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Demonstrative process for the production and enzymatic recycling of environmentally safe, superior and versatile PHA-based rigid packaging solutions by plasma integration in the value chain.

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - BioSupPack (Demonstrative process for the production and enzymatic recycling of environmentally safe, superior and versatile PHA-based rigid packaging solutions by plasma integration in the value chain.)

Reporting period: 2021-06-01 to 2022-05-31

BIOSUPPACK project addresses two main issues:
- The use of bioplastics: The increasing use of bioplastics in the packaging sector is driven by the continuous demand for sustainable products by consumers and brands alike, due to a growing awareness of the environmental impact and the need to reduce the fossil resources dependency. The bioplastics industry´s continuous innovations make the number of manufacturers, converters and end-users increasing steadily. New and innovative biopolymers such as polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHAs) show a very high relative growth rate. With a global production capacity of 25.300 Ton in 2019, it is expected an increase up to 160.000 Ton in the next 5 years (from 1.2% to 6.6% of bioplastics´ global production capacity). In this context, new ways of producing PHAs are going to take a great importance in a short future, being one of the challenges open to source it from 2nd-3rd generation raw materials instead of raw sugars .
- The use of by products for PHA production, have yet to reach an industrial level of market potential related to a value hierarchy. BIOSUPPACK is going to focus on brew spent grains (BSG), the most abundant by-product from the brewery industry , available at low or no cost and produced in large quantities.

The project is tackling both issues by delivering versatile and competitive bio-based packaging solutions based on PHA suitable for food, cosmetics, homecare and beverage sectors utilizations and to establish a new value chain including the development of logistics and management of both brewery and packaging waste.

Specific objetives of the project are:
- Increase the use of renewable resources (beer spent grains) for PHA formulations up to >85%.
- Crafting highly-performing PHA-based rigid packaging with properties similar to those of conventional petrochemical plastics present in the market.
- Upscale the production of new PHA-based products to demostration level.
- Integration of plasma technology throughout the value chain for the pre-treatment of brew spent grains, packaging treatment and finally, for the pre-treatment of packaging waste.
- Development of a system able to identify and sort BioSupPack waste (>90% of BioSupPack materials identified).
- Ensuring BioSupPack recyclability. Mechanical and enzymatic recycling processes to reintroduce materials in the production step and/or recover carbon sources for the fermentation process (>30% carbon source supply).
- Demonstrate end-user validation and acceptance of the new BioSupPack products.
- Creation of the new value chain by managing both brewery and packaging waste flows.
- Sustainability and EU-standards compliance assessment.
- Maximisation of impact after the end of the project by exploiting results.
During the first 12 months of BIOSUPPACK project, it was focused on the technical work of WP1, WP4, WP5 and WP6. In addition, activities in WP7 and WP8 related to communication & dissemination and exploitation, innovation & IPR management respectively, as foreseen in the workplan, have also been carried out. In parallel, the required management activities have been performed to assure the correct project progress.
BioSupPack project has the ambition to upscale the production of novel rigid packaging products in different formats (bottles, trays, bowls, coffee cups and secondary packaging for glass bottles) using new PHA based polymers with improved properties.

Beyond the state of the art:
- BioSupPack will enhance BSG to sugar conversion yield to higher than 70% of the theoretical BSG to sugar conversion yield.
- Scale-up air plasma treatment technologies for BSG pretreatment.
- Develop efficient fermentations for PHB production.
- New methodology for the design of biobased formulations for rigid packaging.
- Scale-up an enzymatic bioprocess for recycling 3HB monomers from PHB-based used packages.