Circular Packaging For Direct Food Contact Applications

Circular FoodPack aims to enable the circular use of plastic packaging, addressing the most sensitive product category: food. The main function of food packaging is the protection of the product during transport from manufacturer to consumer and maximize the food shelf life, thus reducing food waste and its carbon footprint. Therefore, food packaging must fulfil high requirements, like being light-weight, impermeable, sufficiently tear-resistant and printable, with an appealing haptic and not release chemicals into the food in quantities that are harmful to human health.

To fulfil all these requirements, most food packaging applications are made of plastic films, composed by complex multi-layered materials. However, such Multi-Layer Composite (MLC) laminates cannot be efficiently recycled by state-of-the-art processes and thus valuable resources are lost, as this waste is mainly incinerated or landfilled. According to EU legislations and EFSA standards, it is not allowed to use recyclates from non-food plastic materials in newly produced food packaging applications because these recyclates do not meet the necessary requirements with regards to odour or contaminants, but to date, non-food and food packaging waste streams cannot be separated. With 2 Mi. tons of MLC affecting the recyclability of 17.8 Mio tons of food packaging due to their composition and unidentifiable origin, the targeted material streams are significant, and the expected impact of this research is substantial.

That is where Circular FoodPack ties in, targeting food packaging (dry food such as packed creamer, cocoa, and coffee powder) as well as personal (e.g., face masks) and home care packaging (e.g., detergents, wipes). The project partners investigate newly developed Tracer-Based and Sensor-Based Sorting systems which allow for reliable sorting with new tracers and detection mechanisms. Once sorted, the packaging material will be washed, deodorized, the layers delaminated, deinked, dissolved, and purified with the CreaSolv® Recycling Process and mechanically recycled. The recycling strategies and generated secondary (raw) materials will continuously be assessed with regards to food and environmental safety, social acceptance, quality, processability, economic feasibility and legal compliance. The recyclates will be incorporated into new high-performance mono-material food packaging that is following eco-design principles and will be easy to recycle at post-consumer stage. A true material cycle is created, contributing to the EU ambitions of a carbon-neutral society by 2050.

Circular Flooring: Νew Products From Waste Pvc Flooring and Safe End-of-Life Treatment of Plasticisers

Το έργο στοχεύει στην καθιέρωση μιας διαδικασίας ανακύκλωσης πλαστικοποιημένου PVC από απορρίμματα προερχόμενα από επιδαπέδια πλακίδια. Στα προϊόντα PVC, μέχρι στιγμής έχουν επιτευχθεί ποσοστά ανακύκλωσης της τάξης του 20% περίπου, ενώ ένα μεγάλο ποσοστό αποβλήτων από PVC εξακολουθεί να θάβεται ή να αποτεφρώνεται. Προκειμένου να αποφευχθεί η απώλεια πολύτιμων πόρων και οι αυξημένες εκπομπές CO₂ και άλλα περιβαλλοντικά βάρη της απόθεσης αποβλήτων, είναι απαραίτητο να εξεταστούν βρόγχοι ανακύκλωσης για διάφορες ροές υλικού, όπως για παράδειγμα επενδύσεις δαπέδων PVC.

Επιστημονικός Υπεύθυνος του έργου από την πλευρά του ΕΜΠ είναι ο καθηγητής Κ. Μαγουλάς από το Εργαστήριο Θερμοδυναμικής και Φαινομένων Μεταφοράς (ΕΘΦΜ).

Η συνεργαζόμενη ερευνητική ομάδα του ΕΒΕΟ ασχολείται με την εξέταση της οικονομικής βιωσιμότητας, καθώς και της δυνατότητας εμπορικής αξιοποίησης της διαδικασίας ανακύκλωσης και του ανακυκλωμένου PVC, αξιοποιώντας το μεθοδολογικό εργαλείο του Business Canvas.

Περισσότερες πληροφορίες εδώ

LIFE ALGAECAN

Το έργο LIFE ALGAECAN προωθεί την εκπλήρωση σημαντικών Ευρωπαϊκών Oδηγιών και περί υγειονομικής ταφής αποβλήτων, ολοκληρωμένης πρόληψης της ρύπανσης και προώθησης χρήσης ανανεώσιμων μορφών ενέργειας στην Ευρωπαϊκή Ένωση. Πιο συγκεκριμένα το έργο προτείνει ένα μοντέλο βιώσιμης επεξεργασίας εκροών υψηλού οργανικού φορτίου, το οποίο συνδυάζει μία οικονομικά αποδοτική καλλιέργεια ετεροτροφικών φυκών, μέσω ξήρανσης με ψεκασμό των συλλεγόμενων μικροφυκών για τη λήψη ενός προϊόντος ως πρώτης ύλης για την παραγωγή βιολιπασμάτων, ζωοτροφής, βιοπλαστικών, κτλ. Η τεχνολογία που πρόκειται να εφαρμοστεί στο έργο είναι μία καινοτόμος ιδέα για την επεξεργασία υγρών αποβλήτων ειδικά στη βιομηχανία μεταποίησης οπωροκηπευτικών, την επαναχρησιμοποίησή τους και την ανάκτηση πόρων προκειμένου για τη λήψη ενός υγρού ρεύματος υψηλής ποιότητας και επαναχρησιμοποιούμενου.

Επιστημονικός Υπεύθυνος του έργου από την πλευρά του ΕΜΠ είναι η καθηγήτρια Μ. Λοιζίδου από τη Μονάδα Περιβαλλοντικής Επιστήμης και τεχνολογίας της Σχολής Χημικών Μηχανικών.

