Plastic flesjes
Plastic flesjes

MUNITION: for optimalisation of plastic recycling

2022 until 2025
Project member(s)
Prof. Dr. Ir. Eveline van Leeuwen, Wageningen Universiteit , Dr J.J. Jansen (Jeroen) Prof. M.A.J. Huijbregts (Mark) , Dr. Michel Handgraaf, Wageningen Universiteit
Project type

Regional waste separation policies can vary between source separation, where waste separation is done by citizens, and post-separation, where plastic waste is separated industrially after collection. It is difficult to determine the optimal collection policy for a region because it depends on several aspects. Consider, for instance, the ability and willingness of citizens to separate plastic waste, the regional infrastructure for waste collection and separation, or the environmental impact of the different ways of collecting and separating plastic. It is still largely unknown how these aspects influence waste quality, collection costs, environmental impact and sustainable behaviour of citizens. 

Digital twin

In the MUNITION project researchers are developping a virtual representation, a so-called Digital twin, of plastic collection and recycling. This allows them to compare different waste collection methods. The team looks at plastic collection and recycling from different perspectives, such as technology, environmental science, psychology and economics, and sees how these are related in waste collection policy. All these factors are included in a dashboard, which can be used to optimise waste collection policies. It can also assess the impact of waste collection policy changes and the quality, sustainability, profitability and welfare of citizens as a result of the resulting plastic streams.
The researchers will build new sorting algorithms based on hyperspectral imaging, a technology that allows the properties of waste to be determined from physical measurements. This will allow the researchers to identify differences between plastic waste collected in different ways.


The output of this project will be a digital tool that enables empirically based choices for source separation or post-separation.


HAN-CMW, TNO-CE, NPPR, Natuur en Milieu, VANG, Gemeente Heerenveen, RKN, Circulaire Raad, KplusV, Stichting Afvalfonds Verpakkingen, Netherlands Testcentre for Circular Plastics.