UPLIFT: Sustainable Plastics for the Packaging Industry

  Uplift scheme Copyright: © AK SHP

Plastics are highly versatile materials that are nearly irreplaceable in our everyday life. Therefore, it is even more important that plastics are integrated into a sustainable circular economy. In contrast to the current system of a linear economy, in a circular economy, the influx of resources is minimized and the recycling rate is maximized. In order to fulfill this objective for packaging materials, new recycling strategies have to be developed and established leading to a more efficient recycling of plastics without a reduction of the materials’ quality. New plastics with a better recyclability are needed. Moreover, bio-based raw materials can render plastics independent of fossil resources such as crude oil.

The project UPLIFT funded by the European Union deals with the development of a circular economy approach for plastics. The project unites several partners from industry and academia that are involved in the exploitation of new raw materials, the production, the processing and the recycling of plastics.

We set out to develop novel environmentally-benign iron and zinc catalysts that are required for the production of bioplastics (e.g. polylactic acid, PLA) and their recycling. The catalysts are investigated considering their activity and are also provided to the other partners of UPLIFT . Thus, an important contribution to the establishment of more sustainable plastics is made.