AIMPLAS supported more than 1,500 companies in their transition to the circular economy in 2023

The Plastics Technology Centre continued to increase its activity on the circular economy. In 2023, AIMPLAS presented 206 projects on the subject, provided more than 1,100 technological services to companies and participated in 76 training and conference activities

AIMPLAS apoyó a más de 1500 empresas en su transición a la economía circular en 2023.jpg
02 April, 2024


The circular economy continues to be the most important challenge currently facing the plastics sector. Companies are in the process of converting to a more sustainable business model in terms of both the economy and the environment and this involves reviewing the processes, services and products of the entire value chain and avoiding greenwashing.

To support this transition, AIMPLAS, the Plastics Technology Centre, has a long history of promoting circularity and each year it continues to increase its range of projects, services and training to help the business community. Specifically, throughout 2023, the Centre worked with more than 1,500 companies on actions related to the circular economy.

The main lines of work in 2023 in terms of R&D were ecodesign; the incorporation of bio-based, recycled, recyclable, biodegradable and compostable materials; the development of new business models based on repair and reuse; improvements in waste collection, management and separation systems; optimization of mechanical, chemical and enzymatic recycling processes to obtain quality materials for use in high value-added applications; obtaining plastics from agri-food waste; and recovery through biodegradation and composting processes.

Specifically, in the area of R&D projects, a total of 206 projects related to the circular economy were presented last year, 10% more than in the previous year. These projects included RASPONS, whose results are cardboard-like compostable products from agricultural by-products from the wine sector; FUSTARISE, which uses mechanochemistry to obtain sustainable adhesives and packaging from pruning waste; ELLIPSE, a European project that recovers slaughterhouse waste and sludge and paper pulp for applications in agriculture and personal care; RECRITIC, in which electrical and electronic equipment is recycled to recover critical raw materials; BIOICEP, which develops methods to obtain bioplastics from conventional plastics; and RECICAUTXU, which seeks solutions for recovering end-of-life tyres for use in construction.


Technological services and training

In terms of technological services, AIMPLAS worked with more than 600 companies on 1,100 services related to the circular economy in 2023 and increased its turnover in consultancy and laboratory services by more than 30% compared to the previous year. In fact, the Centre’s laboratory services include the most accredited tests for the plastics industry in Spain, which means that companies were able to verify the sustainability of their products and publicize it by obtaining ecolabels. Furthermore, in 2023, AIMPLAS continued to increase its biodegradation capacities, as well as related accreditations, such as DIN CERTCO in Europe and BPI certification in the United States, thus complementing its TÜV Austria certification and offering the most complete laboratory for biodegradation and compostability tests under aerobic and anaerobic conditions in different media.

AIMPLAS has also positioned itself as a benchmark in certifications for the use of recycled plastic in packaging in accordance with standards UNE-EN 15343 and Recyclass for both recyclers and converters by offering certification that allows companies to demonstrate the amount of recycled material in their packaging and therefore reduce the impact of taxes on non-reusable plastic packaging. Other key services are related to assessing the recyclability of products in accordance with the protocols of Plastics Recycling Europe (PRE) and the Association of Plastics Recyclers (APR) in the United States. The Centre also provides reuse testing to demonstrate reusability through the Designed to be Reusable label and the development of new test methods for the identification and characterization of microplastics. In addition, AIMPLAS covers all aspects related to ecodesign, environmental impact through life cycle assessment (LCA) and carbon footprinting through the corporate carbon footprint certification, which will be mandatory for companies in the coming years.

In the area of training, 76 training activities and conferences were held with the attendance of more than 1,500 professionals from some 900 companies. These activities included the new professional degree in the circular economy, which was very well received in its first and second editions, the eighth edition of the International Seminar on Biopolymers and Sustainable Composites, as well as the second edition of the International Seminar on Recycling, which was attended by more than 300 people.

Organization of the sixth edition of MeetingPack in collaboration with AINIA, which will take place on 10-11 April, has also started. Furthermore, the seventh edition of the Plastics and Circular Economy conference, a national benchmark in the field, will be held on 7 November.

This steady increase in activity was accompanied by investments in new infrastructure, such as the newly expanded facilities for synthesis, transformation, recycling and biodegradation pilot plants. In keeping with environmental sustainability, the increase in people, activity and facilities was carried out while taking into account environmental impacts. AIMPLAS therefore continued to make progress in its emissions reduction plan, which enabled the Centre to obtain the REDUZCO seal from the Ministry for Ecological Transition and the Demographic Challenge after reducing its emissions by 83% since 2019.

All this activity earned AIMPLAS recognition, including the Retina ECO 2023 Award from the Prisa Group and Capgemini for the EFFICIENTHEATING Project, the LCBA Colombia 2023 Low Carbon and Circular Economy Business Seal for the PETCOL Project, and, most recently, the go!ODS Award in the Zero Hunger category for the BIORANGEPACK Project.


More resources and circular economy services

In 2024, AIMPLAS has increased its resources to further enhance support for companies in areas such as ecodesign, the European directive to prevent greenwashing, environmental impact, digital product passports, new models of reuse and repair, and new product certifications. Another new feature will be the implementation of testing of caps attached to the bottle, given that they will be mandatory for all containers with a capacity of less than three litres starting in July 2024.



At AIMPLAS, we help companies apply circular economy criteria to their business models and turn the legislative changes that affect the plastics industry into opportunities to improve company efficiency, reduce environmental impact and increase profitability. AIMPLAS also does research in areas such as recycling, biodegradable materials and products, and the use of biomass and CO 2 with the aim of developing innovative solutions that help solve current environmental challenges.

Plan de Recuperación, Transformación y Resiliencia Financiado por la Unión Europea