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BioSupPack and Aimplas partner to create PHA packaging from beer production residue

#BioSupPack and Aimplas partner to create PHA packaging from beer production residue

09 Nov 2023 — The BioSupPack project has announced that it aims to develop packaging solutions based on polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHA) derived from beer production residues to demonstrate a feasible recycling process for these bio-based plastics to ensure resource circularity. 

The project is coordinated by Aimplas with its Plastics Technology Centre, with a budget of €8.8 million (US$9.4 million). BioSupPack is developing a demonstration process for producing and enzymatically recycling environmentally safe and versatile rigid packaging solutions based on the new PHA family of bio-based polymers. 

BioSupPack has received funding from the Bio-Based Industries Joint Undertaking (BBI-JU) and Horizon 2020 framework, bringing together 17 partners from eight countries. 

PHA for rigid packaging
The main goal of BioSupPack is to deliver novel, cost-competitive and versatile bio-based packaging solutions based on PHA for F&B, cosmetics and homecare packaging. The project leaders aim to cause zero environmental damage during and after product use. 

Two hands cheering beers.Aimplas and BioSupPack will create PHA packaging out of beer residue.In several interlinked working groups, the project consortium partners will obtain PHAs from brewer’s spent grain and other monomers from enzymatic recycling of PHA packaging waste. 

Based on these PHA compounds, several rigid packaging prototypes with tailored barrier properties will be designed at a pilot scale and tailored toward feasible waste collection and separation options. The packaging solutions will include injection-molded PHA and biocomposites demonstrators, PHA-coated fiber-based service packaging and ready-meal trays.

Eventually, the project partners will develop an enzymatic recycling process for recovering the PHA from these new packaging solutions — while the paperboard fraction can be repulped — demonstrating the feasibility of upcycling post-industrial waste within the production process.

Aimplas assets that the prototypes will be assessed regarding their environmental and socio-economic sustainability and the safety of the new bio-based packaging.

EU circularity boost
BioSupPack and Aimplas say they are focusing on improving the circular bioeconomy in the EU. The Bioeconomy Strategy and its Action Plan aim to create a more innovative, resource-efficient and competitive EU society to accelerate the deployment of a sustainable EU bioeconomy. 

Doing so would further the countries’ contribution toward the 2030 agenda and its Sustainable Development Goals, the Paris Agreement, the EU policy priorities as policy strategy, the Circular Economy Action Plan and the Communication on Accelerating Clean Energy Innovation. 

According to the companies, the project is supported by more than 2% private equity as a BBI-JU. BioSupPack receives funding from the EU’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program and the Bio-Based Industries Consortium under a grant agreement. 

Edited by Sabine Waldeck 

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