The Challenge

The coastal areas of England, France, Belgium (Flanders) and the Netherlands (the 2Seas region) is generating a huge amount of plastic waste. However, overall plastic recycling rates remain low (20-30%).

Within the urban environment a lot of plastic waste is not effectively recycled or validated. These so-called ‘lost plastics’ can form a prominent role in the circular economy. Actors and stakeholders can reap substantial economic opportunities by stepping away from traditional plastic disposal methods.

Yet, these economic opportunities are not fully known nor understood, collection logistics are not fully developed, sorting facilities not well equipped or stakeholders not fully engaged.

These barriers need to be overcome if the region wants to play a key role in delivering the EU strategy for plastics in the Circular Economy.


The objective of the PlastiCity project is to develop replicable strategies and solutions that are able to increase recycling rates in urban environments from 20-30% to over 50% by unlocking the use of ‘lost plastics’ as secondary resources from the urban environment.

Additional objectives are:

  • Develop technical strategies for (reverse) logistics and reprocessing
  • Inducing behavioral change and creating capacity of stakeholders such as local governments and companies through urban platforms
  • Demonstrate this in 4 case study cities in the 2Seas area (Ghent (BE), Den Haag (NL), Southend On Sea (UK) and Douai (FR))
  • Creating new value chains and designing new products, amongst others by unlocking the full potential of ‘medium’ size actors (SME’s, offices, retail, schools, etc.)
  • Deploy a mobile unit for testing, demonstration and sensitisation
  • Create business activity and employment in the circular economy (100-400 jobs)