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Innovative designs to enable plastic packaging circular economy

Objective

Plastics are the material of choice in packaging applications because of their low cost, high performance and ready processability. Such is their success that it is expected that by 2050 the production of plastic packaging will exceed 250 million metric tons. Considering most plastics that are employed in the packaging industry are used for less than a week, the lack of environmental degradability has led to a tremendous growth of disposed plastics. This growth, together with the fact that the vast majority of synthetic plastics are designed for performance and durability and not for degradability and recyclability, has brought tons of plastic accumulation in the oceans and landfills - ~56 million tons per year. The problem has been highlighted by the acclaimed prediction that by 2050, the ocean is expected to contain more plastics than fish (by weight). Although it was envisioned that biodegradable polymers based on ester linkages such as poly(lactide) (PLA) or poly(3-hydroxybutyrate) could be part of the solution because they are mainly derived from biorenewable sources (e.g. starch and cellulose) and can be enzymatically or hydrolytically degraded leading to an environmentally closed circular ecosystem, the low permeability in the case of PLLA and the poor mechanical properties in the case of PHB has limited their potential. NATURE-EID proposes an innovative research training program at the forefront of circular economy of biobased polyesters. In particular, the project will develop fundamental knowledge in the synthesis of new biobased polymeric materials where the polymers are not only design based on their performance but also on their recyclability.

Field of science

  • /natural sciences/chemical sciences/polymer science

Call for proposal

H2020-MSCA-ITN-2020
See other projects for this call

Funding Scheme

MSCA-ITN-EID - European Industrial Doctorates

Coordinator

UNIVERSIDAD DEL PAIS VASCO/ EUSKAL HERRIKO UNIBERTSITATEA
Address
Barrio Sarriena S N
48940 Leioa
Spain
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
EU contribution
€ 376 357,32

Participants (2)

THE UNIVERSITY OF BIRMINGHAM
United Kingdom
EU contribution
€ 429 494,46
Address
Edgbaston
B15 2TT Birmingham
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
PURAC BIOCHEM BV
Netherlands
EU contribution
€ 287 754,87
Address
Arkelsedijk 46
4206AC Gorinchem
Activity type
Private for-profit entities (excluding Higher or Secondary Education Establishments)