This project targets the development and implementation of ground-breaking strategies for improving the sorting, separation and recycling of pharma blister packs and laminate consumer packaging waste consisting of multiple layers of polymers and aluminium. Innovative digital watermark technologies will be further developed and progressed to TRL6 through successful demonstration of rapid and efficient sorting of multi-layer packaging. Experience from working in the field of ionic liquids will be leveraged to develop a toolbox of novel green solvent systems (TRL5) that can delaminate multi-layer packaging material and selectively dissolve target polymers – reducing demand for virgin raw materials through efficient separation and recovery of high purity PE, PP and PVC polymers and aluminium.
The MERLIN project will increase the quality and rate of MultilayER packaging recycLINg waste, by putting together a partnership to design cradle-to-cradle solutions to recycle multi-layer packaging between sorting technology providers, a waste management company, industry and research experts on delamination and recycling, SMEs service providers, packaging industry for flexible and rigid and a European Packaging Association, offering expertise on standardization and policies.
Circular FoodPack aims to enable the circular use of plastic packaging, addressing the most sensitive product category: food. The main function of food packaging is the protection of the product during transport from manufacturer to consumer and maximize the food shelf life, thus reducing food waste and its carbon footprint. Therefore, food packaging has to fulfil high requirements, like being light-weight, impermeable, sufficiently tear-resistant and printable, with an appealing haptic and not release chemicals into the food in quantities that are harmful to human health.
CIMPA will develop a recycling value chain for post-industrial and post-consumer multilayer films (from food and agricultural applications) to retain 12 up to 72% of their value yield based on a synergetic approach combining innovative compositional sorting (combining Near InfraRed NIR- and digital watermarking sorting), mechanical and physical (dissolution) recycling, decontamination processes (advanced scCO2-based decontamination), upgrading (properties tuning). solutions.
Glaukos will develop biobased textile fibres and textile coatings that are adapted to the needs of the 21st century. The complete life cycle of clothing and fishing gear will be redesigned, their sustainability performance will be enhanced significantly, while their technical performance will be matched to end-user requirements. The ambition is to significantly reduce the carbon and plastic footprint of clothing and fishing gear.
CIRCUL-A-BILITY addresses the technological barriers specific to product categories and supply chains by creating a network with four technical working groups dedicated to harmonisation, and one to communication. This allows to improve decision making processes and coordination of research efforts while providing a holistic approach to the global problem of food packaging.
SEALIVE will reduce plastic waste and contamination on land and in seas by boosting the use of biomaterials and contributing to the circular economy with cohesive bio-plastic strategies. It proposes advanced circular strategies that prevent and substantially limit pollution. This solution will be tested in Cyprus, Denmark, France and Ireland. It will be developed under recycling, biodegradability and composting norms for advanced systems. The project aims to develop circularity techniques and end-of-life solutions that will support sustainable bio-based plastics solutions. The solutions will be tested in eight cases representing high pollution potential for land and sea.
The project BIO-PLASTICS EUROPE will focus on sustainability strategies and solutions for bio-based products to support the Plastics Strategy. This shall include innovative product design and business models facilitating efficient reuse and recycling strategies and solutions, including ensuring the safety of recycled materials when used for toys or packaging food stuffs.
REMADYL aims at recycling so-called ‘old PVC’, i.e. PVC additivated with hazardous legacy substances (LS) such as low molecular weight phthalate plasticisers (mainly DEHP) and heavy metal based stabilisers (mainly lead). This ‘old PVC’ constitutes most of current hard (e.g. window frames, tubes) and soft (e.g. flooring or cables) PVC post-consumer waste. The presence of LS is a persistent barrier for PVC recycling as there are currently no economically viable solutions for their removal.
The aim of DEEP PURPLE is to recover valuable resources from mixed urban waste streams, namely wastewater, sewage sludge and the organic fraction of the municipal solid waste (OFMSW). The DEEP PURPLE concept relies in a versatile, integrated and flexible Multi-Platform Biorefinery, based on the metabolism of Purple Phototrophic Bacteria (PPB) to extract and recover high added-value compounds for the bio-based industry such as polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHA), ectoine and cellulose in 2 demo sites (ES, CZ).
SinFonia proposes to engineer the metabolically-versatile bacterium Pseudomonas putida to execute biofluorinations for generating novel fluoropolymers from renewable substrates. P. putida KT2440, a non-pathogenic soil bacterium, serves as an ideal microbial platform for Fluorine-dependent biochemical reactions due to its extraordinary resistance to harsh and stressful operating conditions. SinFonia will exploit natural selection to enhance bioproduction through a smart strain engineering approach in which bacterial growth will be coupled to biofluorination.
The main goal of DECOAT is to enable circular use of textiles and plastic parts with (multilayer) ‘coatings’, which are typically not recyclable yet. These ‘coatings’ comprise functional and performance coatings and paints as well as adhesion layers. Therefore, novel triggerable smart polymer material systems and the corresponding recycling processes will be developed. The triggerable solutions will be based on smart additives (like microcapsules or microwave triggered additives) for the ‘coating’ formulations that will be activated by a specific trigger (heat, humidity, microwave, chemical).
