Meet our latest addition to the team, ESR 03: Manon!

I am Manon Lisiecki, an early stage researcher for C-PlaNeT, working on ESR 3 project ‘Product Design for Circularity’, in the Environment Research Group, Department of Water and Environmental Technology at Denmark Technical University. I started my PhD in February 2021. I obtained my Master degree in 2019, from Chimie ParisTech PSL. During the last year, I did an apprenticeship for industry. This experience allowed me to discover the vast and complex field of polymers and additives used in packaging to improve their performances. It can be unusual to want to work in the field of plastics while seeing plastic bans all around the world. However, I am really convinced that young researchers have a key role to play in designing plastics compatible for end-of-life recycling and the circular economy in general. The EU leads research programmes about this problematics [1]. I applied to C-PlaneT program for this reason.

It is a great honour to be part of this European Union's Horizon 2020 research project and the Marie Sklodowska-Curie innovation programme in general. Chemistry will be the link between fundamental polymer science and the main issues created by the use of plastic: waste management [2] and environmental pollution [3].

I will focus on understanding the link between plastic material properties, material functionality, product design, waste collection and recycling. The availability of quality recycled plastics will be a challenge with the increasing need of recycled plastic products [4]. The properties and the specifications of plastic quality must be defined. The collaboration between actors of thewhole value chain (academic, industries and recyclers) will be necessary to understand everyone's needs and produce recycled products with the required functionalities [5].

The objective is to identify key design requirements for circular plastic materials and products. Plastics are present in all our daily life, from our house, our electronic devices, our clothes, to our cars [6]; these plastics should be designed to be recycled, reused or repaired. A preliminary step will be to provide an overview of the plastic recyclability in different applications to define barriers or improvements to reach circularity goals [7]. Requirements must be prioritized and the impact of an initiative on circularity must be evaluated. The final goal will be a systematic platform for future developments in plastic materials, product design compatible with recycling solutions.

[1] Farmer A., Developing the Circular Economy in the European Union, Circular Economy: Global Perspective. Springer, 2020, [2] Marieke T. Brouwer, Eggo U. Thoden van Velzen, Kim Ragaert and Roland ten Klooster, Technical Limits in Circularity for Plastic Packages, Sustainability 2020, 12, 10021, [3] Jambeck et al, Plastic waste inputs from land into the ocean. Science, 2015 [4] M.K. Eriksen, J.D. Christiansen, A.E. Daugaard, T.F. Astrup, Closing the loop for PET, PE and PP waste from households: Influence of material properties and product design for plastic recycling, Waste Management, Volume 96, 2019, Pages 75-85, [5] K. Ragaert, Laurens Delva, Kevin Van Geem, Mechanical and chemical recycling of solid plastic waste, Waste Management 69 (2017) 24–5825, [6] Plastics – the Facts 2020 An analysis of European plastics production, demand and waste data, Plastic Europe, 2020, AF_Plastics_the_facts-WEB-2020-ING_FINAL (1).pdf [7] EC (European Commission), 2018. A European Strategy for Plastics in a Circular Economy. Communication of 16.01.2018. Brussels.

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This project has received funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Sklodowska-Curie grant agreement No. 859885.