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BioSupPack: Advancing Sustainable Packaging Solutions through Innovative Biobased Polymers

Spain 13.11.2023
Source: The DairyNews
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The BioSupPack initiative has embarked on a new project year with the objective of developing cutting-edge packaging solutions utilizing polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHA) derived from byproducts of beer production.
BioSupPack: Advancing Sustainable Packaging Solutions through Innovative Biobased Polymers

This endeavor not only seeks to create environmentally friendly packaging but also aims to establish a viable recycling process for these biobased plastics, ensuring a circular economy for valuable resources. With the collaborative efforts of 17 partners spanning 8 countries, BioSupPack is funded by the Bio-Based Industries Joint Undertaking (BBI-JU) and the Horizon 2020 framework.

Led by AIMPLAS, the Plastics Technology Centre, and boasting a budget of EUR 8.8 million, BioSupPack focuses on creating a demonstration process for the production and enzymatic recycling of advanced rigid packaging solutions. These solutions, based on the new PHA family of biobased polymers, aim to be environmentally safe, superior, and versatile. The primary goal is to deliver novel, cost-competitive, and versatile bio-based packaging solutions applicable to diverse industries, including food, cosmetics, homecare, and beverages, with minimal environmental impact during and after use.

The recent 28th-month meeting, held on September 26 at AIMPLAS facilities in Valencia, provided a platform for partners to share the latest results, exchange ideas, and strategize on future project activities. BioSupPack plays a vital role in advancing the circular bioeconomy in the EU, aligning with the Bioeconomy Strategy, Action Plan, and broader EU policy priorities.

Through interlinked working groups, the consortium partners will extract PHAs from brewer's spent grain and employ enzymatic recycling to obtain other monomers from PHA packaging waste. These PHA compounds will be utilized to design pilot-scale rigid packaging prototypes with tailored barrier properties. The project aims to explore waste collection and separation options for these packaging solutions, including injection-molded PHA, biocomposite demonstrators, and PHA-coated fiber-based service packaging.

A key aspect of the project involves developing an enzymatic recycling process to recover PHA from the new packaging solutions, showcasing the feasibility of upcycling post-industrial waste within the production process. The prototypes will undergo comprehensive assessments for environmental and socio-economic sustainability, ensuring the safety of these innovative bio-based packaging solutions.

With more than 25% private equity support as a BBI-JU project, BioSupPack is funded by the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation program and the Bio-Based Industries Consortium, under grant agreement No 101023685.