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ReBioCycle

A new European blueprint for circular bioplastics upcycling solutions

Project details

Type of project
Innovation Action - Demonstration
Project focus
Bio-based polymers & plastics
Feedstock origin
Other and new
Feedstock type
Bioplastics
Project period
1 October 2024 - 30 September 2028
Status
Upcoming
CBE JU Contribution
€ 7 497 001
Call identifier
HORIZON-JU-CBE-2023

Summary

The plastic industry is currently focused on linear processes, namely the extraction of raw materials and their conversion into valuable products, with no consideration for the recycling or reuse of products. Due to poor plastic waste management, approximately 1-5% of all plastics end up as waste in terrestrial and oceanic environments. Furthermore, most CO2 emissions are caused by the extraction of raw materials and polymer production.

These issues have been driving a transition towards a ’circular (bio)plastic economy’, stimulating the use of bioplastics. Depending on the production processes, bioplastics can offer improved circularity by using renewable non-fossil resources, as well as a lower carbon footprint, and biodegradation as an alternative end-of-life option. Nowadays, there is a bio-based alternative replacement for almost every application of fossil-derived polymer. Nevertheless, bio-based replacements can be more expensive, and due to flaws in current waste collection and processing systems, they end up in landfills or incinerated.

ReBioCycle aims to demonstrate that bio-based biodegradable plastics can be kept in the cycle for as long as possible through innovative recycling technologies and that end-of-life bio-based biodegradable plastics can be used in the circular (bio)economy. 

To achieve its goal, ReBioCycle aims to:

  • Effectively separate the three types of bioplastics by re-adapting and upscaling sorting technologies.
  • Propose a portfolio of bioplastic recycling technologies at a relevant scale and demonstrate through data streams the effectiveness of the proposed technologies, their economic viability, and their possible integration at an industrially relevant scale, while also demonstrating that biodegradable plastics are fully recyclable and up-cyclable.
  • Demonstrate revised sorting and novel recycling solutions in three sites across Italy, Spain, and the Netherlands.
  • Analyse the final quality of the material to confirm the quality of the recycled materials from a functional point of view. 

  • Improved circularity and resource efficiency via practical application of the circular (bio)economy concept in the bio-based plastics value chain.
  • Effective sorting and recycling schemes for bio-based plastic materials.
  • Increase of recycled content in new products from bio-based plastics.
  • Improved environmental performance across the value chain against fossil or bio-based benchmarks.
  • Better social acceptance of circular bio-based solutions and products. 

Consortium map

Project coordination

  • UNIVERSITY COLLEGE DUBLIN, NATIONAL UNIVERSITY OF IRELAND, DUBLIN Dublin, Ireland

Consortium

  • SULAPAC OY Helsinki, Finland
  • NOVAMONT SPA Novara, Italy
  • UNIVERSITY OF GALWAY Galway, Ireland
  • THE PROVOST, FELLOWS, FOUNDATION SCHOLARS & THE OTHER MEMBERS OF BOARD, OF THE COLLEGE OF THE HOLY & UNDIVIDED TRINITY OF QUEEN ELIZABETH NEAR DUBLIN DUBLIN 2, Ireland
  • TOTALENERGIES CORBION BV Gorinchem, Netherlands
  • AIMPLAS - ASOCIACION DE INVESTIGACION DE MATERIALES PLASTICOS Y CONEXAS PATERNA VALENCIA, Spain
  • TORWASH BV BURGERBRUG, Netherlands
  • AZIENDA MULTISERVIZI IGIENE AMBIENTALE TORINO SPA TORINO, Italy
  • ARCHA SRL Pisa Pi, Italy
  • PAQUES BIOMATERIALS BV BALK, Netherlands
  • AGENCIA ESTATAL CONSEJO SUPERIOR DE INVESTIGACIONES CIENTIFICAS Madrid, Spain
  • MAGFI LTD ZURRIEQ, Malta
  • GLASPORT BIO LIMITED GALWAY, Ireland
  • ARAPAHA BV Maastricht, Netherlands
  • IREN SPA Reggio Emilia, Italy
  • EUROPEAN BIOPLASTICS EV BERLIN, Germany
  • I. BLU SRL TAVAGNACCO, Italy
  • PURAC BIOCHEM BV Gorinchem, Netherlands
  • SOCIEDAD ANONIMA AGRICULTORES DE LAVEGA DE VALENCIA VALENCIA, Spain