Sustainable Strategies for Recycling Products and Waste Materials from Biobased Plastics

Source: IfBB

The Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture (BMEL), via its project administration office, the Agency for Renewable Resources (FNR), is sponsoring the research alliance “Sustainable   Strategies for Recycling Products and Waste Materials from Biobased Plastics”. The main focus of the project is to develop chemically innovative biobased plastics such as polylactide (PLA).

KNOTEN WEIMAR GmbH has been commissioned to coordinate this collaborative project. Currently the research alliance is giving priority to technical issLogo FNRues regarding the sorting and recycling behaviour of products and waste materials from biobased plastics. In addition, questions related to resource efficiency and sustainability are also being addressed.

In collaboration with the Department of Lightweight Structures and Polymer Technology at the Technical University Chemnitz, KNOTEN WEIMAR GmbH is investigating reliable options to identify and sort various biobased plastic products and to recycle post-consumer waste, e.g., from packaging, from a technical and economic perspective. The aim is to ascertain and investigate also future recycling scenarios for biobased plastics based on quantity.

Several Fraunhofer institutions including the Institute for Environmental, Safety, and Energy Technology (UMSICHT), the Institute for Process Engineering and Packaging (IVV), the Institute for Wood Research (WKI), and the Institute for Applied Polymer Research (IAP) are committed to work on the complex requirements for solvent-based recycling of post-consumer PLA, the inclusion of used polylactide into the process of synthesizing PLA, and an assessment of sustainability for the developed methods.

PLA-Regranulat, Source: IfBB

The IfBB – Institute for Bioplastics and Biocomposites at the Hochschule Hannover is cooperating with Bösel Plastic Management GmbH and other industry partners to work on the treatment and re-use of pre-consumer biobased plastics. The aim is to establish and optimize a method for high-quality mechanical recycling of industrial waste generated in the production of Danone’s PLA yogurt cups and, after characterizing these recyclates, to develop new products. Glue and printed paper that stick to the PLA waste present a special challenge in the process. Wherever possible, the results from these sub-projects shall be applied to other bioplastics as well, e.g., polyhydroxyalkanoates, polyester or starch blends, and bio-PA.

More information on the project is available at – Projects & Funding, funding codes 22010814, 22031812, 22019212, 22031312, and 22012414.

Project summary

  • Project title: Sustainable Strategies for Recycling Products and Waste Materials from Biobased Plastics / Sub-Project 4: Treatment and Material Re-Use of Biobased Plastics from Industrial Waste
  • Project administration: Agency for Renewable Resources (FNR)
  • Funding: Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture (BMEL)
  • Project partners: KNOTEN WEIMAR GmbH, TU Chemnitz, Fraunhofer IAP, Fraunhofer IVV, Fraunhofer WKI, Bösel Plastic Management GmbH, Fraunhofer UMSICHT
  • Industry partners: Möbius & Ruppert KG, Schneider Schreibgeräte GmbH, Memo AG, Sonoco Plastics Germany GmbH
  • Project period: November 2014 – April 2017
  • Final report:



Prof. Dr.-Ing. Andrea Siebert-Raths,