Key Info

Basic Information

Prof. Dr. Sonja Herres-Pawlis
Faculty / Institution:
Mathematics, Computer Science and Natural Sciences
Industrial Leadership
Project duration:
01.03.2021 to 28.02.2025
EU contribution:
7.517.180,75 euros
  EU flag This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 953073.  


sUstainable PLastIcs for the Food and drink packaging industry


Recycling facilities are currently struggling when dealing with challenging plastic multi-layers, blends, and additives. Consequently, packaging plastics are mostly landfilled, incinerated or spilled into the environment. The concept of UPLIFT is to introduce biological depolymerization technology as an addition and integration to established recycling practices, by converting persistent plastic waste into more easily recyclable and/or degradable polymers. The project will start by analyzing the value-chains of the future to match and exploit the potential of microbe-and enzyme technology to effectively depolymerize the EoL plastic into monomers. Overall, the project aims at engineering towards greater scale and efficiency. Moreover, in order to contribute to further innovation, UPLIFT will also make use of an advanced high-throughput screening platform to further explore the potential of new and more efficient biocatalysts, among bacteria, yeasts and fungi. Synergies between genetic and protein engineering, as well as eco-engineering of microbial mixed consortia will be under Uplift’s scope. Furthermore, the knowledge of bio-depolymerization will be strategically applied for the eco-design and development of renewable and easy-recyclable polymers, thus making plastic packaging an available feedstock for the circular economy. Introducing biological depolymerization to current recycling practices will increase the capability of dealing with large amounts of currently non-recycled plastics. By doing so, UPLIFT will contribute and facilitate the transition to more efficient recycling facilities, thus paving the way to a sustainable plastic system.


  • Aalborg Universitet, Denmark (Coordinator)
  • Forschungszentrum Jülich GmbH, Germany
  • Acib GmbH, Austria
  • Danmarks Tekniske Universitet, Denmark
  • Lunds Universitet, Sweden
  • TECNARO Gesellschaft zur industriellen Anwendung nachwachsender Rohstoffe mbH, Germany
  • Bio-mi Drustivo s Ogranicenom Odgovornoscu za Proizvodnja, Istrazivanjei Razvoj, Croatia
  • Bio Base Europe Pilot Plant Vzw, Belgium
  • Leibniz-Institut für Naturstoff-Forschung und Infektionsbiologie e.V. Hans-Knoll-Institut, Germany
  • AIMPLAS – Asociación de Investigación de Materiales Plásticos y Conexas, Spain
  • University College Dublin, National University of Ireland, Dublin, Ireland
  • Bioplastech Ltd, Ireland
  • Sustainable Innovations Europe SL, Spain
  • IS Vestforbraeding, Denmark