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Research and innovation

Bio-based plastics

Bio-based plastics and how innovation in this area supports the circular bioeconomy

Bio-based plastics and the circular bioeconomy

Plastics made from natural raw materials, or bio-based plastics, are an important part of the drive to create a sustainable and circular bioeconomy.

The EU has strongly supported developing bio-based plastics through ambitious and collaborative research under its current research and innovation programme, Horizon 2020.

Bio-based plastics innovation into business models, products and materials will be developed further under the next research and innovation programme, Horizon Europe, starting in 2021.

This will help transform Europe’s plastics industry over the coming years.

Project examples

This collection of articles on EU-funded bio-based plastics research highlights projects driving scientific innovation in this promising and potentially game-changing industry.

Featured projects have developed commercially attractive processes for

  • converting side-streams from biorefineries into biodegradable polymers
  • produced new tailor-made biopolymers from plant sugar waste for fire-resistant use 
  • developed 100% natural and biodegradable bioplastic for food packaging

More about what the EU is doing to support plastics in a circular economy