SAN SEBASTIAN, SPAIN (Dec. 20, 11:35 a.m. ET) — A European project led by the Cidetec-IK4 technological center in Spain's Basque region is aiming to develop plastics using organic waste as a raw material.
The Eclipse project between 2012 and 2014 will use nanotechnology methods to develop bio-based plastics from waste sources such as banana plants, almond nut shells and crustacean shells.
Cidetec-IK4, based in San Sebastian, said the popularity of plastics such as PLA made from corn has caused concern that agricultural land is being earmarked to growing vegetables for the production of biofuels and bioplastics. Using waste organic products does not compete with food crops, it said.
Ibon Odriozola, head of the nanotechnology unit at Cidetec-IK4, said that, apart from the environmental challenge for the project, “Eclipse has an economic objective, as this project aims to increase the competiveness of European countries in the biopolymers' market without increasing the price of basic foods.”
The project partners include universities and companies in Germany, Belgium and Spain, along with and organizations in Chile and Colombia.