Materials based on natural fibres are an interesting alternative to replace fossil-derived plastics. In the future, they may replace plastics in, for example, packaging, hygiene products, building materials and textiles. The Piloting Alternatives for Plastics project brings together a wide range of Finnish and international companies to take materials developed in laboratories towards more industrial production. The project is funded by the European Regional Development Fund, VTT and companies. This project is a great example of collaborative efforts that is thematically linked to one of the FinnCERES main research themes “Future Plastics”.
In the research of new materials, the challenge is to select the most interesting from a wide range of raw material and manufacturing options, and to reduce the time it takes to scale the results obtained on a laboratory scale to commercial production scale. The development work done in the project will result in expertise in various raw materials, equipment and manufacturing technologies. Based on the development work, companies can move to the product development phase for different solutions in company-driven projects.
The Piloting Alternatives for Plastics project started on 1 April 2020 and ends on 31 March 2023. Its total budget is EUR 6.7 million. The project is implemented with funding from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), VTT and companies coordinated by the Regional Council of Central Finland.
Participants in the project include 52 companies from Finland and elsewhere in Europe. A total of 28 companies from Finland are involved, of which 18 are small and medium-sized companies.