ENEA Technology


Technology Readiness Level (TRL)


Innovations and Benefits

Plastic constitutes an important danger for the environment and for the marine ecosystem in particular. Directive 2008/56 / EC on the Strategy for the European marine environment has promoted an integrated approach for the protection of the marine environment with the adoption of actions to be taken on a local scale as well. The application of new methodologies aimed at the recovery is most crucial for the definition of intervention strategies.


Monitoring and evaluation of the degradation processes of plastics dispersed in natural environments with particular reference to the marine one (marine debris). The characterization of abandoned plastics allows the optimal choice for recycling.

Applications and ongoing Activities

Currently, characterization activities are underway, mainly through IR techniques, of plastics abandoned in the marine environment (beaches in particular) which have led to the definition of the best strategy for their recycling. For example, tests are underway to reuse, with and without energy recovery, the thermoplastic material collected along the Lazio beaches.
At the same time, a recovery process of expanded polystyrene (PSE) has been developed which, due to its low density, is not among the materials collected in the "plastic" fraction of the separate collection. The developed method allows to recover high quantities of PSE with the possibility of obtaining the original polymer (PS). A process has been also developed for the reuse of PS in the sector of waterproofing stone and wooden materials and in the manufacturing of objects.

Contact person

Loris Pietrelli (loris.pietrelli <at>