Imagine a large pile of plastics, 126 kilograms in weight. That’s how much plastic packaging the average person uses per year. If we don’t want to continue having a plastic soup in our seas, we will have to radically change our production processes and consumption habits, as well as take steps towards a sustainable raw materials management and circular economy. A good start would be to make better reuse of waste. So how can we separate our waste and reuse plastics more effectively?

The Circular Plastics professor of applied sciences carries out applied research into closing the plastics recycling process. The professorship analyses and optimises the separation processes by connecting the entire northern chain of raw materials, production, consumption and waste together. The professorship also studies chemical recycling, that is to say plastics being chemically returned to their original raw materials.

The research into the reuse of raw materials includes investigating the possible further applications of recycled plastics. Even upcycling is among the possibilities: plastics are then reused to form something of greater value.  

With whom do you collaborate?

In order to achieve a closed cycle and to contribute to the transition towards a circular economy, the professorship collaborates with other knowledge institutes, governmental bodies and businesses in the region.

Omrin and the NHL Stenden University of Applied Sciences set up the Circular Plastics professorship and the knowledge network. Together we carry out applied research into the analysis and optimisation of the separation processes and reuse of plastics. We are also developing a minor in recycling and upcycling plastics.


The professorship and the Circular Plastics knowledge network is a collaboration of the universities of applied sciences in Friesland (NHL Stenden University of Applied Sciences and Van Hall Larenstein University of Applied Sciences). The Afvalfonds Verpakkingen (Packaging Waste Fund) was established to support companies involved in packaging. The province of Friesland and the Leeuwarden municipality support the initiative. The professorship maintains close contacts with the departments of the majors Mechanical Engineering, Chemical Engineering and Chemistry.


The Circular Plastics professorship comprises various researchers, lecturers and students. 

The professorship is headed by professor of applied sciences Rudy Folkersma. At this professorship, a collaboration with Van Hall Larenstein, he works together with Dr Jan Jager from NHL Stenden University of Applied Sciences.


NHL Stenden University of Applied Sciences
Academy of Technology & Innovation