Bangor science project shortlisted for EU award

PLA obtained from bread waste.PLA obtained from bread waste.BREAD4PLA, a green science and technology project in which Bangor University’s research played a significant role, has been shortlisted as one of the best 25 LIFE Environment Projects delivered in 2015.

Researchers from AIMPLAS, Technological Institute of Plastics, Spain; the Biocomposites Centre and School of Chemistry from Bangor University; ATB, the Agricultural Engineering Institute, Germany and CETECE, the Cereals Technology Centre, Spain have successfully developed a new biodegradable packaging for bakery products from the wastes generated by the same industry they come from.

Dr Viacheslav Tverezovskiy, Biocomposites Centre, explains: “Wastes from bread crusts, sliced bread and sponge cakes underwent fermentation and enzymatic treatment to obtain lactic acid. Lactic acid was polymerised to a biodegradable polymer, PLA. The latter was processed by the current extrusion technique to produce a packaging film with excellent barrier properties, suitable for different products of the bakery sector, even for packing pasta and sweets. The new packaging materials are fully biodegradable and compostable.”

LIFE is the EU’s financial instrument supporting environmental and nature conservation projects throughout the EU, as well as in some candidate, acceding and neighbouring countries. Since 1992, LIFE has co-financed some 3506 projects, contributing approximately €2.5 billion to the protection of the environment.

The EU citizens poll is open to allow voting for the LIFE Citizens Award for the environment. The project with the most votes will be presented with the LIFE Citizens’ Award for environment at EU Green Week in Brussels on 31 May 2016. Vote for your favourite LIFE Environment project!

Publication date: 20 May 2016