Plastics are mostly made from crude oil. The use of oil, however, contributes to CO2 emissions and pollution and it makes us dependent of oil producing countries. Furthermore, the oil price is rising.
There is an alternative. It is possible to produce plastics from plant residues. For many years, Wageningen UR has been developing technologies and knowledge to make bioplastics economically feasible. They have found ways to make a wide variety of plastics from plant material: hard or soft, transparent or coloured, durable or biodegradable. It is even possible to make new types of materials that cannot be produced with crude oil, such as stronger, light-weight fibres and food packaging that increases the shelf life of products by successfully blocking bacteria. This is how Wageningen UR contributes to the quality of life.
Biobased Performance Materials
Wageningen UR is leading the research programme Biobased Performance Materials, aimed at developing and improving biopolymers (the building blocks for biobased materials). Dutch companies and knowledge institutions work hand in hand in this project, with the support of the national government. The national Topsector Chemistry and the Ministry of Economic Affairs have recently made €3 million available for a new round of projects within the successful Biobased Performance Materials programme. Companies can now submit their research proposals.