Ana M. López-Periago's main research lines include:
The coordinator of the Platform is Auxiliadora Prieto (CIB-CSIC). The other institutes that participate in the platform are: Instituto de Ciencia y Tecnología de Polímeros (ICTP-CSIC), Centro Nacional de Biotecnología (CNB-CSIC), Instituto de Agroquímica y Tecnología de los Alimentos (IATA-CSIC), Instituto de Ciencia de Materiales de Sevilla (ICMSE-CSIC), Instituto de Ciencia de Materiales de Barcelona (ICMAB-CSIC), Instituto de Biología Integrativa de Sistemas (I2SysBio), Instituto Nacional del Carbón (INCAR-CSIC). Therefore, SusPlast cas representatives in Madrid, Valencia, Barcelona, Sevilla and Oviedo.
SusPlast promotes collaboration between CSIC experts and its national and international partners, focusing on bringing together scientific and industry experts to address plastic pollution in Spain and Europe. In this sense, the SusPlast platform already has the support of public sector partners (industry, SMEs, technical research centres and associations).
The impact on health and the environment of products made of plastic materials and used on a daily basis is one of the main concerns of many European citizens. The European Union is working towards a circular economy in the plastics sector, so that industry, governments and citizens work together to reduce plastic pollution in the environment, especially in seas and oceans. In January 2018, the European Commission published the "European Strategy for Plastics in a Circular Economy", whose objectives include making all plastic packaging on the EU market recyclable or reusable by 2030.
Therefore, the main objective of SusPlast is the development of research and innovation activities about the production and recycling processes of plastics, by means of mechanical, chemical and biotechnological strategies that allow to obtain a plastics management based on the circular economy. This platform of national origin will provide a valuable opportunity to discuss and address the current challenges related to plastics pollution and assess the suitability of the measures established by the EU to achieve a "circular" plastics economy.
The SusPlast platform concept is built on three pillars encompassing:
- Biotechnology and cutting-edge technologies for systems and synthetic biology to provide new biochemical routes for the synthesis of bio-based building-blocks for sustainable bioplastics production, or for biodegradation or reutilization of existing fossil-derived plastics;
- Polymer chemistry, for newly synthesized novel plastics designed to favour recycling or made from alternative raw materials;
- Social and public awareness issues, including dissemination, teaching and training activities on this topic.
The SusPlast platform starts from the valorization of waste and residues, extraction of monomers, plasticizers, additives, etc. for the novel synthesis of polymers (plastics) and finally terminates with the process of composting to end the life-cycle of the new developed materials, thus going along the whole plastics value chain and demonstrating a real circular approach.
The SusPlast general work package distribution and the involvement of the participating CSIC groups is illustrated in this figure: