PRESERVE aims at boosting the circular use of bio-based packaging by shifting from the current situation (fossil-based, limited recycling) to award-winning upcycling strategies from past and ongoing projects.

These new technologies include enhancing the performance of primary food packaging via bio-based barrier coatings for bioplastic and paper/board substrates and via eBeam irradiation and microfibrillar reinforcement. From the biotechnological side, PRESERVE 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.

Ten packaging applications will demonstrate PRESERVE’s up-scaling capabilities. The enhanced bio-packaging will be validated with different types of food and drinks and recovered biopolymers will be upcycled in added value applications such as packaging for personal care products and reusable carrier packaging (using textiles and composites).

Plastic packaging, which makes up nearly 60% of the total plastic waste in Europe, is highly problematic from a waste management and environmental point of view due to their durability and resistance to degradation.

upPE-T project will develop, through sustainable strategies, an alternative for plastic chemical degradation, turning PE and PET waste streams via enzymatic degradation and bioprocesses into raw material for the production of biodegradable bioplastic.

Finally, together with customers and food and drink brand owners, bio-based end-packaging will be demonstrated and validated to ensure fast market deployment.

The main idea of MIX-UP (MIXed plastics biodegradation and UPcycling using microbial communities) is to showcase a novel approach for plastic recycling and therefore addresses one of the greatest challenges of our time: the establishment of a circular (bio)-economy for plastics. The continuing demand for plastic products, the lack of appropriate recycling and the ubiquitous pollution of the environment with plastic waste pose a global challenge.

An ambitious vision and considerable efforts are required to change the traditional value chain of plastics to a sustainable one, based on biodegradable plastics. The ground-breaking objective is: plastic waste to plastic value – by a sustainable, biotechnological conversion of unsorted, mixed plastics into valuable bioplastic using heavily engineered enzyme mixtures and mixed microbial communities.

Based on an internationally patented technology, the project foresees to bring at industrial level (through a completely functional pilot plant) the usage of microwaves as Process Intensification approach (through an electromagnetic catalytical effect) of the well-known alkaline hydrolysis depolymerization reaction. Such reaction was, up to know, economically unfeasible due to a certain number of technological constraints that DEMETO finally solves.

BIO-PLASTICS EUROPE will deliver sustainable strategies and solutions for bio-based plastics to support the EU-Plastic Strategy and promote circularity in the economy. The initiative is not only a research project but also an intervention which takes into account the transformations triggered by a new awareness of bio-based plastics.

BIO-PLASTIC EUROPE is engaged in innovative product design, the development of health and safety standards, end-of-life solutions as well as environmental and economic product life cycle assessments. Furthermore, it is expected to develop business models for the efficient reuse and recycling of bio-based biodegradable plastics, ensuring the safety of recycled materials for both the environment and society.

In the REPURPOSE project, local post-consumer waste is upcycled to new functional REP polymers targeting the high-value market of thermoplastic elastomers, with applications in the consumer goods, automotive and building industries.

CREAToR is project focused on process development and demonstration to remove hazardous, already banned bromine- containing flame-retardants from waste streams using continuous purification technologies: supercritical CO2 and cost-effective solvent-based processes using natural deep eutectic solvents (NADES) in twin-screw extruders. CREAToR will cover the whole value chain, starting from collecting thermoplastic waste streams from building and construction (B&C) and from waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE). The project will implement ways to collect secondary raw materials, identify the presence of hazardous flame retardants, remove these contaminants from the materials and finally reuse the materials.

The Biorefine Cluster Europe interconnects projects and people within the domain of biobased resource recovery, striving to contribute to more sustainable resource management in the framework of circular economy systems. The competence focus lies within the biorefinery sector: the refinement of chemicals, materials, energy and products from biobased waste streams.

GREENLand is an innovative strategy for transforming to a digital Cloud-Based System with the education of staff for research of microplastics in soil, water, and microorganisms, as well as networking with the excellent institutions and stakeholders who are interested in the results of scientific research.

The essence of GREENLand is to change the system in which a great contribution will be made to the planet without plastic by working on preventive measures, innovations, and a plan for remediation. Trained professional staff will be able to be more efficient with the help of new digital tools, which will result in the establishment of strong cooperation with institutions and industry.

ENZYCLE addresses the global challenge of plastic waste by developing enzymatic processes for recycling non-recyclable plastic fractions, such as multilayer packaging, PET trays, clamshell containers, and microplastics in wastewater. With only 31.1% of the 27.1 million tons of annual plastic waste being recyclable, the project aims to valorize hard-to-treat plastic fractions. By selecting appropriate enzymes, producing them in a bioreactor, and testing their industrial viability, ENZYCLE anticipates reducing non-biodegradable polymers sent to disposal, cutting plastic recycling costs, and creating a new bio-based value chain. The project envisions new markets and an expanded range of feedstocks processed sustainably through biocatalytic systems, fostering a more environmentally friendly plastic waste management approach.

STOPP is a Horizon Europe project to revolutionize the way we approach food plastic packaging by embracing the “5 Rs”: Refuse, Reduce, Redesign, Reuse, and Recycle.Its main aim is to drastically reduce the environmental impact caused by plastic waste in food packaging, aligning closely with the EU’s Packaging and Packaging Waste Directive. Our collaborative efforts encompass every facet of the food packaging value chain.