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, 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.

Karl Holmberg2021

”I find plastics fascinating”

2021-07-02. In autumn 2020, Karl Holmberg started his PhD research in STEPS. He has already co-authored a number of research articles, together with STEPS researchers, focusing on the relationship between plastics and politics, and plastics in art. In his PhD, he will investigate plastics and its wider role in society.

– I want to dig deeper into our everyday culture but also economic and political interests and how it relates to plastic use. We cannot solve the issues of plastics with technological improvements alone, but we need to also work on behavior, expectations and influences in society for us to achieve a sustainable transition of the sector.

 Read the interview here. 

Satabdee

“We want to highlight the last step in the plastics chain.”

2021-07-02. Sysav has been part of STEPS since the programme started in 2016. Sysav stands for Sydskåne’s waste company and is owned by 14 Scanian municipalities. In 2020, Sysav received and treated a total of 825,000 tonnes of waste.

– All plastics ends up with us in the end. But we are not always visible in the discussions about plastics. Being part of STEPS gives us the opportunity to be involved and influence, says Ellen Lindblad, project manager at Sysav Utveckling.

Read the interview here. 

Oliver Englund Örn

“I have freedom to develop my own ideas – in using biotechnology to create plastic monomers”

2021-07-02. Oliver Englund Örn always knew he wanted to do a PhD in biotechnology. The biggest pull was the freedom to develop his own ideas, and his own critical thinking.

Today, he is four years into his research on how to produce sustainable aromatic building blocks for plastics, in STEPS work package one.

– I like the complexity of biotechnology. You can do so much with it. That really excites me. There is a lot that needs to happen to create a monomer from a single cell!

Read the interview here.

John
“We are part of STEPS as part of our effort to secure sugar beet production in Sweden.”

2021-07-02. Nordic Sugar has been part of the STEPS since 2016. They are part of Nordzucker Group – one of the world’s larger producers of sugar from beet and cane.

– Sugar beet has the potential to be a very good feedstock for plastics. It has a very high yield compared to other crops and the leakage of nitrat to the environment is very low, says John P Jensen, working in QIPS (Quality, Innovation & Production Support) at Nordic Sugar.

For him, being part of STEPS, offers many benefits for the company. One of them is of course the knowledge exchange between the researchers and the partners. Another is the opportunity to monitor how sugar potentially can be utilized as a sustainable feedstock in the future.

Read the interview here.

Ellen Lindblad_Project leader_Sysav Utveckling AB

“We want to highlight the last step in the plastics chain.”

2021-07-02. Sysav has been part of STEPS since the programme started in 2016. Sysav stands for Sydskåne’s waste company and is owned by 14 Scanian municipalities. In 2020, Sysav received and treated a total of 825,000 tonnes of waste.

– All plastics ends up with us in the end. But we are not always visible in the discussions about plastics. Being part of STEPS gives us the opportunity to be involved and influence, says Ellen Lindblad, project manager at Sysav Utveckling.

Read the interview here. 

Ihreborn170118pm1-1

It is in our DNA to work with environmental issues

2021-06-18. Jonas Ihreborn AB is a Swedish furniture company with its own production in Värnamo, Småland. The company is run by Jonas Ihreborn – third generation furniture manufacturer – and produces timeless furniture with a long duration for a sustainable future. Since 2020, the company is part of STEPS.

– Ever since I was young, I have been interested in environmental issues. In the 70’s when I was growing up it was very dirty and polluted which made me want to contribute and make a difference. Being part of STEPS is part of this.

Read the interview here.

Illustration_FINAL_slutkorr

 Read about STEPS achievements during 2020!

2021-03-31. The report contains messages from our board and management, interviews with researchers and industry partners, our publications and selected highlights and media coverage.

“Our continuation as a research programme comes at a time when research on plastics and its impacts on society, is more important than ever. In the second phase, our ambition is to intensify academia-industry cooperation to generate knowledge and to co-develop and evaluate carbon-neutral plastic products for specific target-applications, with an inherent consideration for circular economy.”

Read the annual report here.

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.