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Maria Ascensão Reis, leader of the Biochemical Engineering Lab, and Filomena Freitas, researcher in the same lab at UCIBIO-NOVA, integrate the consortium of the project "EcoPlastiC - Eco conversion of lower grade PET and mixed recalcitrant PET plastic waste into high performing biopolymers". EcoPlastiC aims to provide a seamless route to resolving pervasive PET plastic pollution, converting it to Eco-plastic prototypes. Conversion of unrecyclable post use PET into new, high performance bioplastics embodies the regenerative zero waste approaches found in nature, where post use materials become the ingredients for new products and with unlimited cyclical use of materials. It proposes a technological paradigm shift in recycling from the current zero to single digit circuits of recycling loops to a regeneration process providing a significant scientific step forward towards true circularity.

The project EcoPlastiC (Project number: 101046758) has been awarded a total funding of 3, 045,502.50€ by the HORIZON EIC Grants, under the call HORIZON-EIC-2021-PATHFINDEROPEN-01, and the consortium includes also the Technological University of the Shannon: Midlands Midwest (Ireland), the Avecom company (Belgium), the Institute of Molecular Genetics and Genetic Engineering (IMGGE - University of Belgrade) and the KTH Royal Institute of Technology (University in Stockholm, Sweden). Project will start in 1 October 2022 with a duration of 36 months.