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Novel biodegradable, REcyclable, BIO-based and safe plastic polymers with enhanced circuLar properties for food packaging and agricUltural applicaTIONs

Project description

Biodegradable, bio-based alternative to agricultural plastic packaging

Plastic waste is a significant global environmental hazard, with staggering amounts being accumulated and less than 40 % being recycled. Combined with the growing demand for plastic in an expanding food supply industry, this poses a significant threat to the environment worldwide. The EU-funded REBIOLUTION project is dedicated to developing and introducing groundbreaking, fully bio-based and biodegradable polyester blends. These innovative materials can be used in various sectors. The adoption of these alternative polyester blends could play a crucial role in replacing plastic in applications such as food packaging and agricultural mulch film. By reducing plastic usage and waste, the project aims to make substantial contributions towards mitigating the environmental damage caused by plastic.


Plastic waste poses an important environmental problem in Europe and worldwide, especially from leakage to natural habitats. Of more than 29 Mt of plastic post-consumer waste collected in the EU in 2020, the average recycling rate of packaging waste was less than 40%. Packaging is the largest end-use market of plastic demand (40.5%). Multilayer packaging (e.g. paper/plastic composites), widely used in the food and beverage industry, applies mostly polyethylene (PE) film as plastic coating.
In the agriculture sector, plastics are used to enhance crop yield, save water and agrochemicals but bear the risk of being lost during operation. Agricultural plastics market represents 3.2% of the plastic demand and the 50% increase in global food supplies expected by 2050 will lead to a substantially higher demand of plastics for mulch films (today mainly made of PE).
REBIOLUTION aims to design and synthetize novel fully bio-based and biodegradable polyester blends based on 2,5-Furandicarboxylic acid (FDCA) and other bio-based monomers fit for specific product-market applications selected in this project for their widespread use and negative impact on the environment: (1) plastic coating for food packaging (e.g. for frozen/chilled food or ready meal trays) and (2) mulch films for agricultural applications.
Well-defined properties will be established by carefully tuning the polymer blends for each application in order to boost the sustainability performance (non-toxic substances used, reduced non-renewable energy consumption, recyclable and at the same time home compostable and biodegradable in soil and aquatic environments) and improved functionality while ensuring product and processes safety. REBIOLUTION is committed to remove barriers to market penetration by providing a drop-in bio-based polymer blend replacement that fosters a seamless transition for the downstream value-chain, avoiding additional investment in the processing industrial lines and extra-costs for consumers


Net EU contribution
€ 1 430 353,75
67063 Ludwigshafen Am Rhein

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Rheinland-Pfalz Rheinhessen-Pfalz Ludwigshafen am Rhein, Kreisfreie Stadt
Activity type
Private for-profit entities (excluding Higher or Secondary Education Establishments)
Total cost
€ 2 043 362,50

Participants (7)

Partners (1)