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Upcycling of PE and PET wastes to generate biodegradable bioplastics for food and drink packaging

Project Leader
Fritz Ines, BOKU Project Leader
Duration:
01.11.2020-31.10.2024
Programme:
Horizon 2020 - Industrial Leadership - Research & Innovation Action (RIA)
EU-Project Instruments
Collaborative Project
Type of Research
Technological Development
Project partners
Centro Tecnológico de Calzado y del Plástico, Avenida de Europa 4-5 Parque Industrial "Las Salinas", 30840 Alhama de Murcia, Spain.
Contact person: Verónica Cánovas Hernández, PhD;
Function of the Project Partner: Sub-Koordinator
Staff
Daffert Christina, Project Staff
BOKU Research Units
Department of Nanobiotechnology (DNBT)
Institute for Environmental Biotechnology
Subproject(s):
Nanoparticles for biodecomposable polymers made from upcycled PET&PP waste (UpPET-NP)
Funded by
Commission of the European Communities, Rue de la Loi, Brussels, European Union
Abstract
The upPE-T project aims upcycling recalcitrant oil-based plastics by bioconversion into biodegradable bioplastic for food and drink packaging production.
Plastic packaging, which make 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. Polyethylene (PE) and Polyethylene terephthalate (PET) are the leading plastic use in food and drink packaging (43% PE and 19% PET). The sustainable management of this plastic waste has become a very challenging problem for global society.
In upPE-T we will include sustainable strategies as an alternative for plastic chemical degradation. The consortium will improve PE and PET depolymerization through enzymatic engineering to positively impact food and drink packaging recycling rate and achieving the European Union expected impact. In upPE-T we will turn PE and PET waste streams via enzymatic degradation and microbial assimilation into raw material for the production of biodegradable bioplastics. Finally, together with customers and food and drink brand owners, bio-based end-packaging will be demonstrated and validated to ensure fast market deployment.
Additionally, in order to ensure 100% of PE and PET recyclability, plastic rejections not optimal for microbial bioconversion into bioplastics will be valorized by their use in building applications instead of be sent to incineration or landfilling.
Keywords
Biocatalysis; Enzyme technology; Nanobiotechnology;
Biotechnology; Enzyme technology; International standardisation; Plastic; Nanobiotechnology; Recycling;
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