B4Plastics participates in the EU REPurpose project on safe and sustainable design of elastomeric plastics from recycling of post-consumer waste

The REPurpose project, funded by the European Union, brings together 10 partners from seven countries of the European Union and one associate partner from UK to be a game-changer in tackling recycling of polyethylene terephthalate (PET) and creating new thermoplastic elastomer polymers. REPurpose integrates the SSbD concept to create the world’s first infinitely recyclable and additive-free rubbery materials, based on local post-consumer plastic waste and integrated with biocarbon to optimise properties for a broad spectrum of applications overturning new standards of cost-function-ecology. Advanced polymer backbone design gives REP polymers unique characteristics of biodegradability and infinite recyclability through enzymatic recycling.

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

Finding a sustainable way to shape a zero-waste economy is essential to keep the world’s consumption within its planetary boundaries, especially for versatile and widespread materials like plastics. The global consumption of materials such as biomass, fossil fuels, metals and minerals is expected to double in the next 40 years, with harmful consequences for humans and the environment. The annual plastics production is close to 380 Mt and is expected to double by 2035 and even quadruple by 2050, making it essential to find new solutions for effective and efficient use of resources for their production.
  • a

    CO₂ impact

  • a

    Toxic pollution

A deeper dive into the problem

The Solution

New building blocks derived from biomass or enzymatically degraded plastic waste or paper and cardboard waste will be incorporated, giving the polymers unique characteristics of recyclability, ecology, and unlimited recycling, surpassing fossil carbon at each recycling stage. The polymers will be tested by relevant stakeholders and dedicated user groups, including global consumer goods producers.

The project also includes a Hop On Facility program to contribute to the ambition of inclusiveness of the future European Research Area by involving legal entities from low R&I performing countries to participate in already selected collaborative projects.

The REPurpose project had its official start on September 19th and 20th 2022 in Ghent, hosted by the Bio Base Europe Pilot Plant as coordinator of the research. Four universities and research centres, two non-profit organizations, and five SMEs will work together on these research challenges and lead the way to bring innovation to the general public and create a resilient and sustainable European plastics industry. This project has a total investment of 6.5 million euros.

A deeper dive into the solution

Our strategy
  • SSbD
    Analyse and align relevant framework conditions for developing new REP polymers via an SSbD approach, targeting the just transition mechanism through a three-pillar approach of REP polymer life cycle sustainability.
  • Production of Paper & Cardboard waste- and lignin-based monomers
    Develop and scale processes to provide samples of renewable monomers from paper- and cardboard waste sugars and/or lignin-based aromatics for polymerisation.
  • Plastizyme engineering, production and application
    Develop, optimise and produce «plastizyme» enzymes that effectively degrade plastic waste into building blocks to be repolymerised into REP polymers. Later apply such plastizymes for REP recycling.
  • REP polymer development and analysis
    Build unique backbones by combining building block fractions from post-consumer waste leading to unique thermoplastic and elastomeric functional properties.
  • REP product development and prototyping
    Validate the potential of (post-)processing REP polymers through different industrial processes. Identify appropriate market applications matching the polymers’ functional behaviour..
  • REP circularity and End of Life
    Demonstrate the infinite recyclability and end-of-life solutions of the REP polymers by developing suitable detection, sorting, recycling and upcycling techniques.
  • Exploitation, communication and dissemination
    Demonstrate the expected impact of REP in terms of strengthening market opportunities and manufacturing capacities in the EU in short to medium term.

Technical Readiness Level

Level 1
Product demonstration

Eureka moment in the head






The Value Chain

Steps in the value chain

Transitioning from lineair to circular

Raw material production

and use


  • 1

    Raw Material

  • 2

    Monomer production

  • 3

    Polymer production

  • 4

    Plastic conversion

  • 5

    Production of plastic products

  • 6


  • 7

    Collection/ sorting and recycling

  • 8

    End of life

Bio-based value chain The Project B4Plastics 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8

Raw material production

1 Raw material

Sugar-rich waste exstracted from sugar beets.

The REPurpose Project has received funding from the European Union under Grant Agreement No:101057971.

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