Environmental pollution is one of the most visible and talked-about phenomena of the 21st century. NanoPack and Eco-Drive are two of the Israeli initiatives that are taking on this challenge
Whether in water, in the air or on land, pollution resulting from human-generated waste has become a major threat to the world we live in. As a response to this problem, the European Commission has adopted the Zero-Pollution Action Plan.
Among the Plan's features are preservation of biodiversity in Europe's lakes, rivers and wetlands, reduction of particularly harmful pollution from micro-plastics and pharmaceuticals, a review of air quality standards to conform to World Health Organization guidelines, a new chemicals strategy for a toxic-free environment, reduced industrial pollution, support for local authorities to achieve cleaner air, development of sustainable alternatives, and improved regulation of substances released onto the market.
Pioneering Food Packaging
Every year, we throw away or waste a staggering 1.3 billion tonnes of spoiled food, causing not only major economic loss but also significant harm to natural resources.
Researchers from the EU-funded NanoPack project have found a solution for extending food shelf life by using smart antimicrobial surfaces applied to active food packaging. They are now conducting five pilot production runs of this new polymer composite, based on tiny nanotube formations, to test its technical, industrial and commercial viability.
Working at the nanoscale, the team is able to form tiny materials based on natural ‘halloysite nanotubes’ (HNTs), which act as reliable and safe carriers that can deliver minute amounts of an EU-approved bioactive agent or oil to stop food from going bad or becoming moldy. Due to their minuscule size, HNTs are unable to migrate from the food packaging into food itself, which makes them a safe and natural preservative.
Pioneering antimicrobial food packaging not only improves food safety and reduces food waste – major societal challenges – but also has the potential to boost European competitiveness and manufacturing growth.
NanoPack, that will minimize the amount of preservatives required to maintain freshness, add value and assure safety to the entire supply chain, prevent foodborne illness outbreaks and reduce food waste caused by early spoilage, represents a call for an integrative response to the food waste challenge. As Prof. Esty Segal, NanoPack Coordinator from the Department of Biotechnology and Food Engineering at the Technion says: "Developing technologies to reduce food waste by extending its shelf life will be instrumental in achieving the ambitious aims of EU green deal. And yet, existing gaps are not just scientific but also regulatory."
Project Acronym: NanoPack
Grant agreement ID: 720815
EU contribution: € 7,665,218
Start date: 1 May 2019; End date: 30 September 2019
Topic(s): PILOTS-02-2016 - Pilot Line Manufacturing of Nanostructured Antimicrobial Surfaces using Advanced Nanosurface Functionalization Technologies
Call for proposal: H2020-NMBP-PILOTS-2016
Coordinator: Technion - Israel Institute of Technology (Israel)
ther Isreali participants: Carmel Olefins Ltd; AGORA P.S.V.D
> CORDIS link
Whether in water, in the air or on land, pollution resulting from human-generated waste has become a major threat to the world we live in. Backed by ISERD, two Israeli initiatives are now taking on this challenge
Aerosol dispensers have serious drawbacks, stemming from the presence of pressurized and, in most cases, combustible gas. The use of pressurized gas requires pressurized packages that must be rigid and cylindrical. The gas, metal and chemicals used are harmful to health and to the environment, have inherent safety issues, and incur high manufacturing, transportation and handling costs.
Changes in consumer shopping habits and growing awareness of sustainability are driving the €9 billion global aerosol packaging market to look for a gas-free alternative to aerosols that is cheaper, safer, more eco-friendly and that allows a wider variety of package forms.
GreenSpense has developed Eco-Drive, a cost-effective alternative to aerosol packages that eliminates their environmental, health and safety issues, opens a new world of recyclable packaging design and brand differentiation opportunities, and can be seamlessly implemented on existing production lines.
The product, that uses flexible plastics or cardboard, provides an aerosol-like dispensing experience with many significant advantages as Amir Biran, one of the company's founders explains: "we have developed an alternative energy source to the gas used in traditional aerosol products, making our product both safer and cleaner. This, coupled with the significantly lower CO2 emissions involved in recycling the packaging materials, makes Eco-Drive a perfect example of the product needed to achieve the goals of the Green Deal."
The product has already gained significant interest from European and international customers and aims to address the strong market demand for a gas-free and pressure-free continuous dispensing package.
Project Acronym: Eco-Drive 2 Market
Grant agreement: 848907
EU contribution: € 1,376,812
Start date: 1 April 2019; End date: 31 March 2021
Topic(s): EIC-SMEInst-2018-2020 - SME instrument
Call for proposal: H2020-SMEInst-2018-2020-2
Coordinator: GreenSpense Ltd
> CORDIS link