Area analysis degradability

The area analysis is concluded (conducted between January and May 2022). 

Read the report (in Swedish)

This area analysis aimed to highlight what is known about bio-based materials with a focus on plastics, from natural or synthetic bio-based polymers, and their (bio)degradability, and how degradability or biodegradability in different environments is tested, measured and certified. Also, which demands for knowledge and methods exists among the stakeholders in the circular bioeconomy. The work was conducted in in the context of what is applied to fossil-based polymeric materials. 

The work was carried out partly through literature review, partly through stakeholder dialogues where opportunities and challenges are identified, and through round table discussions with the aim of analysing and identifying strategic development needs and future opportunities. 

The project objectives were to: 

  1. Map the state of knowledge. How is degradability of bio-based materials defined? What nomenclature is used? (e.g. packaging, adhesives and agri-textiles).
  2. Map and compile ongoing national and international initiatives and projects. The research front and key stakeholders.
  3. Map and analyse the development needs of industry through stakeholder dialogues. In this case, industry can be described as research institutions, material manufacturers, product owners and authorities.
  4. Create a picture of which new directives, nationally and internationally (EU), concerning targets for circularity, climate and the environment will affect the issue of (bio)degradability.
  5. Identify which methods exist, which standards can be used, when they can be used, and which need to be developed.
  6. Conduct round table discussions where the identified development needs are discussed and established.
  7. A report summarising the process and the consolidated strategic development needs.

Expected results and impacts 

  • The work resulted in a report that, among other things, highlights the following: 
  • Understanding of the expertise in the field within Sweden. 
  • Driving forces prioritising the understanding of degradability. 
  • Understanding of which knowledge and which methods are needed when designing new sustainable material concepts. 
  • Understanding of which competences need to cooperate to develop the field. 
  • Development needs. 
  • Need for methods, standards and certification, as well as criteria for describing, documenting and verifying business offers and sustainability propositions. 

Framsida för rapport om nedbrytbarhetRead the report Biodegradable Plastics Area Analysis (pdf in Swedish). 

Stakeholder, budget and timeline 

The assignment was carried out by Trossa between January and May 2022 with a total budget of 405 000 SEK. 

Presentation of the project at the BioInnovation programme conference in June 2022 (in Swedish):


Steering Committes

Håkan Björnberg – Perstorp (PB)
Minna Hakkarainen – Royal Institute of Technology
John Sandström – Sandstorm (TE)