INN-PRESSME is developing recyclable bioplastics

31 January 2024 17:38


Helsinki - The pan-European INN-PRESSME Open Innovation Test Bed project is developing recyclable bioplastics to replace fossil-based products. Among them are new fiber-based packaging for dry and greasy food and biodegradable plastic shoes that can be tailored to individual consumers.

European regulations call for manufacturers to design their packaging as recyclable by 2030 and recyclable “at scale” by 2035. But while Europeans recycle around 70 percent of their paper packaging, they have been less quick to embrace sustainable plastic packaging, contended Principal Scientist Ulla Forsström of the VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland.

Forsström and her colleagues from 27 organizations across nine countries in Europe who lead the INN-PRESSME Open Innovation Test Bed project are hoping to improve the situation. The project aims to develop sustainable and recyclable bio-based solutions to replace fossil-based plastics.

In an interview with Open Access Government published on January 8, Forsström explained how businesses could purchase these designs developed in the INN-PRESSME Open Innovation Test Bed program to grow economically while advancing the green agenda, especially Europe’s goal of hitting net-zero emissions by 2050.

Forsström highlighted two examples of designs now under development.

The first is multi-layered recyclable packaging that uses fiber-based flexible barriers for dry and greasy snacks. Using novel water-based biomaterials and dispersion coating technologies, the 100-percent bio-based packaging keeps food fresh but can be recycled easily after disposal.

The second example involved a personalized biodegradable 3D-printed shoe sole. Rather than injecting molding, the typical method for manufacturing plastic shoes, these sustainable shoes contain fibers and chemicals to produce tough but sustainable footwear that can be tailored to the size and shape of the individual consumer’s foot. ce/jd

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