BIOWEG is funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF):
Title: Development of biobased & biodegradable Rheology Modifier to replace liquid microplastics (acrylic (co)polymers) for consumer & personal care market.
Brief Description of the Project
Synthetic polymers (liquid microplastics) such as acrylic (co) polymers, polyethylene, polystyrene, carbomers, etc. are essential ingredients in the formulation for personal care products and cosmetics. They are used as rheology modifiers (thickeners, stabilizers, film formers, emulsifiers, etc) to control the flowability of the product and give it a gel formulation. Most of these rheology modifiers are based on fossil fuels, are not biodegradable, and eventually enter the aquatic environment or our food chain through wastewater treatment plants.
It is estimated that a total of 15 to 51 trillion microplastic particles have accumulated in the ocean, with between 80,000 and 219,000 tons of microplastics entering the sea from Europe each year. Liquid microplastics in cosmetics pose the same threat to the environment as solid ones. Scientists, policymakers and the public are increasingly concerned about where and in what handling microplastic residues can be found. Uncertainties about their impact, hazards, and risks to our environment and human health are high.
The goal of this project is to develop microbial cellulose as a replacement for liquid microplastics using an advanced material.