Η συνεργαζόμενη ερευνητική ομάδα του ΕΒΕΟ ασχολείται με την αξιολόγηση της οικονομικής εφικτότητας της τεχνολογίας και τη διερεύνηση του δυνητικού εμπορικού ενδιαφέροντος της τεχνολογίας και του παραγόμενου, προϊόντος.

Περισσότερες πληροφορίες για το έργο εδώ (& Τwitter)

Catching-Up along the Global Value Chain (CatChain): models, determinants and policy implications in the era of the Fourth Industrial Revolution

Catching-Up along the global value chain: business models, determinants and policy implications in the era of the Fourth Industrial Revolution (GVC2UP4IR) is a project built on a multidisciplinary and multi-sectorial exchange program focused on unravelling the process of Catching-Up from different sectorial perspectives at a country level. It analyses the role of business models (BMs) in entering, learning and upgrading the Global Value Chain (GVC), aiming at recognising the determinants and challenges faced by Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in tackling the process of upgrading in a globalising economy. The outcome of the project will be the definition of policy tools and frameworks to support effective policy-making actions in the implementation of Research and Innovation Smart Specialization Strategy (RIS3), with respect to the new agenda of Europe 2020, mainly for low-income EU countries.

The main aims of the project are:
1.to identify: if and how a country should focus on developing domestic trade networks and upgrading before entering into GVCs; whether it should improve its infrastructures in regional value chains implementing the RIS3 strategy for its economic transformation;
2.to study the emerging BMs underpinning the successful entry, learning, and upgrading in GVCs, after the investigation and valuation of case studies in different sectors and countries;
3.to isolate the conditions that define the preferable entry strategy;
4.to recognise the policy framework that facilitates entries and supports SMEs in developing a profitable business strategy.
To give robust scientific answers to the question of whether entering GVCs by sponsoring one large national firm or a set of small and dynamic enterprises, GVC2UP4IR intends to bridge the Catching-Up approach with the GVCs literature, paying attention to the role that entry, learning and upgrading strategies – integrated with BMs, play in fostering a process of country-level catching-up in distinct sectors.

For more information: cordis.europa.eu

Capturing the value of intangible assets in micro data to promote the EU’s growth and competitiveness (GLOBALINTO)

The project entitled “Capturing the value of intangible assets in micro data to promote the EU’s growth and competitiveness”, with the acronym GLOBALINTO (“Into” means enthusiasm in Finnish), aims to develop and refine measures of IAs at the micro level and to use these measures to analyse the causes of the productivity slowdown and how productivity growth can be improved. In the context of the project, the research group will work in co-operation with the National Statistical institutes (NSIs) towards the goal of integrating improved statistics into sustained, official statistical production. GLOBALINTO is a continuation to FP7 Innodrive project (www.innodrive.org) that developed the Innodrive-methodology in measuring intangible assets at the firm level. In 2013, Horizon2020 NET4SOCIETY chose Innodrive among the seven SSH projects in FP6 and FP7 that had a considerable impact – not only on research but also on policy, society or economy. Included in our overall objective are a number of specific objectives that will be pursued in the GLOBALINTO in order to achieve this overreaching objective.

The main aims of the project are:
First, GLOBALINTO aims to  review and critically assess existing work on the relation between intangibles and productivity in order to gain in-debth understanding of demand side and supply side factors that contribute to productivity growth. In particular, we aim to identify factors behind the productivity slowdown mentioned above This includes relevant theoretical and empirical work on the micro and macro-underpinnings of growth, and current measurement of intangibles and productivity growth factors. Particular focus will be placed on the role of globalization in the form of market development, global value chains and the rate and diffusion of technological change, and on demand and supply side factors related to demographic changes.
Second, in order to facilitate evidence-based policy and analysis of the micro and macro-underpinnings of growth, a key objective of GLOBALINTO is to prepare, develop and validate new micro and industry level data and statistics for the measurement of intangible assets and other key variables for use in analyses of the relation between innovation, intangibles and productivity. This work will utilize a wide range of data sources (including data on firm activities, R&D and innovation, ICT, employee occupations and education, inputoutputs, and primary data collection from a pilot intangibles survey) to measure intangibles in both the private and public sector. Taking into account the difficulties in measuring intangibles at the micro level based on existing data, GLOBALINTO will also develop and conduct a pilot survey of intangible investments, with the goal of improving parameters used in measurement of intangibles. Furthermore, our goal is to achieve sustainable collection and measurement for our work, and to this end we will work directly with national statistical offices to facilitate the uptake and integration of GLOBALINTO indicators and methodology.
Third, applying advanced econometric methods, GLOBALINTO will utilize this data in order to analyse the various potential explanations of the productivity puzzle, at both micro and macro levels. These include:

  • Value chains and the role of technology push factors (early stage in value creation) and demand pull
    factors (latter stage).
  • Role of demographic change and gender balance through analysis of interfirm mobility patterns and
    productivity wage gaps.
  • ICT as a driver of innovation and growth; the role of organizational competences
  • Innovation and intangibles in SME’s and challenges with growth and market entry
  • Interindustry and international knowledge spillovers and their impact on innovation and productivity
  • Role of government and public sector intangibles for government performance and business productivity

Fourth, through both, an econometric productivity analysis and an analysis of economic policies, GLOBALINTO will seek to examine the potential role of economic policy in promoting innovation and productivity growth. This includes examination of the “secular stagnation” argument that economic policies have slowed investments, the role of demand-side policies in general, and policy implications of project work.

For more information: cordis.europa.eu