Spain-based plastics technology centre AIMPLAS has developed a plastic film from used coffee grounds, as part of the European WaysTUP! Project.

Financed by the Horizon H2020 programme, the WaysTUP! Project is focused on transforming waste into high-value products.

The project will involve the conversion of different forms of urban biowaste, including fish and meat waste, and used coffee grounds and cooking oil, into biobased products such as food additives, condiments, insect protein, bioethanol, biosolvents and bioplastics for packaging.

It “aims to improve the current perception of citizens and local communities about the importance of urban biowaste as a resource.”

Polyhydroxyalkanoate (PHA) from restaurant coffee grounds, which were collected by Bio-Bean, have been used by AIMPLAS to produce the biobased plastic film.

It was first formulated to be processed through extrusion. Later, the film was produced for use in different types of flexible packaging.

The project’s principal investigator at AIMPLAS, Nuria López, said: “WaysTUP! is a clear example of how biowaste can play an important role in the transition towards a circular economy by avoiding biowaste generation and harnessing its potential as a source of high-value secondary resources.

“In our case, we’re transforming coffee waste into plastic film for packaging. Meanwhile, other project partners, such as SAV – Agricultores de la Vega de Valencia, are project coordinating partners responsible for recovering waste to produce food additives, feed and oils for the food and cosmetic industries.”