• screen 1

    Development of new Competitive and Sustainable Bio-Based Plastics

     

     

  • screen 1

    Development of new Competitive and Sustainable Bio-Based Plastics

     

  • screen 1

    NewPack Consortium in Oulu, Finland, during project Kick-Off Meeting! Looking forward to three productive years ahead!

     

     

ABOUT THE PROJECT

As fossil resources are becoming more and more expensive due to their limited amount, here proposed bio-plastics by NEWPACK are based on renewable resources such as by-products produced in the course of annual industrial food crops (for e.g. wheat or corn straw) or other agro-food waste (crustaceous shell, potato peel); thus, are expected to compete in terms of expenses. Further potential for cost reduction is envisaged through economies of scale, so NEWPACK focus heavily on scaling up the most advanced technologies to pilot scale. Since all the bio-plastic films produced by NEWPACK will be biodegradable or compostable cost-efficient recycling will result in reduced waste management.

The NEWPACK project provides different solutions for the food packaging industry based on sustainable and circular technology. These solutions will include packaging film material based on biodegradable materials (PHB-PLA) with improved mechanical properties (owing to the addition of nanocellulose or nanochitin and the application of active coating). Among the limits that can be ascribed to all existing solutions in sustainable food packages, one is the lack of a wide gas permeability range similar to the one existing for conventional plastic packaging. In fact, nowadays, there is no available reliable solution for high barrier film, especially in high humidity conditions, and this penalizes all the food packaging applications in which modified atmosphere is necessary (and widely diffused) as food preservation system. From this point of view, it is particularly interesting to explore novel materials and their various blends (such as PLA-PHB) to achieve different gas transmission behaviours.

The developed film during NEWPACK project, besides having all the required properties to be food approved and efficient for the necessary shelf-life, will, like all the used compounds, be also biodegradable and compostable so to really enter into a circular economy. This will be really well appreciated by the consumer and could facilitate the introduction of these new products on the market.

The cost of NEWPACK bioplastic(s) is expected be able to compete with current fossil based counterparts, mainly because of the reduced expenses of feedstock compared to constantly increasing oil prices. In addition, advanced chemical processes and reduced waste management charges will significantly contribute to a cheaper plastic material.