MANDALA will develop new adhesives with dual functionality (easy to split and barrier properties) by incorporating thermoreversible covalent bonds and radiation absorbing nanoparticles, which at the same time will generate a tortuous path enhancing barrier properties that are critical for end-user. In addition, new polymer blends with increased biobased and recycled content of film layers will be developed. Their combination in a multilayer product will set the basis for new food (meat, ready-to-eat) and pharma (pill blister) packaging products. MANDALA project will demonstrate that the de-lamination technology can be up-scaled and applied to reach intermediate solutions for multilayer/multimaterial packaging (being biobased or not) progressively helping to become the end-of-life more sustainable by recovering all fractions and providing clean streams for their biodegradation or recycling.
The overall objective of project ECOFUNCO is to select, extract-functionalise molecules (proteins, polysaccharides, cutin) from highly available, low valorised biomass such as tomato, legumes, sunflower etc for the development of new bio-based coating materials to be applied on two different substrates (cellulosic and plastic based), with improved performances compared to currently available products and at the same time with more sustainable end of life options.
USABLE Packaging will develop high performance plastic packaging through a sustainable and fully circular value chain, where the biomass raw material sourcing derives from food processing side streams, to obtain, via a low footprint biochemical processing, a portfolio of bio-based biodegradable building block materials enabling the realisation of complex packaging structures, including laminates and multilayer films, to match key functional requirements of commercial petrochemical plastics, such as gas/ liquid barrier properties, mechanical resistance, cold temperature resistance, hot tack, among others, while enabling the realisation of a full set of packaging items from rigid to semi rigid and flexible by tuning the functionalisation of base resins through bio-synthesis and the compound processing. USABLE Packaging concept is designed to retrofit the existing state of the art packaging processing technology by controlling the chemical and physical properties of the base building blocks materials.
ENZYCLE’ overall objective is to valorise and upgrading non-recycled plastic fractions through enzymatic processes to obtain high value-added products. For this, enzymes with a high hydrolytic activity on polyesters (PET) and on polyolefins (PE and PP) will be identified and selected in order to establish an efficient production process and developing recycling processes on plastic fractions that are currently not recycled. Additionally, ENZYCLE will deal with the problem with microplastics and their high environmental and health impact. Within ENZYCLE project, new processes for enzymatic recycling of multilayer packaging, post-consumer PET trays and clamshell and microplastics will be developed with the aim of enhancing the sustainability of these wastes, within a framework of circular economy, so as to save material and economic resources, creating new value chains by turning them into valuable products and closing the loop value chain by introducing the final obtained products back in the production process for plastic polymers.
Plastics have become ubiquitous and nearly indispensable, yet they are largely made from fossil fuel-derived compounds and are having increasingly detrimental effects on the environment. One important way to mitigate the negative impacts of the plastics industry while acknowledging its relevance and supporting its existence is to transition away from petroleum-based compounds to bio-derived polymers. Polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHAs) are among the most promising candidates. However, the EU is currently dependent on other countries for much of the PHA value chain. The EU-funded NENU2PHAR project is out to remedy that, taking a holistic approach that includes raw material production with microalgae and bacteria, the formulation and processing of biopolymers and the production of eight different PHA-based products.
PRESERVE aims at boosting the circular use of bio-based packaging. To shift from the current situation (fossil-based, limited recycling), we build on award-winning upcycling strategies from past and on-going projects. We will enhance the performance of primary food packaging via bio-based barrier coatings for bioplastic and paper/board substrates, as well as via eBeam irradiation and microfibrillar-reinforcement. From the biotechnological side, we will leverage the compounding of enzymes in bioplastics to stimulate biodegradation, the enzymatic recovery of functional oligomers and the delamination of multilayer packaging via enzymatic detergents to enable their layer separation and recycling.
Sibling Project - Funded under the programme CE-BIOTEC-09-2020
The concept of UPLIFT is to introduce biological depolymerization technology as an addition and integration to established recycling practices, by converting persistent plastic waste into more easily recyclable and/or degradable polymers. The project will start by analyzing the value-chains of the future to match and exploit the potential of microbe-and enzyme technology to effectively depolymerize the EoL plastic into monomers. Overall, the project aims at engineering towards greater scale and efficiency. Moreover, in order to contribute to further innovation, UPLIFT will also make use of an advanced high-throughput screening platform to further explore the potential of new and more efficient biocatalysts, among bacteria, yeasts and fungi.
Only 31% of plastic is currently recycled and plastic packaging still have a deficient end of life. Thus, improvements are needed to provide cost effective solutions with high bio-based contents and suitable performances for demanding packaging applications, with a consumption of 19M ton/year, while still achieving compostability in mild conditions. Using sustainably sourced comonomers, additives and fillers to formulate novel PLA copolymers and compounds, the BIOnTOP project will deliver recyclable-by-design cost competitive packaging solutions that can be mechanically recycled, industrially/home composted or even suitable for anaerobic digestion.Moreover, the barrier properties of delivered bio-packaging trays, films and derived packaging, will be enhanced using removable protein-based coatings and a novel fatty acid grafting technology to decrease permeability and compete with fossil packaging.
Sibling Project - Funded under the programme CE-BIOTEC-09-2020
The upPE-T project aims upcycling recalcitrant oil-based plastics by bioconversion into biodegradable bioplastic for food and drink packaging production.
In upPE-T sustainable strategies as an alternative for plastic chemical degradation will be included. In order to ensure 100% of PE and PET recyclability, plastic rejections not optimal for microbial bioconversion into bioplastics will be valorized by their use in building applications instead of be sent to incineration or landfilling.