Researchers from AINIA have developed a cosmetic container produced with a bioplastic obtained from solid urban waste. The production of this bioplastic has been achieved through two biological processes: a first fermentation process without oxygen, which allows the transformation of organic waste into volatile substances (AGV's). In the second process, these substances have been transformed by microorganisms into a biopolymer. The integration of these two bioprocesses allows the revaluation of waste, while reducing the manufacturing costs of the biopolymer.
With the biopolymer obtained, several container prototypes have been made for cosmetic products that have been tested by the cosmetic companies Walla (Germany) and Welleda (Switzerland). This bioplastic is one of the results obtained within the framework of the European project URBIOFIN. A demonstration project on the techno-economic and environmental feasibility of a biorefinery to revalue organic urban waste and convert it into bioproducts, for production on a semi-industrial scale.
In addition, these results have been validated through an environmental analysis in which the sustainability of the process has been demonstrated. Achieving comprehensive management of urban waste for recovery represents a solution to the problem of environmental pollution, as well as contributing to economic transformation towards the model pursued by the European Commission's Circular Economy Plan.
Explains Wild Grace, from the environmental biotechnology department of AINIA, "the fundamental contribution of biorefineries is their ability to transform biomass, through different procedures (physical, chemical, thermochemical or biotechnological) into different bioproducts with high added value".
URBIOFIN is an innovation project financed by the Bio Based Industries Joint Undertaking (BBI JU), under the European Union Horizon 2020 programme, in which a consortium of fifteen European partners belonging to companies, universities and technology centers related to the waste management, biotechnologies, bioproducts, biomaterials and biofuels.