New project to improve recycling of plastics for food and drinks packaging industry
Fifteen partners from eight European countries will work for 48 months to ensure significant technological improvements for better manufacturing and processing practices of plastic materials that currently are not adequately recycled.
The core of Uplift has a dual strategy: on one hand, it seeks to develop industrial scalable enzymatic and microbial degradation processes to selectively depolymerize and upcycle plastic packaging waste materials, which are currently considered unrecyclable; on the other hand, the project will manufacture at pilot scale new renewable eco-polymers specifically designed to ensure easier end-of-life processing.
Uplift will contribute to putting the European plastic packaging industry at the forefront of innovation and sustainability worldwide, by keeping plastic waste in the loop and integrating bio-based building blocks, instead of using virgin fossil-based monomers. This will result in a reduction of plastic waste generation and greenhouse gas emissions associated with its production. Last but not least, the project will look into social aspects, exploring the potential synergies between policymakers, industry, consumers, and recyclers, which are critical in order to change the plastic economy.
In summary, Uplift seeks to boost the development and validation of novel enzymatic and microbial processes for the sustainable use of plastics in food and drinks packaging applications, which will be tested and evaluated from a technical, environmental and socio-economical point of view, thereby contributing to the development of a more circular European plastic packaging industry.
Led by Aalborg University, Uplift is formed by Forschungszentrum Julich, Austrian Centre of Industrial Biotechnology, Technical University of Denmark, Lunds Universitet, TECNARO, Bio-M, Bio Base Europe Pilot Plant, Leibniz-Institut fuer Naturstoff-Forschung und Infektionsbiologie – Hans Knoell Institut, Plastics Technology Centre AIMPLAS, University College Dublin, Bioplastech, Sustainable Innovations, RWTH Aachen and I/S
The project has received €7,5 million funding from European Union’s Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Programme under grant agreement No. 953073.