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PROSPER

Promoting innovation for sustainable sorting and recycling of dedicated bio-based plastics

Project details

Type of project
Innovation Action - Demonstration
Project focus
Bio-based polymers & plastics
Feedstock origin
Other and new
Feedstock type
Plastic and composites
Project period
1 September 2024 - 31 August 2028
Status
Upcoming
CBE JU Contribution
€ 7 498 855,25
Call identifier
HORIZON-JU-CBE-2023

Summary

Bio-based plastics offer an eco-friendly alternative to fossil-based ones, with the potential for efficient recycling through chemical depolymerisation. However, sorting them from other packaging materials and recycling is still a challenge.

The PROSPER project addresses this challenge by demonstrating the technically and financially viable sorting and recycling of bio-based plastics in packaging. The project integrates these plastics into current waste management practices and implements policy tools like Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) systems. PROSPER seeks to boost demand for bio-based plastics by highlighting both their recyclability as well as their sustainable origins. 

Additionally, by mobilising stakeholders across the bio-based plastics supply chain, PROSPER works on promoting the sorting and recycling of bioplastics at an industrial scale.

  • Developing sorting and separation systems based on near-infrared (NIR) and colour (RGB) sensing supported by AI to identify and isolate three dedicated types of bio-based plastics from different sources of household packaging waste.
  • Demonstrating the most feasible sorting solutions at scale in four waste management facilities across three different member states to ensure the feasibility, effectiveness, and integration with current waste management practices.
  • Developing and demonstrating mechanical and chemical recycling technologies for mixed bio-based plastics, polylactic acid, and BTEC-blend.
  • Demonstrating the conversion of recycled materials into new products, targeting, where feasible, the same grade for the recycled product as the virgin product.
  • Assessing and developing the market uptake potential and social acceptance of recycled bio-based plastic products and waste management solutions.
  • Modelling and assessing technically feasible and financially viable sorting and recycling strategies and their costs.
  • Carrying out a comprehensive sustainability assessment, testing the safety and sustainability of the demonstrated processes and products.
  • Engaging with stakeholders - consumers, industry, policymakers-, to share project results and recommendations, as well as to encourage new collaborations.

PROSPER will provide facts, figures, and technical demonstrations which can be used by the bioplastic value chain actors to convince the stakeholders about the potential circularity of bioplastics in the packaging market. Benefits include :

  • Increase of the recycling rate of bio-based plastics in packaging waste management.
  • Demonstration of cost-effective sorting and recycling technology for bio-based plastics packaging in an industrial environment, integrated into current practices of waste management processes. The core is AI-assisted sorting technology, enabling over 80% sorting accuracy.
  • Increase of recycled content in new products from bio-based plastics.
  • Provision of a feasible EPR scheme for bio-based plastics, which is a fundamental factor in making the business case feasible and recycling possible.
  • Effective sorting and recycling schemes for bio-based plastic materials.
  • Significant improvement in environmental performance across the value chain against fossil and/or bio-based benchmarks, by reducing plastic waste while also introducing industrial-scale sorting, recycling, and reproduction technology.
  • Social acceptance of circular bio-based solutions and products.
  • Favourable policies that will enable the circularity of bio-based plastic packaging.

Consortium map

Project coordination

  • UNIVERSITEIT GENT Gent, Belgium

Consortium

  • NOVAMONT SPA Novara, Italy
  • DMTR CONSULTING SRL BARI, Italy
  • SUEZ Courbevoie, France
  • EUROPEAN BIOECONOMY BUREAU Bruxelles / Brussel, Belgium
  • FUNDACIO UNIVERSITARIA BALMES Vic Barcelona, Spain
  • BIO-TEC BIOLOGISCHE NATURVERPACKUNGEN GMBH & CO.KG EMMERICH AM RHEIN, Germany
  • FUTERRO Escanaffles, Belgium
  • EMPRESA MUNICIPAL DE LA INNOVACION Y DESARROLLO TECNOLOGICO SA Las Rozas De Madrid, Spain
  • A2A SPA Brescia, Italy
  • ASOCIACION DE INVESTIGACION DE LA INDUSTRIA DEL JUGUETE CONEXAS Y AFINES Ibi (Alicante), Spain
  • SUEZ RV FRANCE PARIS LA DEFENSE, France
  • STICHTING NATIONAAL TESTCENTRUM CIRCULAIRE PLASTICS HEERENVEEN, Netherlands
  • ENVICO RESEARCH SL TERRASSA, Spain
  • PolyPerception ANTWERPEN, Belgium
  • A2A AMBIENTE SPA Brescia, Italy
  • FCC MEDIO AMBIENTE SAU Madrid, Spain
  • PROCTER & GAMBLE SERVICES COMPANY NV Strombeek Bever, Belgium
  • STICHTING WAGENINGEN RESEARCH Wageningen, Netherlands
Partners
  • SREP SA Paris, France