Announcement: Guest Lecture in December!

We are happy to welcome our friend Cristiano Varrone for a guest lecture on Friday, 3 December 2021, at 11 a.m. (UTC +1).

Recycling facilities are currently struggling when dealing with challenging mixed plastic waste, multi-layers, blends, and additives. Consequently, plastics are too often landfilled, incinerated or spilled into the environment. The development of new biotechnological recycling technologies could contribute to alleviating this problem, by converting persistent plastic waste into more easily recyclable and/or degradable polymers. UPLIFT is a H2020 4-year collaborative project, involving 15 partners that will work together to develop a more sustainable plastic packaging value chain in the Food and Drink sector, by applying novel biochemical upcycling technology routes and eco-design strategies. Overall aim is to produce new eco-polymers that are easier to recycle, at a pilot scale. From Biorefineries to renewable building blocks for plastics: the main idea is to integrate the fossil-based (depolymerized) plastic monomers with bio-based (fermented) building blocks, in order to obtain more carbon-neutral polymers. Eco-design of renewable and easy-recyclable eco-polymers will pave the way to a sustainable plastic system, making packaging an available feedstock for the circular economy, also thanks to a biorefinery approach. By keeping plastic waste in the loop and integrating bio-based building blocks (instead of virgin fossil-based monomers), UPLIFT will contribute to increase the current recycling rates and the percentage of bioplastics used. At the same time, it will reduce plastic waste generation and greenhouse gas emissions associated with its production. Overall, UPLIFT will support the transition to more efficient and circular plastic sector, integrating the current mechanical and chemical recycling.