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Whey protein layer of the PRESERVE project

MIX-UP and PRESERVE: sharing expertise to upcycle food packaging

PRESERVE has been invited by MIX-UP to collaborate on their upcoming event and Guest lecture. Willem Uyttendaele, Researcher on Textile Functionalisation & Surface Modification from Centexbel, represented PRESERVE and delivered an informative talk on September 1, 2023, at 11 a.m. (CEST) during MIX-UP's Monthly Guest Lecture. The presentation provided a comprehensive overview of the latest developments within PRESERVE. 

Attendees, comprising 36 esteemed experts hailing from diverse fields including microbiology, biotechnology, biochemistry, bioeconomy, materials chemistry, bioprocessing, and chemical technology, as well as university students in related disciplines, were treated to an insightful session. The geographical reach of the event was impressive, with participation from Germany, Ireland, France, Spain, the United States, and China. 

Willem's presentation showcased the project's multifaceted efforts in the realm of sustainable packaging. The presentation highlighted PRESERVE's core objectives, including the enhancement of biobased packaging properties, recyclability, and the promotion of circularity through material recovery and upcycling strategies. 

The audience was introduced to PRESERVE's practical demonstrations, which covered the development of biobased and recyclable food packaging, as well as the recycling of personal care and transport packaging. These initiatives aimed to address the pressing need for eco-friendly packaging solutions

Willem also delved into the exploration of bioplastic multilayers, where the project investigated the feasibility of utilizing biobased materials like PLA and BIOPET for packaging while ensuring recyclability and barrier properties. The potential use of whey protein as a sustainable alternative to conventional packaging materials was a key focus. 

Moreover, the audience learned about PRESERVE's efforts in developing biobased adhesives for laminate multilayers, with a strong emphasis on bond strength and biodegradability. The project's exploration of paper-based multilayer packaging aimed to make packaging materials more environmentally friendly. 

The presentation culminated in a discussion of PHA (Polyhydroxyalkanoate), a promising bacterial polymer with notable barrier properties. PRESERVE's work in applying PHA coatings to paperboard was highlighted, showcasing the potential for biobased, biodegradable, and recyclable packaging solutions. 

In summary, Willem's presentation underscored PRESERVE's commitment to advancing sustainable packaging through innovative materials, upcycling strategies, and environmentally conscious coatings, ultimately contributing to a greener and more responsible future for the packaging industry.

The presentation is available here


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