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EcoBioCAP: Eco-efficient Biodegradable Composite Advanced Packaging

The European EcoBioCAP project, which is being led by INRA in Montpellier and coordinated by Nathalie Gontard, was launched in March 2011 in order to promote the development of biodegradable packaging materials made using by-products from the agri-food industry.

EcoBioCap, Inra Montpellier. © inra
Updated on 02/05/2013
Published on 02/15/2012

During the past ten years or so, numerous biodegradable food packaging materials have been developed with the main objective of imitating petrochemical plastics but without there being any real assessments of environmental gain, economic viability and their potential impacts on the quality and safety of the foods thus packaged. A certain number of major controversies (diversion of resources from food use, complication of recycling/valorisation circuits, etc.) rapidly hindered the growth of these packaging materials, particularly in the agri-food field. A more global and systemic approach is necessary to address the development of biodegradable packaging so as to restore the confidence and interest of consumers and users.

The European EcoBioCAP project aims to supply the EU food industry with biodegradable packaging materials that can be adapted as a function of the requirements of perishable foods, and which will directly benefit both the environment and European consumers in terms of food quality and safety. This new generation of packaging materials will be based on the multi-scale development of composite structures whose constituent parts will all be obtained from by-products of the food industry.

Demonstration campaigns with industrial partners will enable an optimisation of both production and all the properties of the materials developed during the project, before they are exploited at an industrial scale. The development of a decision-making tool will mean that the EcoBioCAP technology will be rendered accessible to all actors in the industry. Finally, communication activities will aim not only to inform the scientific community of the results of this project but also to ensure that consumers and end-users are aware of how they can be used and the benefits linked to such biodegradable packaging materials.

EcoBioCAP represents a total budget of €4.2 million, including €3 million from the European Commission for 4 years in the context of FP7. The project involves 16 partners from eight different countries, including six private enterprises.

Scientific contact(s):

  • Nathalie Gontard (+33(0)4 99 61 24 77) UMR1208 IATE Ingénierie des Agropolymères et Technologies Emergentes