sUstainable PLastIcs for the Food and drink packaging indusTry

Recycling facilities are currently struggling when dealing with challenging plastic multi-layers, blends, and additives. Consequently, packaging plastics are mostly landfilled, incinerated or spilled into the environment. The concept of UPLIFT is to introduce biological depolymerization technology as an addition and integration to established recycling practices, by converting persistent plastic waste into more easily recyclable and/or degradable polymers. The project will start by analyzing the value chains of the future to match and exploit the potential of microbe- and enzyme technology to effectively depolymerize the EoL (End of Life) plastic into monomers. Overall, the project aims at engineering towards greater scale and efficiency. Moreover, in order to contribute to further innovation, UPLIFT will also make use of an advanced high-throughput screening platform to further explore the potential of new and more efficient biocatalysts, among bacteria, yeasts and fungi. Synergies between genetic and protein engineering, as well as eco-engineering of microbial mixed consortia will be under UPLIFT’s scope. Furthermore, the knowledge of bio-depolymerization will be strategically applied for the eco-design and development of renewable and easy-recyclable polymers, thus making plastic packaging an available feedstock for the circular economy. Introducing biological depolymerization to current recycling practices will increase the capability of dealing with large amounts of currently non-recycled plastics. By doing so, UPLIFT will contribute and facilitate the transition to more efficient recycling facilities, thus paving the way to a sustainable plastic system.

ACTIVITIES of the Bio Base Europe Pilot Plant

  • Scale-up to TRL 6 of fermentative production of renewable eco-polymer building blocks from bio-based and plastic-based substrates
  • Scale-up of downstream processing to produce product for further testing


This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research innovation programme under Grant Agreement number: 953073.