Upcycling Bio Plastics of food

and drinks packaging.


Upcycling Bio Plastics of food

and drinks packaging.


Recycling facilities are currently struggling when dealing with challenging plastic multi-layers, blends, and additives. Consequently, packaging plastics are mostly landfilled, incinerated or spilled into the environment.

The overall idea of UPLIFT (sUstainable PLastIcs for the Food and drink packaging industry) is to biologically depolymerize bio- and fossil-based plastic packaging waste and convert it into more renewable and easily upcyclable polymers, following a biorefinery approach.

UPLIFT will address the full plastic packaging value chain, from monomer production to packaging material manufacturing and back to end of life reusing and recycling options.

Depolimerisation is the process of converting a polymer into a monomer or a mixture of monomers. All polymers depolymerise at high temperatures, a process driven by an increase in entropy and it is especially useful for the chemical recycling (depolymerisation-polymerisation cyles) of end-of-life plastic. This process is of great importance and offers possibilities to reduce waste streams, avoid the generation of carbon dioxide and save fossil resources.

The terms ‘recycling’ and ‘upcycling’ are sometimes used interchangeably but the two processes are unrelated and very different from each other. Recycling is an industrial process whereby objects are transformed into new materials and then used to make either the same product again or another product while upcycling is a process that leads to improved value and/or properties of the new material.



1). To combine bio-depolymerization of plastics and bio-based building blocks to obtain smarter and renewable plastic materials, which will enable the effective upcycling of plastic packaging waste streams.

2). To fully integrate the bio-chemical upcycling technologies within already existing and more mature recycling processes and fermentation processes. All these prototype materials and processes will be tested in a relevant operational scale close to expected performance.

3). Eco-design to increase recyclability of the new eco-polymersance.


Contribution to upcycle food & drink packaging materials which account for up to 60% of the market by 2030

Delivery of novel plastic packaging solutions with less environmental impact.

Novel standards and certification schemes to be applied.

Contribution to bring the European plastic packaging industry in the forefront of innovations and sustainability worldwide.



To achieve this goal, UPLIFT Project will establish three well-differentiated lines of work, designed to better organise the joint Research & Development efforts during the project. In the first place, the depolymerisation and engineering towards greater scale and efficiency, sequentially, the chemoenzymatic synthesis of carbonneutral polymers and design for End of Life; and finally, setting up the novel value-chains. These three pillars form the foundation on which UPLIFT is built and the umbrella of all its innovation potential.



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