University of the Basque Country (UPV/EHU) (SPAIN)
About this paper:
Appears in: ICERI2013 Proceedings
Publication year: 2013
Pages: 4812-4816
ISBN: 978-84-616-3847-5
ISSN: 2340-1095
Conference name: 6th International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 18-20 November, 2013
Location: Seville, Spain
One of the challenges for the European Union towards sustainability is to reduce the currently growing amount of food packaging waste generated in Europe. There are different strategies to minimize environmental impacts caused by food packaging systems, such as the use of new materials or application of eco-design techniques. Although optimization in processing methods is required, the use of environmentally friendly materials could offer significant opportunities to develop renewable and biodegradable materials in the future. These materials could be employed as short-term use or one-time use plastic products in place of the non-biodegradable materials obtained from fossil fuels used nowadays. Furthermore, designing bio-based materials involves many considerations to successfully manufacture sustainable materials and Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) is a practical key tool to measure environmental impact from the extraction of raw materials to ultimate disposal. Since economical aspects are not enough when a new product is being designed, the knowledge of the environmental impact of food packaging systems is necessary when companies want to integrate sustainable innovation and implement a novel food packaging material. In this context, the aim of this work is to show the benefits of university-industry collaboration in the fabrication of coating and films based on polymers derived from biomass, adding value to by-products and wastes, and assess their environmental behaviour in order to measure their contribution for the development of more sustainable materials.