STEPS – Sustainable Plastics and Transition Pathways

STEPS goal is to facilitate this transition by sharing innovation, knowledge and findings between academia, industry and society. STEPS partners include Lund University, University of Copenhagen, RISE IVF, IVL, 21 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.

Recently published articles and reports from STEPS

Oil companies are ploughing money into fossil-fuelled plastics production at a record rate – new research
Download the article at
Read a popular science text discussing the issue published in The Conversation.

STEPS public opinion survey on plastics policies shows high support for stricter regulation on plastic
Read the report and the recommendations from the researchers.

Related news on sustainable plastics

Effekter av plastpåsskatten: mindre plast – mer papper, visar en studie från Naturvårdsverket.
Lär mer på

UN member states agreed on the adoption of a mandate for an International Negotiating Committee (INC) to develop a legally binding UN Treaty on plastic pollution.
Read the story on

Ocean plastic pollution to quadruple by 2050 says newey published report commissioned by WWF.
Read here the report “Impacts of pastic polution on the oceans on marine species, biodiversity and ecosystems”.

Total Corbion PLA has launched the world’s first commercially available chemically recycled bioplastics product
Read the press release through this link.

IKEA fokuserar på pappersbaserat
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Lars J Nilsson

Professor Lars J Nilsson chosen for top EU climate position

2022-04-01One of the 15 appointed experts of the new European Scientific Advisory Board on Climate Change, that will independently review the EU’s climate work and provide advice on appropriate climate measures and goals, is Lars J Nilsson, professor of Environmental and Energy Systems at Lund University: In Mistra STEPS he is the work package leader for Governing the transition towards a sustainable plastic system.

“I am excited to start this work. We will advise on climate measures that are implemented by the EU and the climate goals that are set”, says Lars J Nilsson, who primarily will contribute with his expertise on the decarbonization of the basics materials industry.”

The new council is a consequence of EU legislation, which stipulates that an independent climate science council must be established.

Read more: Lund professor chosen for top EU climate position | Lund University
New European Scientific Advisory Board on Climate Change appointed — European Environment Agency (

Annual Report 2021_ cover simulation

 Read about STEPS achievements during 2021!

2022-03-30. The report contains messages from our board and management, interviews with researchers and industry partners, our publications and selected highlights and media coverage.

“The year 2021 will be remembered in history as a period when the world was in the grip of Covid-19 pandemic for the second year, resulting in the loss of many precious lives, but also in the development of the vaccines made available at an extraordinary pace. A proof of human ingenuity and resilience! One would have thought that the plastic pollution issue, although having been discussed for several years, would end up in the back seat, but the European Commission followed up on the Single-Use Plastics Directive passed in 2019, to ban several commonly found plastic items in the European coastal areas. And earlier this year, a legally binding global treaty to end plastic pollution was agreed upon by 175 nations.”

Read the annual report here.


Oil companies are ploughing money into fossil-fuelled plastics production at a record rate – new research

2021-11-03. The biggest international plastic and chemical companies are struggling as the rest of the industry shifts. Instead of green investments in recycling and bio-based plastics, new investments are being made to expand fossil-based activities. This according to new research that have mapped the companies’ rate of expansion over the past decade. The article “Plastic dinosaurs – Digging deep into the accelerating carbon lock-in of plastics” by Fredric Bauer and Germain Fontenit is published in the journal Energy Policy. Download the article at

Read a popular science text discussing the issue published in The Conversation.

Read the press release.



Petrochemicals and climate change

24 May 2022, 15:00 CEST, Webinar

With the risk of climate breakdown becoming ever more pressing as the world is on track for 2.7 degrees warming, pressure is increasing on all sectors of the economy to break with fossil fuel dependence and mitigate climate change. In this context, the chemical industry and the production of important basic chemicals is a key sector to consider. This webinar presents the key findings from a new report co-authored by an interdisciplinary team of researchers from Lund University and ETH Zurich. The findings and implications of the report will be discussed with an expert panel.

Read more about the event and register to the webinar here.

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PhD thesis defence

25 May 2022, 9 am, KC:B Chemical Centre, Lund & Zoom

STEPS PhD student Niklas Warlin defends his thesis Towards sugar- and lignin-based polyesters and polyurethanes with enhanced properties.


STEPS spring programme meeting

31 May – 1 June, Bäckaskog Slott, Fjälkinge

STEPS consortium will meet for a lunch-to-lunch programme meeting in the beautiful North-east side of Skåne. Program and practical info will be sent to registered participants.

Mistra summerar

Ingen kommer undan plasten

Vägar mot en mer hållbar plastanvändning

Mistra Summerar aims at summarising the research funded by Mistra.
“Ingen kommer undan plasten” is a book describing pathways to a more sutainable use of plastics.
Download and read the book “Ingen kommer undan plasten” here.