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
Läs mer i artikeln via denna länk till

Photo Lars Mortensen

Important to link plastic to climate change

2022-04-30. I was very honoured to join the board of MISTRA STEPS in 2021. I have followed the programme for some time and think it is a leading research project in the EU on sustainable and circular plastics.

With my background as an economist and working at the European Environmental Agency, EEA, the policy relevant pathways aspects of the programme are closest to me. In this area, I can help with advice and EU and global perspectives on the plastics agenda. I also value a lot the parts of the programme that I know in less detail and learn a lot from – mainly the chemical and technical aspects of plastics and its lifecycle.

Read the full interview here.

Omar Abdulaziz_cropped

With love for the complex lignin molecule

2022-04-30. A curiosity for working on renewable energy sources was a driver for Omar Abdelaziz when he had the chance to work with this during his studies in his home country Egypt. Although Egypt is an oil-driven society, relying mostly on fossil energy sources, there are initiatives to find more sustainable solutions. He looked for positions as a PhD focusing on biorefineries and moved to Lund in 2015.

Read the full interview here.

Img Tam Nguyen in lab 2
I hope to see my ideas and work for sustainable solutions considered in the real world

2022-04-30. Tam Nguyen has a strong motivation in his work, coming from Vietnam – a country that is producing a lot of plastic waste and being part of the young generation that understands the need to find new solutions. He looked for opportunities in a developed country and the choice happened to be Sweden, first Stockholm and KTH for his Masters in Macromolecular materials and then Lund University for his PhD.

Read the full interview here.


Är mindre plaster lösningen – STEPS i Almedalen den 4 juli

2022-06-28. Den 4 juli deltar Mistra STEPS tillsammans med Mistra REES vid Mistras träffpunkt och seminarium för att diskutera vad företagen, användarna och experter tycker om hur vi ska minska den negativa påverkan av plaster. Kan mindre antal plaster vara en lösning?
Läs mer här.

Mattias Lindahl, Professor, Mistra REES och Linköpings universitet; Åsa Stenmarck, Materialflödesexpert, Naturvårdsverket; Jenny Fagerland, Projektledare, SIS – Svenska institutet för standarder; Leif Nilsson, Expert, Arla Plast; Karl Holmberg, Doktorand, Mistra Steps och Lunds universitet

Seminarium: Är mindre antal plaster en lösning? Vad tycker företagen, användarna och experter?
Dag och tid: Måndagen den 4 juli kl. 15.00-15.30
Plats: St Hansgatan 11, Gamla Riksbanken, Visby

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.


Aerial view at the countryside with wind power

STEPS informs – focus on WP1

7 October 2022, 14:00-15:00. Venue TBD


STEPS board meeting

19 September 2022, Polykemi, Ystad

Anonymous group of people walking across a pedestrian crosswalk on a New York City street with a glowing sunset light shining in the background

STEPS informs – focus on WP3

2 September 2022, 14:00-15:00. Venue TBD

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.