High performance sustainable bio-based packaging with tailored end of life and upcycled secondary use


PRESERVE aims at boosting the circular use of bio-based packaging. To shift from the current situation (fossil-based, limited recycling), we build on award-winning upcycling strategies from past and on-going projects. We will enhance the performance of primary food packaging via bio-based barrier coatings for bioplastic and paper/board substrates, as well as via eBeam irradiation and microfibrillar-reinforcement. From the biotechnological side, we will leverage the compounding of enzymes in bioplastics to stimulate biodegradation, the enzymatic recovery of functional oligomers and the delamination of multilayer packaging via enzymatic detergents to enable their layer separation and recycling. The processes required to produce at least 10 packaging demonstrators will be upscaled. The enhanced bio-packaging will be validated with different types of food and drinks. Recovered biopolymers will be upcycled in added value applications such as packaging for personal care products and reusable carrier packaging (using textiles and composites). The versatility of our end of life options, materials, flexible and rigid packaging types and compatibility with different processes, ensure that PRESERVE results are relevant to more than 60% of the plastic packaging on the market, which long term substitution potential will be maximised thanks to the participation of several leading companies in the consortium. Our 2030 roadmap will outline the pathways to significantly influence the emergence of bio-based packaging and create jobs and growth in the sector. To widen PRESERVE impact, we will also perform life cycle and safety assessments, user acceptance studies and contribute to standardisation and certification. All in all, by contributing to the EU Plastics Strategy in a circular economy, our PRESERVE circular renewably sourced packaging solutions and derived upcycled applications will not only optimally preserve the food and drink but also our environment and its finite resources

Project details

Unibo Team Leader: Annamaria Celli

Unibo involved Department/s:
Dipartimento di Ingegneria Civile, Chimica, Ambientale e dei Materiali

Iris Technology Solutions S.L.(Spain)

Other Participants:
Pla.To Gmbh (Germany)
Planet Bioplastics Srl (Italy)
Organic Waste Systems Nv (Belgium)
Fraunhofer Ipa (Germany)
Romei Srl (Italy)
Aimplas - Asociacion De Investigacion De Materiales Plasticos Y Conexas (Spain)
Itene (Spain)
Carbiolice (France)
Fachhochschule Albstadt-Sigmaringen (Germany)
Centre Scientifique & Technique De L'Industrie Textile Belge (Belgium)
European Bioplastics E. V. (Germany)
Kraft Foods R&D Inc (United States of America)
Silon Sro (Czech Republic)
Danone Research Sas (France)
Next Technology Tecnotessile Società Nazionale di Ricerca r.l. (Italy)
Denimx Bv (Netherlands)
SIBO G. d.o.o. (Slovenia)
Graphic Packaging International Europe (Belgium)
ALMA MATER STUDIORUM - Università di Bologna (Italy)
Biopolis Sl (Spain)
Kneia Sl (Spain)
Crowdhelix Ltd (United Kingdom)
Bostik Sa (France)
Sudpack Verpackungen Gmbh & Co Kg (Germany)
Beiersdorf Ag (Germany)

Total Eu Contribution: Euro (EUR) 7.999.576,25
Project Duration in months: 48
Start Date: 01/01/2021
End Date: 31/12/2024

Cordis webpage

Responsible consumption and production This project contributes to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN 2030 Agenda.

UE flag This project has received funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 952983