SEALIVE: Strategies of circular Economy and Advanced biobased solutions to keep our Lands and seas alIVE from plastics contamination
The SEALIVE project (2019-2023), funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 programme and coordinated by ITENE, aims at demonstrating innovative circular strategies for bio-based plastics in land and sea applications.
One million plastic drinking bottles are purchased every minute, five trillion single-use plastic bags are used worldwide every year, resulting in more than 300 million tonnes of plastic waste every year.
The global market share of biodegradable and bio-based plastics is rather small, and conventional plastics clearly dominate the market. Therefore, there is a need to increase applicability and production of these materials to counterbalance oil-based materials and of course give to them an efficient end of life.
Just replacing single use plastic with other single-use materials does not lead specifically to more sustainable production and consumption patterns. A specific approach covering the whole chain from conception, use and recycling, and even considering the consumer education, is needed.
Summary and objectives
In this context, the goal and challenge of SEALIVE project is to tackle this situation with innovative solutions. With its strong partnership of 24 partners from raw material providers, convertors, end users, recyclers, policy experts, certification organisations and NGOs, SEALIVE project ambitions to boost the usage of bio-materials in the framework of the circular economy will demonstrate its solutions within a shared vision for circular plastic strategies.
With social engagement strategies, key stakeholders will participate in all aspects of the new bio-based plastic value chains, assessing the returns of the project both in the selected applications and in the reduction of plastic contamination in land and sea. This will also contribute to the generation of jobs on an EU level.
To achieve this goal, SEALIVE will develop sustainable solutions based on novel bio-based plastics, produced with cutting-edge processing technologies, namely:
– New bio-based plastics solutions with advanced properties (mechanical, thermal, controlled lifetime durability, improved biodegradability) and resulting from the conversion of photosynthetic aquatic biomass, organic waste and new chemistry routes.
– Recycling-by-design techniques and cutting-edge compounding and extrusion technologies which will reach market products requirements (technical and cost).
– Effective end of life solutions (improving NIR sorting, polymer markers, valorisation of compostability and marine degradation) targeting circular economy.
New bioplastics solutions will be validated in 8 end-applications (use cases) with high potential for pollution reduction on soils and water media and in five different territories.
Finally, to guarantee the adoption of the innovations and strategies defined within SEALIVE all these developments will be supported with policy, pre-normative, and training actions in several European countries.
A consortium of 24 partners from 11 European countries has been set up to reach the objectives abovementioned:
1. INSTITUTO TECNOLOGICO DEL EMBALAJE, TRANSPORTE Y LOGISTICA (Spain)
2. CENTRE TECHNIQUE INDUSTRIEL DE LA PLASTURGIE ET DES COMPOSITES (France)
3. SIGMA CLERMONT (France)
4. INSTITUTE FOR EUROPEAN ENVIRONMENTAL POLICY AISBL (Belgium)
5. COMMISSARIAT A L ENERGIE ATOMIQUE ET AUX ENERGIES ALTERNATIVES (France)
6. ORGANIC WASTE SYSTEMS NV (Belgium)
7. ICCI SEA (France)
8. ISOTECH LTD (Cyprus)
9. INTRIGO LIMITED (Ireland)
10. NEXT TECHNOLOGY TECNOTESSILE SOCIETA NAZIONALE DI RICERCA R L (Italy)
11. AUSTRIAN STANDARDS INSTITUTE OSTERREICHISCHES NORMUNGSINSTITUT (Austria)
12. URBASER S.A. (Spain)
13. Cittadini spa (Italy)
14. PELLENC SELECTIVE TECHNOLOGIES SA (France)
15. UNIVERZITA TOMASE BATI VE ZLINE (Czechia)
16. Greenovate! Europe (Belgium)
17. CNG EMBALLAGES INDUSTRIELS (France)
18. VENVIROTECH BIOTECHNOLOGY SL (Spain)
19. Bio4pack GmbH (Germany)
20. TOTAL CORBION PLA BV (Netherlands)
21. Grupo Ibérica de Congelados SA (Spain)
22. Poligal Portugal Uniperssoal Lda. (Portugal)
23. SP-BERNER PLASTIC GROUP S.L. (Spain)
24. AKTI Kentro Meleton ke Erevnas (Cyprus)
The SEALIVE project is organised in 9 work packages (WP), with ITENE being the Project Coordinator.
Together with the companies associated with the project, ITENE will work on sustainable strategies for bioplastics in land and marine applications, defining the technical requirements of the specifications of new materials that will be necessary to produce the eight demonstrators. In addition, it will have a relevant role in the synthesis and characterisation of biobased materials, the development of fluorescent markers and the production of new bio-plastics with improved properties that will be carried out in the new bioplastic formulations engineering work package. ITENE will also collaborate in the development of specific grades to process new bioplastics for rigid applications, which will be carried out within the design and processing of new bioplastics with advanced mechanical, digital, barrier and durability functions work package.
Additionally, ITENE will participate in the tasks of marine and soil biodegradation standards implementation, as well as in compostability technology and evaluation of the behaviour and effects of bioplastics in water environments. These activities will be carried out in the end-of-life solutions and sustainability assessment work package. Likewise, the technological centre will contribute to the production and validation of the eight demonstrators in an industrial environment and will participate in prenormative studies as well as in the standardisation of biodegradable solutions, the dissemination and transfer of knowledge of the results of the project. As project management coordinator, ITENE will be in touch with the European Union commission and will be responsible for monitoring the correct implementation of the project plan and for taking appropriate measures to correct any deviations that may occur, as well as managing efficiently the entire project.