LACTIPS and B4PLASTICS were granted a Eurostars grant, for joint R&D project BIOPACK.

BIOPACK aims to develop B4Tips; a novel water-soluble polymer compound to make packaging material for household applications that is bio-based and meets the ambitious EN13432 standard biodegradable criteria. Two formulations of B4Tips will be developed to be compatible with injection moulding and blown film extrusion respectively. Both will meet biodegradability criteria and water-solubility and have excellent mechanical properties for optimal functionality during storage and transportation, thereby meeting the market’s user needs.

Vegan Leather is a member of CrossRoads2: Sustainable Energy, which is financed by Interreg V Flanders-Netherlands, the cross-border cooperation programme with financial support from the European Regional Development Fund.

The Problem

The majority of plastic packaging available today originates from non-renewable fossil resources and lacks biodegradability, leading to environmental concerns. The European Union (EU) is suggesting actions aimed at motivating Europe to embrace eco-friendly methods of plastic disposal, which involve the utilization of non-persistent plastics, leaving no traces to the environment. In the context of detergent tablets, substitutes for conventional water-insoluble packaging plastics have been created, one of which is Polyvinyl alcohol (PVOH). However, the effectiveness of this solution is restricted due to its incomplete biodegradability, as evidenced by the discharge of over 8,000 tons of PVOH into wastewater treatment systems annually.
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    CO₂ impact

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    Toxic pollution

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    Harm to animals

A deeper dive into the problem

The externalities related to the use of plastics and plastic packaging are concentrated in three areas: degradation of natural systems because of microplastic leakage, especially in the ocean; greenhouse gas emissions resulting from production and after-use incineration; and health and environmental impacts from substances of concern. The total natural capital cost of plastics in the consumer goods industry is USD 75 billion, of which USD 40 billion is related to plastic packaging, exceeding the profit pool of the plastic packaging industry.  At least 8 million ton of plastics leak into the ocean each year and estimates suggest that packaging represents the major share of the leakage. Not only is packaging the largest application of plastics with 26% of volumes, but its small size and low residual value also make it especially prone to leakage.

Most plastic packaging material in the market is sourced from fossil feedstock, not biodegradable and raises environmental issues. The EU proposes measures to encourage Europe to adopt sustainable approach to plastics including applying biodegradable plastics. For detergent tablets, water-soluble packing plastic alternatives have been developed such as Polyvinyl alcohol (PVOH), but the usability of this product is limited as it is not biodegradable (over 8,000 tons of PVOH pass through wastewater treatment per year). Also, water solubility is suboptimal, resulting in plastic films being stuck in the dishwasher’s blades, filters, and pipes, significantly damaging the machines.

This project will tackle these issues by making a controlled watersoluble and biodegradable biopolymer.

The Solution

BIOPACK aims to develop B4Tips, a novel water-soluble material for household applications that is fully bio-based and meets ambitious criteria in non-persistency. Two formulations of B4Tips which are compatible with blown film extrusion and injection moulding process will be developed. By developing B4Tips using these two industrial processes, the BIOPACK project can scale the B4Tips application for a wider market application.

The compatibility of the material with existing industrial polymer processing techniques, its controlled water solubility and complete biodegradability will speed up the adoption of B4Tips; a sustainable alternative for various packaging and product applications. The development of this innovative technology is challenging as the material will have to be made water-soluble and moreover meet high convenience standards for the end-user.

A deeper dive into the solution

To develop this innovative product the consortium partners will combine their forces. Lactips has already developed CareTips®, a material sourced out of casein derivatives. B4Plastics will build on the knowledge of their current technology platform TriggerPlastics. The properties of TriggerPlastics are very tunable, through the implementation of B4Plastics’ polymeric architecture know-how. In this project the strengths of TriggerPlastics will be combined with the strengths of CareTips®, to compound a novel water-soluble polymer B4Tips with improved mechanical, and ageing properties that will allow us to capture a larger market share.

About the partners

B4Plastics is a Belgium based Polymer Architecture company (SME) that catalyzes the introduction of novel biomaterials and growing them from niche to bulk applications. It’s B4Plastics’ mission to push the old fossil plastics towards the New Plastics Economy by striking the best balance between functionality, ecology and cost. B4Plastics’ excellence centre has an extensive polymer library and a unique set of expertise to redesign plastics tackling the material challenges of various high impact markets.

Lactips is a French based company (SME) that specializes in the production of thermoplastics based on proteins, compliant with REACH as Natural Polymer and compatible with SUP directive. Lactips’ product, called CareTips®, is biosourced, water-soluble, biodegradable, printable, has barrier properties (to oxygen, fats, and mineral oils),


Technical Readiness Level

Level 1
Product demonstration

Eureka moment in the head






This BioPack project has received funding from Eureka (Project no. 2450) and Vlaio (Grant agreement No. HBC.2022.0739) under the Eurostars programm

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