In Europe, almost 50 million tonnes of mainly fossil-based plastics are consumed per year, of which only 32% is currently recycled. The largest part is still being incinerated or landfilled, contributing to the depletion of the limited resources. The largest market of plastics (more than 40%) are packaging applications. Furthermore, only 1-2% of these plastics are biobased or biodegradable, although these have advantages in terms of switching to renewable feedstocks and end-of-life modularity. Within the Preserve project 10 different packaging demonstrators will be developed using biobased and/or biodegradable polymers, resulting in alternative materials and processes for more than 60% of the plastic packaging that are currently on the market.
This lecture will go into the developments of the PRESERVE project, ranging from biobased multilayers for foodpackaging containing removable oxygen barrier layers, removable primers and adhesives to PHA based paper coatings. Since PRESERVE’s aim is to close the loop the lecture will continue different upcycling strategies. Including material recovery aspects such as delamination, the self-reinforcement of polymer blends, enzymatic depolymerisation and biodegradation. Upcycled materials can then be used in food- and non-food packaging.
Acknowledgements: This project has received funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No. 952983.