This 4th issue of BIO-PLASTICS EUROPE’s Newsletter marks the mid-point of our project. Despite difficult working conditions under pandemic restrictions, the project has been progressing well over the past two years, with two more to go.
The Second BIO-PLASTICS EUROPE General Assembly took place this week, from 14 to 16 of September. The meeting, organized by HAW Hamburg, was attended by our 22 Consortium Partners, a great team reaching a total of 93 members in 13 countries. During those three days, the entire group had the opportunity to hear from each other. The activities undertaken over the past two years have been presented and new synergies for the work planned in the next two years identified. With such a big consortium, new ideas have been popping out to increase our coordination and cooperation, so that BIO-PLASTICS EUROPE´s impact and reach can be maximized.
Face masks are a predominant non-pharmaceutical measure used around the world to limit the spread of COVID-19. Although professional masks such as medical and FFP masks are effective against SARS-CoV-2, they harm the environment when being incorrectly disposed. Recent studies suggest that 75% of the COVID-19 related waste ends up in the environment.
The COVID-19 pandemic seems more under control in Europe than one year ago, and social life consequently appears less restricted in many countries.
However, the pandemic isn’t over yet, and face masks remain an important public health measure to control COVID-19 transmission in the upcoming autumn and winter months. With easing restrictions, you may get to make an active choice when it comes to wearing different face mask types. You can choose between cotton masks, medical masks, FFP masks, or bio-based (PLA) masks.
Hamburg, 07 July 2021 - Since 01 July 2021, many single-use plastic products have been banned in the EU. Science believes this measure will make a major positive contribution against plastic waste in the sea. The EU is taking a further step with two research projects that are looking for alternatives to plastics - and should enable the definition of clear criteria for its biodegradability. Now the two European projects BIO-PLASTICS EUROPE, coordinated by the University of Applied Sciences (HAW) based in Hamburg/Germany, and SEALIVE, coordinated by the Instituto Tecnológico del Embalaje, Transporte y Logística (ITENE) in Valencia/Spain, have met online with EU representatives to engage in a knowledge exchange.
BIO-PLASTICS EUROPE’s review meeting took place this Thursday, the 17.06.2021. In this day-long event, the project consortium presented the project achievements to date: over the past 20 months, almost 50% of the project deliverables have already been completed. The meeting is a forum to evaluate the progress of the entire project, provide feedback and advice for future activities.
Last Sunday, our team has visited the Bioeconomy exhibit organised by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) on board of the MS Wissenschaft (MS Science). Here are our impressions!
The European Research Agency has organised a cluster meeting with Horizon 2020 projects dealing with marine litter. BIO-PLASTICS EUROPE Coordinator Prof. Walter Leal and Lead Project Manager Dr. Jelena Barbir were present.
BIO-PLASTICS EUROPE is developing robust solutions which are based on science and also on the expertise and insights from key stakeholders. To this end, the project is implementing an over-encompassing stakeholder engagement approach, which is the topic of this final post in this project newsletter series.
*By Karolina Niemenoja, PI, Belgium*
BIO-PLASTICS EUROPE is concerned with the safety of bio-based plastic products. To make sure that they conform with safety requirements, materials and products are subjected to a range of tests such as those described in the previous three posts. Our team at Manchester Metropolitan University (MMU) is developing a guide to ensure that products made with bio-based plastics are sustainable, allowed in the market, trusted by consumers and of course disposed of correctly. The fifth post of our project newsletter series explains why this task is important.
*By Carly Fletcher, MMU, United Kingdom*
The BIO-PLASTICS EUROPE team at the Alfred Wegener Institute Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research (AWI) in Bremerhaven, Germany, is studying what happens to marine organisms such as mussels and shrimps after they ingest microplastics. With this research, they want to understand more about the possible environmental impacts of bio-based plastics. This is the fourth post in our current project update series, bringing you very interesting images produced within their research activities.
*By Lukas Miksch, Lars Gutow and Reinhard Saborowski, AWI, Germany*
The BIO-PLASTICS EUROPE team at Hamburg University of Technology (TUHH) conducted experiments on one of the PLA-based materials which have already been developed within the project. PLA is the abbreviation for polylactic acid, a bio-based plastic material. The experiment lasted from September to November 2020 and is briefly described in this post.
*By Zhi Kai Chong, TUHH, Germany*
The BIO-PLASTICS EUROPE consortium has developed five bio-based plastic materials. Those materials are now being subject to tests both in the laboratory and in the field by nine of our project partners. In the second post on our six-post project update series, you can have a brief look into our research activities.
*By Stefano Gianazzi, TICASS, Italy*
Eighteen months in, BIO-PLASTICS EUROPE partners have already published eleven research papers, developed five prototypes of bio-based plastics, initiated laboratory and field experiments and started developing a safety protocol for bio-based plastic products to guide both companies and policymakers, all that while engaging stakeholders from the entire bio-based plastics supply chain. We invite you to learn more about our work and objectives in this and the next five articles. Enjoy reading!
