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New plastic economy


Plastic economy is on the verge of a global revolution as our current ways of utilising and consuming plastics have created huge global challenges with plastic pollution and growing carbon emissions. Together with our customers, we at VTT want to reshape the future of plastics with new alternative materials and circular economy solutions. We believe that the world will have transformed to new plastic economy by 2035 – and we want our customers to reap the business benefits of being at the forefront of this shift.

Download a guide to see three paths that brands and packaging manufacturers can take to maximize sustainability and minimize the carbon footprint of packaging >> 

Explore some of our services within plastic economy

Whether you work in food, retail, healthcare, transport or any other industry – VTT can help you research and develop innovations that improve recycling systems or replace virginal fossil-based plastic with recycled or bio-based materials. Our innovative alternatives to plastic, nanocellulose and thermoplastic cellulose are high-performing, award-winning examples of our innovative work. Our offering in plastics research also encompasses versatile plastic processing facilities where you can develop, test and pilot new solutions.

Alternative materials

We believe that alternative materials to plastic are in a crucial role in achieving the objectives of bioeconomy and a low-carbon society. We are developing innovative solutions either produced from fossil sources or renewable materials, ticking the boxes of oil-based plastics while binding carbon dioxide. Our bio-based and biodegradable solutions, for example, can enable reductions in carbon dioxide emissions and help combat plastic pollution – when their end-of-life options are well-planned. Besides our award-winning solutions, thermoplastic cellulose and nanocellulose, the plastic economy of the future will even utilise carbon dioxide as a raw material for different chemical processes, even for producing new plastics. Read more here.

Business models for circular economy

Circular design, longer lifecycles and remanufacturing create new business. We help clients create competitive circular economy business models. Read more here.

Plastics in textiles

With our wide know-how in polymer material development, we help clients develop innovative textiles. Moreover, our plastic processing facilities can be used for developing the recycling of synthetic textiles and fibres.

Identification technologies and sensors

Reusing plastic waste is easier when waste can be identified and sorted. We offer solutions for organisations that need sensors and identification technologies to build their circular economy businesses and oversee product safety.

Plastic materials development and processing

We offer versatile services in the field of plastic materials and composites development and processing in both laboratory and pilot scale. Organizations can benefit from our expertise that covers the whole chain of material development from design and processing up to productisation. We have an especially wide know-how concerning functional polymeric materials and composites, and biobased and biodegradable material solutions to various applications. Please read more here.

Plastics recycling

We offer a wide range of services related to the pre-treatment of plastics waste and mechanical recycling of plastics. Recycling of polymeric materials is one of the big challenges in the development of a more circular plastic economy. Our expertise encompasses material design recycling technologies and assessment covering the whole value chain, which enables us to develop genuinely sustainable solutions for our customers. By developing our plastics waste treatment processes, we are enhancing the quality of recycled plastic and creating new areas of application for recycled plastics. Read more about post processing here.

We also complements the selection of sustainable recycling methods with chemical recycling based on pyrolysis, which will turn nearly all plastics and their mixtures into oil – the raw material of fuels, plastics and other chemicals. You can read more here.

Application-based recycling

Covering the phases of an entire value chain, we can provide the resources for solving the challenges of different applications, all the way from material design to application-specific recycling needs. Read more here.

Plastics degradation

Our scientists are developing new microbes to degrade plastic waste e.g. in containers and turn it into valuable products like fuels or chemicals. Read more here.


​​Have a challenge related to plastics?