STEPS is a research program with a vision of a future society where plastics are sustainably produced, used and recycled

STEPS goal is to facilitate this transition by sharing innovation, knowledge and findings between academia, industry and society. STEPS partners include Lund University, Swedish Agricultural University, Swerea IVF, and 18 industrial partners and County council of Scania county of Sweden representing the entire value chains in a sustainable plastics system.

STEPS is looking for sustainable solutions throughout the value chain from renewable feedstock, conversion and design to post-consumer plastic waste handling. STEPS concept is to design sustainable plastics with desired material properties and life-cycle by matching suitable carbon-neutral building blocks.


WP1 has focus on production of polyester building blocks from renewable feedstocks including surplus biomass streams and carbon dioxide. Importance is given to issues such as feedstock security, and clean and cost-efficient process technologies for transformation and product recovery.

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WP2 combines suitable bio-based building blocks from WP1 to produce “drop-in” as well as novel poly-esters that will be characterized and evaluated for target applications such as fibres, coatings, packaging and films. Modified natural polymers are also evaluated as components in plastic formualtions. Key features of the polyesters would be improved barrier properties and thermal stability, recyclability or complete biodegradability.

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WP3 has the main task to assess potential transition pathways to develop research-based advice on policy and industrial strategies for sustainability in the longer term. Governance and policy implications for a circular plastics economy are addressed, including social dimensions and the roles and responsibilities of key actors.






  • STEPS in Framtidens Forskning
    ”Our vision is a future society where plastics are produced, used and recycled in a sustainable way,” says Rajni Hatti-Kaul, Professor of …
  • The Plastic Challenge
      Tobias Nielsen and Eva Svensson Myrin talked about the plastic challenge at Ideon Science Park today! Tobias pointed at the plastics …
  • STEPS @ Lunds Hållbarhetsvecka
    Linda Zellner (Perstorp) and Tobias Nelsen (Political science, Lund University) talked about sustainable use of plastics at the seminar Tänk om plast …

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Listen to WP2 leader Linda Zellner, Director of Innovation – Materials, Feed & Food at Perstorp (in Swedish)

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– a knowledge platform to support a sustainable technological development in bioplastics –