C-PlaNeT (Circular Plastics Network for Training) is a project funded by the European Union in the framework of the H2020 Marie Skłodowska Curie Actions – Innovative Training Networks. C-PlaNeT is a consortium of high-profile universities, research institutions and companies located in Belgium, Germany, the Netherlands, Austria, United Kingdom, Switzerland, Denmark and Greece. The primary objective of C-PlaNeT is to demonstrate that a sustainable future for plastics is possible when all the different actors in the value chain collaborate, interact, challenge and complement each other.


Project description

Europe needs this training network. Bringing plastics into the circular economy is one of the great challenges of our age. C-PlaNeT lays the foundations for a New Plastics Economy through a European Joint Doctoral Programme that trains 15 Early Stage Researchers (ESRs) to become part of a new generation of scientists, engineers and policy makers for the EU’s circular economy, which must include the design, processing, use and reuse of plastics. Each ESR, developing his/her research skills together with a supervisor and co-promoter, represents a piece of the jigsaw, at the same time benefiting from being part of a project team with 14 other ESRs and their supervisors covering other parts of the life cycle, challenging each other in terms of lifecycle thinking and a much more sustainable future for plastics.

The 15 Early Stage Researcher (ESR) topics are selected to provide a holistic and interdisciplinary scientific response to the current challenge of making plastics more circular. The 15 ESRs will tackle the major research challenges in their tailored PhD research projects, going beyond the current state of the art, achieving the project’s objectives, and so closing the loop for plastics.

Each ESR will participate in an academic secondment (min. 6 months) to one of the partner universities, wherein they will acquire complimentary skills such as a specific scientific expertise, the use of unique equipment or the exploration of a different scientific discipline entirely.  Moreover, they conduct at least one training internship at one of the non-academic partners, wherein they will be able to taste the industrial perspective, consider upscaling of technology or frame their research against existing business models.


The objectives of C-PlaNeT:
•    Objective 1: To decouple plastics from fossil resources
•    Objective 2: To design for circularity, in terms of both materials and products
•    Objective 3: To involve the consumer as a stakeholder in a circular-economy future for plastics
•    Objective 4: To develop efficient waste-to-resource recycling technologies
•    Objective 5: To develop overarching strategies for circular plastics

Role of Ghent University

Ghent University coordinates the project and different professors of Ghent University are involved as (co)-promotor for several of the PhD students being trained in the project.





Prof. Kim Ragaert
Department of Materials, Textiles and Chemical Engineering
Phone number: 09 331 03 92