Impact

img01The LEGUVAL project will result in improved practices in the legumes, plastic and packaging and biogas industries as well as their end users such as food and cosmetic manufacturers.

The project will provide a new offering of both cost effective and performance biodegradable packaging solutions that reduces environmental pollution, and of functional packaging that extends the shelf life of the packed goods. Due to its heightened sustainability (thanks to the use of renewable raw materials which are in fact waste by-products from the legumes industry, do not compete with food and reduce the dependence on fossil resources ensuring a long-term supply), the resulting bioplastics will also have potential for use in other sectors. The valorisation of each co- and by-product of the legume industry represents a real breakthrough for the SME members of the participating SME-AGs and will go a long way towards boosting their competitiveness in tune with growing demand among producers and consumers for high quality, high performance plastic products that are environmentally friendly and cheap, easily available source of raw material for biogas production. In short, the use of legume-derived protein in multi-layer films and of the biomass as a component in plastic based materials will enable the SME legume producers to reduce the volumes of waste to be disposed in landfill or incinerated. Coatings and films based on protein will allow used packaging to be disposed of in compost plans or used for biogas production. Similarly, in agriculture at the end of harvest, protein-based plastics could be left on the ground as a biodegradable nitrogen source. Moreover, legume proteins will also be exploited to obtain edible packaging such as films and coating for foods. The biomass left over the protein extraction will be investigated as a filler in biodegradable composite plastic materials for agriculture and packaging applications, these will also increase the profitable range of products from wastes of legumes industry.