Plastic waste is one of the major threats to our ecosystems and the current end-of-life given to plastics negatively affects the environment. However, there has not been such focus put on thermoset plastics which are becoming a challenge for industry waste management, in particular, those involving thermoset composite materials.
A European consortium of 10 entities composed by different R&D entities, companies, and end-users, have partnered in the frame of the Bizente project. This project will develop a technology to achieve controlled biodegradation of thermoset composite materials by means of enzymes.
This innovative solution entails expanding the biodegradation process to a new type of feedstock- three thermoset resins (epoxy, polyester and vinylester) that have not previously been involved in the value chain of plastics.
This new technology will reduce, by at least 40%, the amount of non-bio-degradable polymers taken to landfills or incinerated with ensuing environmental and public health hazards and it will also open up new markets and business opportunities for the treatment of plastic.