*By Cintia Nunes, HAW Hamburg, Germany*
An essential aspect of BIO-PLASTICS EUROPE is disseminating project results and fostering networks within the industry, decision-makers and citizens. The goal of our stakeholder engagement strategy is not only to inform, but also to promote cooperation and knowledge transfer with stakeholders and co-develop the market for bio-based biodegradable plastics.
The third virtual meeting for the European Bio-plastics Research Network (EBRN) was held on Wednesday, 17th February 2021, with more than 70 participants in attendance from 27 countries. Participants answered a survey designed to gauge their usage of bio-plastics, and responses point to a positive outlook on bio-plastics. 37% of the event participants said to regularly buy or use products made of bio-plastics, and 54% reported doing it sometimes.
The second event for the Network of Historic Cities against Plastic Waste (HISCAP) took place on 15.12.2020. Organized by the University of Bologna (UNIBO), the event focused on “Best practices for sustainable plastic waste management in Mediterranean countries” and featured five presenters from Italy, Greece, Spain and Croatia. The speakers shared experience of their research institutions and initiatives battling marine plastic pollution in historic cities bordering the Mediterranean Sea, where the challenge is to preserve the tourism and the economy of the sea while also minimizing urban littering.
Last week was very busy for BIO-PLASTICS EUROPE, with three stakeholder events organized by our partners. Here is a brief account of them. If you wish to read the presentations, please access our (link: https://bioplasticseurope.eu/downloads/project-events text: downloads page).
BIO-PLASTICS EUROPE has initiated a network of science, industry and public administration for developing bio-based and bio-degradable plastics. The 2nd Virtual Meeting of the European Bioplastics Research Network “2nd & 3rd Generation Feedstock for Bio-based and Bio-degradable Plastics” on 4 November 2020 gathered more than 70 international researchers, company representatives and political decision-makers from Europe to discuss the production of bio-based materials from feedstock.
The first on-line meeting "Towards Zero Plastic Waste in Historic Cities" of “Historical cities against plastic waste” network (HISCAP) took place on 17th September 2020. The meeting was organized by the Institute of Environmental Engineering of Kaunas University of Technology (KTU APINI) together with the Hamburg University of Applied Sciences (HAW Hamburg).
The first of a series of stakeholder engagement events was successfully held on September 11, 2020 for Stakeholders in Germany hosted by the Hamburg University of Technology. Interesting topics focused on bio-based and biodegradable plastics such as material design, circular systems, environmental impacts, opportunities and challenges were discussed. The event had 60 participants and representatives from Lorentzen & Sievers, Frutania, Stadtreinigung Hamburg, Hamburg University of Applied Sciences, Fraunhofer LBF, Hamburg Institute of International Economics and Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research.
Hamburg, 27 August, 2020 - The amount of plastic waste is increasing worldwide. More needs to be done to avoid, reuse and recycle plastic waste. Many cities in Europe are already seeking and developing sustainable approaches to manage the amount of waste. In order to learn from each other and exchange ideas, the EU project BIO-PLASTICS EUROPE will launch a virtual platform on September 17, 2020.
Interested parties from European cities can register free of charge for the online kick-off event from 10 a.m. to 12.30 p.m. CET here: https://bioplasticseurope.eu/news-events/towards-zero-plastic-waste-in-historic-cities
The project BIO-PLASTICS EUROPE initiated a network of science, companies and politics for the research and development of bio-based and biodegradeable plastics. The online conference "Past and Current H2020 Projects Joined in Bioplastics Research" on 24 June 2020 was the kick-off for the European Bioplastics Research Network to present first results and to improve networking. Almost 100 international researchers, company representatives and political decision-makers from Europe came together to discuss how research and the introduction of bio-based and biodegradable plastics can be advanced.
Power4bio coordinated with the Horizon 2020 project BE-Rural, to compile best practices for the Bio-economy sector. Theoretically, several measures have been agreed to support stable and appealing markets for biobased products, such as fossil carbon tax, a CO2 tax, quotas, tax credits, removal of fossil subsidies and, mandates and bans. Click below to read the report.
On its journey to develop a more recyclable and compostable hot cup solution by 2022, Starbucks announced today details for in-market testing of a more sustainable cup technology from the NextGen Cup Challenge.
If you've ever shopped for groceries at ALDI, you've probably noticed that the international supermarket chain is filled with plastic and non-recyclable packaging. But by 2025, every single product you see in ALDI will be either package-free or wrapped in recyclable, reusable, or compostable packaging, as ALDI announced last year.
Over 100 participants came together at the BIO-PLASTICS EUROPE kick-off-meeting in Hamburg. Partners and Stakeholders from all over the world discussed sustainable strategies and solutions for bio-based plastic products.