Project: Novel enhanced bioplastics from sustainable processing of seaweed

Acronym PlastiSea (Reference Number: 92)
Duration 01/03/2020
Project Topic Conventional plastic materials are made from non-renewable resources and their pollution presents a global threat to marine environments. The EU recently voted for a complete ban of the most common single use plastics by 2021 which has significantly stimulated the interest in bio-based and biodegradable materials, particularly in the food packaging and service industries.However, bioplastics still face challenges related to sustainability of the feedstock, low biodegradability and/or recyclability and unsatisfactory properties, limiting their applications and widespread implementation. The main objective of PlastiSea is to develop novel bioplastic materials based on cultivated and wild underutilized species of brown algae. The project will thus provide an innovative and sustainable bioplastic substrate with promising properties, and simultaneously add value to a growing seaweed industry in Europe. The seaweed biomass will be processed to obtain polysaccharide-rich fractions, employing various degrees of refinement toward single-use biodegradable materials for food industries as well as higher-value applications in the biomedical and cosmetic sector. Novel bioplastic substrates will be developed with a focus on competitive structural properties and biodegradability, primarily toward single-use food packaging that is seldom recycled. Structuring technology will be developed toward pilot-scale production and future industrial-scale implementation after the project's end. Importantly, the value chain from raw material to finished products will be evaluated from an environmental and economic perspective to identify and address challenges and opportunities in scaling and ensure a sustainable pipeline for value creation. The PlastiSea consortium consists of partners from Norway, Sweden, Denmark and Spain, and combines research expertise with industrial innovation to achieve the goals of the project and fulfil the visions of the Blue Bioeconomy.
Project Results
(after finalisation)
The PlastiSea project will: - Introduce novel bioplastics with enhanced processability and performances toward single-use materials for the food industry, and for applications in pharmaceutical packaging or coating; - Expand the knowledge on brown algae biomass and processing for medium- and large-scale applications; - Identify opportunities and challenges of upscaling and boosting European seaweed-based industries; - Uphold an active dialogue with industry end users and consumers for results exploitation In the long term, the project is expected to strengthen and expand Europe's global position in seaweed supply and utilization by promoting high-volume applications backed by research and innovation. The integrated industry participation is an essential part of the project as it is expected to (1) promote sustainable and eco-friendly technologies coupled to economic growth, (2) contribute to a market pull for bio-based products and (3) stimulate new government policies concerning sustainability and environmental awareness.
Website visit project website
Network BlueBio
Call 1st BlueBio Joint Call

Project partner

Number Name Role Country
1 SINTEF AS Coordinator Norway
2 Seaweed Energy Solutions AS Partner Norway
3 B'ZEOS Partner Norway
5 Aalborg University Partner Denmark
6 KTH Royal Institute of Technology Partner Sweden