Strategies of circular economy and advanced bio-based solutions to prevent plastic contamination and keep our land and seas alive

Plastic wastes are a major environmental challenge, with only a small proportion of plastic wastes (currently 30% in the EU) being recycled, and the rest being incinerated or landfilled. Plastics can take thousands of years to break down naturally, and due to their long-lasting nature, plastics wastes are highly prevalent and persistent in both land and sea environments, with major impacts on marine species, groundwater sources, and human and animal health.

The SEALIVE project will develop innovative business models for advanced bio-based plastics, to contribute to the EU’s plastics strategy, and its target for 100% of plastics to be reusable or recyclable by 2030. SEALIVE will develop:

  • New bio-based plastics solutions from polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHAs), polylactic acid (PLA), starch materials and novel blends;
  • Recycling-by-design techniques and cutting-edge compounding and extrusion technologies;
  • Effective end-of-life solutions including near infrared (NIR) sorting, polymer markers, valorisation of compostability and marine degradation.

These solutions will be demonstrated in eight products (rigid food containers, flexible packaging for deep-frozen applications, single use cutlery, agricultural films, flexible packaging for sea applications, fish crates, fishing nets and agricultural mesh bags), tested in six demonstration sites in Belgium, Cyprus, France, Ireland, Spain and Argentina.

As well as developing innovative business models, SEALIVE will develop policy recommendations and undertake communication and training activities.

Greenovate! Europe, working with its member Gate2Growth, leads the Work Package on ‘Sustainable strategies for bio-based plastics in land and sea applications’, defining a business model driven methodology to be applied to the full project, designing eight innovative business models to be tested in the project, and co-ordinating exploitation and market uptake activities.

For more information, contact: Simon Hunkin – Policy & Knowledge Manager