support for Nokia's urban strategy. In the best case scenario, this will offer a way of raising the efficiency of plastic recycling and increase opportunities for Nokia citizens to become pioneers in material recycling. Recycling is the best option for the environment.
The study will result in a plant concept created by VTT, allowing the planning of business operations on an industrial scale. The contents of the plant concept are affected by issues such as the volumes and quality of plastic material streams, the availability of potential new technology, the development needs of companies operating in the area, interest shown by international and domestic companies, and the suitability of transport connections for materials transport. The goal is to convert recycled plastic into a material equivalent to virgin plastic.
VTT's study also includes an analysis of the key technological implementation alternatives, an initial estimate of the investment and operating costs of recycled plastic production, and an analysis of prospective investors and companies. The concept is provided by the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment.
Verte Oy, the City of Nokia's development company, will invite the best companies interested in the project to engage in future cooperation. VTT's circular economy expertise has been made available to the firms in the developing ECO3 business park.
"In Finland, there is a great deal of untapped potential for the overall, rational use of waste and sidestreams – even in terms of sustainable development and the financial framework. The process of change involving the creation of new business models and the erasure of old, unsustainable practices is just getting underway. We are only now beginning to understand the benefits of the increasing amount of data, for example", says Research Manager Antti Arasto from VTT.
"We have created a future roadmap for the ECO3 business park, with the industrial-scale reuse of recycled fractions as one of its cornerstones. If this becomes a reality, it will mean new jobs in the business park and an innovation chain that produces added value for companies located there and for business operations and research involving plastics recycling," says Sakari Ermala, Managing Director of Verte Oy, the City of Nokia's development company.
"The project combines themes important to VTT: the circular economy, recycling of plastics and the development of Finnish industry. The project is also of personal significance to me, because it allows me to affect the development of the neighbourhood I grew up in," says Research Scientist Satu Pasanen from VTT, who is the manager of the project.
The companies participating in the project will benefit from VTT's expertise in materials, products, processes and technology related to the circular economy.
ECO3 business park
A new kind of industrial-scale, multi-sector bio and circular economy business zone is becoming a reality in the ECO3 business park. ECO3 area is located in the Kolmenkulma Eco-Industrial Park in Nokia. This nationally important competence centre is also a demonstration and piloting environment, developed by the City of Nokia and Verte Oy, the City of Nokia's development company, in cooperation with companies and universities. www.eco3.fi
City of Nokia
Nokia is a growing city, with over 33,000 citizens, in Pirkanmaa, Tampere, Finland's most attractive urban region. Excellent living conditions are provided by beautiful nature, good services and a central location. Over 1,700 companies operate in Nokia, and the city has a diverse economic structure and a strong industrial heritage. www.nokiankaupunki.fi
PHOTO: Mikko Nieminen (City of Nokia) (left), Sakari Ermala (Verte Oy) ja Satu Pasanen (VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland) are at the ECO3 business park and holding recycled and reusable plastic material in their hands. (Photo: City of Nokia)