The project aims to provide novel solutions for these two major societal challenges: plastic waste from food packaging and food waste.
Around 26 million tons of plastic waste is generated each year in EU. Similarly, one-third of food produced for human consumption is lost or wasted globally. The food waste is significantly high in the meat and fish products due to their high susceptibility of enzymatic, microbial and oxidative spoilage, which limits their shelf-life.
The goal of the project is to develop, test and demonstrate novel active and intelligent packaging solutions based on functional nanomaterials for improved functionality of the food packaging.
In this project smart labels will be printed to achieve positive/negative differentiation of food grade plastics at the material sorting and recycling facilities. The novel sorting technology is expected to improve the sorting efficiency of rigid plastics, especially black plastics which are currently not sorted at the automated recycling facilities due to technological challenges.
This will simultaneously result in improved recycling efficiencies and reuse of recycled materials for food packaging applications. Likewise, novel functional materials will be developed and incorporated in the packaging to achieve prolonged antimicrobial and antioxidant effect.
This will result in improved food safety and shelf-life of highly perishable fish and meat products, which can significantly reduce waste from these products. In addition, the collaboration with industry partners will result in development of commercially viable solutions aligned with market demand and will lead to the commercial exploitation of the results produced in the project.