PICDA AINIA COOPERATION: Biodegradation of low density polyethylene

R&D&I - Wednesday October 24th, 2018

According to data from the European Commission, the use of landfills as a system for the management of packaging waste is still very high in many countries of the European Union, including Spain. This is not the best option and the demands within the circular economy concept are aimed at abandoning the use of landfills and increasing the percentages of recycled material.

In order to improve the biodegradation of plastic materials that reach landfill, Picda and Ainia, have been working on improving the biodegradation of low-density polyethylene (the plastic material most used in the packaging industry). The way to do this has been through the incorporation of microorganisms with biodegradation capacity of the plastic material.

The main challenge has been how to incorporate said microorganisms into the plastic, since during their manufacturing process high temperatures are reached that render these microorganisms unviable. The solution has been through its incorporation in the form of coating or coating.

A reduction in the useful life of the plastic material has been observed, although far from converting the plastic material into a compostable material according to the standard, if its useful life has been reduced.

This project has been financed within the call Challenges of the year 2015, in the State Program of Research, Development and Innovation oriented to the challenges of society. Project: Biological process for the degradation of plastic waste through specific microorganisms – PLASBIO