The overall idea of UPLIFT 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.
The successful implementation of UPLIFT will contribute to putting the European plastic packaging industry at the forefront of innovations and sustainability worldwide, by upcycling (currently not recycled) plastic packaging waste and integrating bio-based building blocks, instead of using virgin fossil-based monomers, hence resulting in the conservation of natural resources, reduction of plastic packaging waste generation and also the greenhouse gas emissions associated with fossil-based production.
To this end, UPLIFT will address the full plastic packaging value chain, from monomer production to packaging material manufacturing and back to EoL reusing and recycling options, including socio-economic, healthy, quality, regulatory and standardization issues around current practices.
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 on a relevant operational scale close to expected performance.
3). Eco-design to increase the recyclability of the new eco-polymers
Contribution to upcycle food & drink packaging materials which account for up to 60% of the market by 2030
Novel standards and certification schemes to be applied
Delivery of novel plastic packaging solutions with less environmental impact
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 carbon-neutral 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.
To achieve this goal, 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, including socio-economic, healthy, quality, regulatory, and standardization issues around current practices. Within this context, the project seeks to boost the development and validation of novel enzymatic/microbial processes for the sustainable use of plastics in food & drink packaging applications, which will be tested and evaluated from a technical, environmental, and socio-economical point of view, thereby contributing to the development of a more circular European plastic packaging industry.
WP1 – Plastic value chain analysis
WP2 – Depolymerization of plastics and cleaning
WP3 – Fermentation of building blocks
WP4 – Chemo-enzymatic polyester Synthesis
WP5 – Sustainability assessment
WP6 – Scale-up and manufacturing
WP7 – Communication, Dissemination, and Exploitation activities
WP8 – Project management