Norway is putting its money where its mouth is: a large research project is being established for the development of new technologies for bioplastics and recycling of plastics packaging.
Called “FuturePack”, the new project, an initiative of Grønt Punkt Norge AS ("Green Dot Norway plc"), will be financed by the Norwegian Research Council (NRC) and industrial project partners. It will be led by polymer R&D institute Norner Research AS, in collaboration with a strong consortium of industrial and institute partners.
Plastics are important packaging materials where low weight/volume is combined with excellent protective properties for food in transport, retail and at consumers. Better protection prevents food wastage. But future packaging must become even more sustainable through increasing share of biobased and recycled materials. This will contribute to lower CO2 emissions, better resource utilisation and reduced littering. These topics are central to the FuturePack project.
The participating institutes are Nofima, Paper and Fibre Research Institute (PFI), Østfoldforskning and NTNU IKP. The group of institutes together hold key competence in conversion of biomass to polymers, food packaging, food technology, polymer technology, recycling and plastics processing. The Norwegian industrial partners are Bama, BEWI, Elopak, Grønt Punkt, Norgesgruppen, Nortura, ROAF and Tine who represent various parts of the value chain of packaging, food production and recycling. Additionally, we have an exciting international advisory board including Ineos, Unilever and EPRO.
“Grønt Punkt Norge is responsible for financing the recovery and recycling of used packaging on behalf of the industrial sector. We see a significant need for increasing the development of new technology that can increase recycling of packaging, especially that which today is difficult to recycle. To achieve high goals, research is required, and we are proud that this project received grants from the research council.”, says Eirik Oland in Grønt Punkt Norge.
“We have a strong strategic focus on sustainability and circular economy in the plastics value chain through projects in the field of recycling and biobased materials. By long term cooperation with our international clients we have also acquired significant competence in this field. However, more research and competence is needed to solve our global challenges and “FuturePack” is an important project to take new steps in the right direction.”, says Tine Rørvik, CEO of Norner.
“It has been inspiring and rewarding to work with the development of this project and all the positive response we have got from the industry shows that these partners puts sustainability very high on their agenda.”, says Dr. Siw Fredriksen, project manager and Senior Advisor in Green Technology at Norner.
Image from left: CEO Tine Rørvik, Advisor Siw Bodil Fredriksen
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