Project Name: Increasing the quality and rate of MultilayER packaging recycLINg waste


The high-performance requirements requested by the industry and consumers are responsible that currently 17% of total plastic packaging is multilayer material, meaning 3.03 Mt of plastics. Difficulties for recycling it are accentuated, being mostly landfilled or incinerated. MERLIN project has joined a partnership between sorting technology providers, recyclers, research centres, social innovation experts and end-users to design cradle-to-cradle
solutions. This 36-month research project will offer innovative solutions for all the processes required to increase the quality and rate of recycled plastic materials coming from multi-layer packaging waste: (i) SORTING (combining optical sensors, Artificial Intelligence (A.I.) and robotics), (ii) DELAMINATION (optimizing depolymerisation and using solvent-based processes), (iii) RECYCLING (techniques for repolymerization and upcycling of polymers) and (iv) VALIDATION (developing rigid and flexible packaging solutions and demonstrating circularity of the processes).

These solutions will be developed and later validated in a real environment to reach technology readiness level (TRL) 6. This will be complemented with additional techniques and tools for circularity design to increase knowledge and effectiveness in the closure of the European multilayer plastic chain. Finally, transversal activities related to regulation and standardization, safety, sustainability, business, training, dissemination and communication will support to maximize the impact and effectiveness of the project. These actions are aligned with the ones proposed by the European Plastic Strategy to achieve that by 2030 all plastic packaging should be designed to be recyclable or reusable and decrease the quantity of waste generated. 

Potential annual carbon footprint saving that could be achieved by recycling all the multilayer waste in Europe could reach 7.42 Mt CO2/year, with a potential economic of €10,605 million and more than 106,000 new job positions.


Reason for applying to services

Inputs and feedback from 2 standardization organizations about MERLINs processes development.


Main Standardisation Interests

Inputs and feedback from 2 standardization organizations about MERLINs processes development.

Open Call Topic(s): Green transition in Europe

Project Acronym: MERLIN


Grant Agreement Id: 101003883

Start Date:

End Date:

Programme: H2020-EU.3.5. - SOCIETAL CHALLENGES - Climate action, Environment, Resource Efficiency and Raw Materials

Call for proposal: H2020-SC5-2018-2019-2020

Funding Scheme: RIA - Research and Innovation action