Do biodegradable food packaging films from agro-food waste pay off? A cost-benefit analysis in the context of Europe

Gianmaria Tassinari*, Andrea Bassani, Giorgia Spigno, Claudio Soregaroli, Dušan Drabik

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

Bio-based polymers are increasingly attracting attention as a solution to reducing the consumption of non-renewable resources and curbing the accumulation of fossil-based plastic waste. In this study, we analyze the economics of a new packaging film based on a polylactic acid–polyhydroxybutyrate blend (PLA-PHB), with PHB obtained from agro-industrial residues (potato peels). We model various sizes of biorefineries using the new biotechnology in Europe. For a four-year payback period, which is generally accepted in the industry, the calculated minimum product selling price ranges from 9.7 euros per kilogram to 37.2 euros per kilogram, depending, among other factors, on the production capacity of the biorefinery. We have incorporated the uncertainty over the model parameters in a Monte Carlo simulation and investigated the relative impact of individual factors on the minimum product selling price. Overall, the results indicate that the bio-based feedstock availability is the most influential factor on the profitability of the new biotechnology.

Original languageEnglish
Article number159101
JournalScience of the Total Environment
Volume856
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 15 Jan 2023

Keywords

  • Bioplastics
  • Circular bioeconomy
  • Resource management
  • Sustainability
  • Techno-economic analysis

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