PRESERVE general assembly meets as project enters its second year
In month 12 of the project, the PRESERVE consortium met for a virtual general assembly meeting to present the achievements made by the partners during the first year of activities and to prepare for the tasks that are plannedforthe second year.
PRESERVE has the ambitious goal to reduce virgin fossil-based plastic materials in food packaging by developing more sustainable alternatives, such as bio-based plastics or cardboard, while at the same time improving the recovering and recycling of such materials.
The first milestone was completed in project month 8 with the definition of the specifications for the targeted 10 (upcycled) bio-based packaging applications (so-called demonstrator products). With those specifications in place, the project partners involved in work package 3 (WP3) “Development of bio-based coating and adhesives for tailoring packaging properties and end of life” could start their work on the next phase of tasks including coating optimization, the development of water barrier PHA coatings, and the research and processing of bio-based adhesives, together with the first advances of surface treatments.
The team involved in WP 4 “Upcycling core materials and blends” also took up its work by performing radiation treatment on different materials, such as PLA, PET, or LLDPE, with the aim to reduce the release of microplastics. In the next 6 months, WP4 will start testing cast film extrusion and enzymes in PLA.
WP5 “Biodegradation, compostability and materials recycling” focusses on the optical recognition of waste and started several tasks on the testing on automatic detection of the different materials developed in PRESERVE in month 6. Specifically, the team is looking for the optimal condition for materials separation of the demonstrators optimized by the project. WP5 will also be involved in the assessment of the developed materials’ biodegradability properties in different environments.
WP7 “Safety, Environmental and Economic Sustainability assessments” will start performing activities on life cycle assessment and eco-design in the second year of the project. Also, social and socio-economic benefits of implementing new packaging products will be addressed and assessed.
WP8 “Value chain roadmap and innovation impacts” combines different tasks including customer perception studies, communication, dissemination and clustering activities. The partners involved were able to present good results in reaching out to the various relevant stakeholder groups.
Dr. Aldo Ramirez, PRESERVE project coordinator, said about the first 12 months:
The project is in a good shape. Promising results have been obtained in the past 6 months period. However, a slight delay started to accumulate especially in WP3 regarding the development of the desired adhesives, coatings, and PHA compounds. It is important to acquire the goals stated in the Grant Agreement with great emphasis on the quality of the products, otherwise the further scale-up processes will be compromised. The communication between partners seems to be working and within the proper channels. However, a more in-depth assessment and follow-up will be required in WP3 and WP5 from the technical and scientific coordination in order to ensure the goals are fulfilled within schedule and specifications (compiled in WP2 deliverables). The upcoming months will require a high level of collaboration and work since a few important events are taking place: Advisory Board selection and first meeting, technical review summary and meeting, financial review summary, and meeting and finalization of the currently opened amendment. Finally, 8 deliverables are expected to be submitted by M18 as well as 6 milestones are expected to be achieved (plus MS2 which is still pending to be fulfilled in the 6M-12M period).
The next General Assembly is planned to be held in June-July 2022, depending on the availability of both partners and the European Commission.
PRESERVE has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 952983.
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