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05 February 2016 08:52 Age: 1 year

Conference presenting project results

The European Dibbiopack Project in which 19 partners from 10 countries have been involved for 4 years, provides solutions to the challenges posed by the necessary transition towards non-petroleum based manufactured packaging. This initiative, with a 7.8 million euro budget- 5.7 coming from the European Commission and coordinated by Aitiip Technological Centre, will hold its final conference in Zaragoza on February 24, 2016. With a comprehensive approach, this project deals with the development of multifunctional packaging, with applications in the food, cosmetics and pharmaceutical industries.

An average of 200 plastic bags per person per year are used in Europe. The majority of these bags fall under the category of lighter plastic, those of which are the least reused and the most difficult to recycle. In a country like France, 17 billion of these bags are consumed per year, and these figures can be extrapolated to any adjacent European country. The same may be said of thousands of bottles and packaging, of any kind, made from petroleum products that we find around us. Half of these will end up dumped, taking hundreds of years to degrade. Experts have detected a high concentration of plastic flotsam in almost every ocean, which ends up in the seabed and back into the food chain

This huge problem has led to changes in legislation in many countries. A compulsory reduction of up to 80% in the use of certain types of packaging in the European Union by 2019 has been put forward. Thus the development of substitute products made from non-petroleum based bioplastics comes across as a huge industrial, social and environmental opportunity. While it is undeniable that traditional plastic packaging is convenient, it is no less true that the performance of those renewable substituting materials must be equivalent. This poses technological and economic problems that industry and research centres are striving to solve.

Within this context we find the project Dibbiopack, a research and development project financed by the European Commission within the Seventh European Framework Agreement and in which more than 19 partners from 7 countries have worked for 4 years. With a total 7.8 million euro Budget- 5.7 coming from the European Commission, Dibbiopack´s main objective is the development of multifunctional types of packaging, ( bio-based, compostable and biodegradable) with relevant applications in the food, cosmetics and pharmaceutical industries.

Under the Coordination of Aitiip technological Centre, and thanks to widespread research and an exemplary collaboration between entities and industries from all over Europe, 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.

Present projections seem to indicate that, by 2019, 80% of bioplastics will be made in Asia. Europe, with its leading research in the field, cannot lag behind now that those materials are closer to market The European Parliament adopted measures in this respect and the European Commission designated bioplastics as a lead market that deserves to get legal support.

The Dibbiopack Project is a good example of this. Based on being environmentally friendly, using materials from renewable sources, taking into account environmental sustainability and a circular economy, reducing the use of energy and raw materials by means of more efficient manufacturing processes, it 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 de user with full details on content and its condition.

The Final conference of the Dibbiopack Project will be held in Zaragoza, Spain, in February 2016. Based in Zaragoza, Aitiip Technological Centre, has coordinated this initiative for the last 4 years. Among its main lines of research we find bioplastics and their transformation processes. In a two-day session, partners in the Project will revise all technical details linked to planning, implementation and results as well as a visit to pilot lines where two out of the three demonstrators were built.

On February 24, the results of the Project will be released in an open social event. If you wish to attend, you may sign in here: https://goo.gl/HXwpwJ

The final conference, to be held in the Caixaforum Congress Centre, will see an institutional presence at the European, national and regional levels and will include open sessions for stakeholder sectors. Therefore an invitation has been issued to a wide range of stakeholders in agreement with one of Dibbiopack priorities: Awareness raising and the dissemination of knowledge on bioplastics and their application in Europe.

For further information, please address your queries to:

Project Coordinator: Berta Gonzalvo (berta.gonzalvo@aitiip.com) Technical Coordinator: Víctor Peinado (victor.peinado@aitiip.com) Enquires about the final event: José Andrés López (jal@aitiip.com)

For interviews and additional material, please address your requests to: prensa@izecomunicacionindustrial.es (Santiago Izuel, 616-418026)


DEVELOPMENT OF INJECTION AND BLOW EXTRUSION MOLDED BIODEGRADABLE AND MULTIFUNCTIONAL PACKAGES BY NANOTECHNOLOGY : IMPROVEMENT OF STRUCTURAL AND BARRIER PROPERTIES, SMART FEATURES AND SUSTAINABILITY