Sustainable materials for building a strong and circular European bioeconomy
Bioplastics are becoming a crucial component in the drive to create a fully sustainable and circular bio-economy. The EU has been actively supporting the development of these materials through ambitious and collaborative research that aims for a greater uptake that will help transform Europe’s plastics’ industry over the coming years. Plastics are increasingly problematic from an environmental and sustainability perspective. It is estimated that by 2050, the world’s oceans could contain more plastic than fish (by weight) and that plastics production will account for a greatly increased share... of global oil use and GHG emissions. The current system of plastics production is mainly linear, with heavy reliance on non-renewable, fossil feedstock, has low levels of re-use and recycling, and suffers from high levels of leakage into the surrounding environment. The EU, through its circular economy (CE) action plan, is dedicated to stimulating Europe’s transition to a circular economy that will boost competitiveness, foster sustainable economic growth and result in the creation of new jobs. As a major source of growth and jobs, the European plastics industry must also be included in this transition – for this purpose, the European Commission is due to adopt a new strategy on plastics as part of the CE action plan by the end of 2017. Bioplastics can play an important role in this transition. Encompassing a whole family of materials with different properties and applications, bioplastics can be made from renewable resources such as crops and wood, or from waste streams such as the residues of food processing. With the emergence of more sophisticated materials, applications, and products, the global market is already growing by about 20 to 100 % per year. By 2021, it is expected that Europe will possess around a quarter of the world’s bioplastics production capacity. This CORDIS Results Pack is highlighting the results of eight innovative projects that have benefited from funding from the EU’s seventh framework programme (FP7) and that are making important scientific and innovative contributions to such an exciting and potentially game-changing industry.
- Corporate author(s): Publications Office (European Commission) Themes: Industrial research and development
- Subject: advanced materials , bio-industry , biodegradability , biomaterials , biotechnology , innovation , new technology , plastics , plastics industry
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