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.


Plastics and sustainable investments
Today in Stockholm STEPS people met leading Swedish fund managers Öhman and Lannebo to discuss plastics and sustainable investments. The
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Study visit at MAXIV
STEPS industrial and academic partners were engaged in a study visit at MAXIV today. Interesting to discover how this World-leding
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STEPS in panel debate at Lund University
Lowering the climate impact of plastic materials was the main theme of the panel debate held at Lund University today.
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STEPS at Almedalen – event with Lund University
Plastics is an extremely flexible material, extends the durability of food, is used as an insulator in cables for transmission
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STEPS at Almedalen – event with Mistra
The unique properties of plastic have made it an incredibly popular material. We find it in everything from toys and
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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,
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Pathways to sustainable plastics
– A discussion brief

A short introduction to STEPS research programme

What is plastic?

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

STEPS is funded by