EU Dibbiopack Project on bioplastics draws to a close
The Dibbiopack Project saw 19 partners (SMEs, research centres and industries) from 10 countries, led by Aittip Technological Centre, and will present its final results at the CaixaForum Congress Centre in Zaragoza, Spain, today (February 24).
Seventh Framework Programme
The project, which first started in March 2012, is supported by the European Commission through the Seventh Framework Programme for Research and Technological Development with up to €5.7m, out of a total budget of €7.7m.
Research claims by 2019, 80% of bioplastics will be made in Asia and Europe cannot lag behind.
The project had two aims: First, to develop bio-based materials for the development of a range of containers or packages (such as films made by extrusion laminating, trays or lids developed by injection moulding and bottles performed through extrusion blow moulding technologies) while also improving the thermal, mechanical and barrier properties of these packages through nanotechnology and innovative coatings.
Secondly, to integrate different intelligent technologies or smart devices to provide more information about the products and the processes to the packaging value chain, increase safety and quality of the products throughout the supply chain and improve the shelf-life of the packaged products.
Flexible alternative processes
In both cases, the application of more flexible alternative processes and more environmentally sustainable and efficient technologies were considered.
The congress on February 24 will be split in two parts, one will be held at CaixaForum where the team will show its project results. In the afternoon it will organise a visit to Aitiip facilities to see the pilot plant and demonstrations.
“Dibbiopack´s objective is the development of multifunctional types of packaging, (bio-based, compostable and biodegradable) with relevant applications in the food, cosmetics and pharmaceutical industries,” a spokesman said.
“The Dibbiopack Project has made big strides into the development of bioplastics, a sector with many environmental, technological, market and regulatory challenges but poised to grow by at least 20% a year over the next few years.
“This could mean an opportunity for growth and job creation in Europe while providing definite solutions to problems such as waste management.”
The project includes the design, development, optimisation and manufacturing of multifunctional smart packages, assuring compliance of environmental requirements through LCA and LCC analysis, managing nanotechnology risk through the whole packaging value chain and end user evaluation in the cosmetic, pharmaceutical and food industry sectors.
The project results will boost the European Packaging Industry to a higher level.
The Dibbiopack Project has enabled the formulation and manufacture of:
- Compostable and biodegradable materials with enhanced properties and perfectly adapted to an industrial use.
- Bio-based and biodegradable films with antimicrobial or enhanced barrier properties.
- Bottles of biodegradable and compostable material for pharmaceutical use with external biodegradable labels and with an oxygen- absorbing effect on the cap, and its ensuing sealing effect, as well as a minimum weight.
- Packaging for cosmetics with biodegradable labels that can be either on the inside (antimicrobial effect) or the outside (for information or decoration purposes.)
Food trays for processed food in an oxygen-free atmosphere. Made from biodegradable and compostable materials, with biodegradable labels and having an antimicrobial effect on the inside. Furthermore, they have an integrated oxygen sensor in the RFID tag that provides the user with full details on content and its condition.