Filip Miketa,  Chief Executive Officer at Bio-Mi speaks in this interview about their main role in the UPLIFT project as well as how they are coordinating the scale-up and manufacturing process.

What are the main responsibilities of BIO-MI?

Bio-Mi is R&D oriented SME from Croatia, founded in 2017 and manufacturer of biobased, biodegradable, and compostable thermoplastics materials and films that can be used for different applications such as primary and secondary packaging but also the agro sector such as mulch films.

Bio-mi is a synergy of 22 years of industrial manufacturing experience in the field of plastics and a young R&D team with strong experience in EU funds and programmes, especially in Horizon2020.

Our team is a team of professionals from different fields and with various abilities motivated in finding new solutions in substitution fossil with bio solutions.

Participation in projects was a strong base for the development and further production of bioplastics. In the last past years, all our R&D activities were focused on the development of MI family of materials. This family contains different formulations of different biomaterials and there are three main divisions of compounds according to their bio content. MI3 is a starch-based compound, MI6 is a PLA-based compound, and MI9 is PHA´s based compound.

MI3, a starch-based compound is the first produced compound with TUV certificates in Croatia, but also in east and southeast Europe. It is a certificated high-quality compound, cost-effective, and commercially available for any customer who wants to be a part of this „green story“.

Besides advanced engineering of sustainable materials and solutions, Bio-Mi does the internal projects with private companies and RTO´s providing them tailor-made solutions according to their needs.

Knowing how challenging is today for industry to move forward and start using more sustainable solutions when we talk in terms of packaging, but also we have to be aware of how much plastic waste this same industry produces, we are already in a race against time to do something and make some change.

How is BIO-MI coordinating the scale-up and manufacturing process?

Many European projects are tackling this problem and in the UPLIFT project, Bio-MI will do the same. Based on the outputs of the enzymatically recycling step, we will develop variously recyclable eco-materials and granulates and convert them into food and non-food packaging applications.

Bio-Mi is a leader of WP6 Scale-up and manufacturing and in the frame of this work package Bio-Mi will be responsible for scaling up the production of thermoplastic compounds for flexible packaging and from these developed compounds, Bio-Mi will scale up the production of sustainable and degradable/recyclable films and packaging. All scaling up activities for different packaging, Bio-Mi will do in close collaboration with Tecnaro and AIMPLAS.

In 2020. the global production capacities of bioplastics amounted to about 2,11 million tonnes with almost 47% of the volume destined for the packaging market-the biggest market segment within the bioplastics industry.

From these latest statistics, we can conclude that bioplastics packaging is driving the whole bioplastics industry and it is necessary for European Union to continue research activities performed in the scope of various European projects and on this way to boost the development of new more sustainable products, processes, and technical solutions so European market of bioplastics products can compete with the other global emerging markets.

Only a strong and competitive European bioeconomy is capable of addressing the grand societal challenges to make its citizens better life and to deal with all environmental issues which are the biggest challenges for today’s and future generations.