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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

Bio-based plastics, which are made from biological resources (animals, plants, micro-organisms and derived biomass, including organic waste), 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 the Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme. Bio-based plastics innovation into business models, products and materials will be developed further under the current research and innovation programme, Horizon Europe.

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 bio-based polymers from plant sugar waste for fire-resistant use 
  • developed 100% natural and biodegradable bio-based plastic for food packaging