The EU Green Week is one of the main European events dedicated to environmental policy, which takes place yearly. In 2021, the priority was given to “Zero pollution for healthier people and planet. In that context, from May 31 to June 4, 2021, various virtual events – including the Opening Event in Lahti (Finland), 4 days of conferences and several virtual stands hosted by prestigious groups and institutions – were organized. The following article describes how the SSUCHY project and its associated public-private partnership, the BBI-JU program, contribute to Zero Pollution Ambitions.
This year, the European Green week focused on the ‘zero pollution ambition’. It was articulated around the EU Action Plan toward a Zero Pollution Ambition. Other relevant European Green Deal initiatives were also discussed, such as climate initiatives, the upcoming Chemicals Strategy, as well as initiatives in the fields of energy, industry, mobility, agriculture, fisheries, health and biodiversity. During the whole week, discussions focused on the role of EU policies in moving towards a toxic-free environment across the EU while creating jobs and sustainable growth. Topics such as better monitoring and reporting, prevention and remediation of pollution from the air, water, soil, and consumer products were raised.
The SSUCHY project focuses on developing hemp-based fiber reinforcement based. Indeed, hemp is a very interesting plant for various reasons and environmentally friendly characteristics: easy to grow on marginal lands (low nutrients & water demands), low production costs, high resistance and good mechanical performances, which should lead to a competitive price for. The use of hemp plant fibers, which are from renewable sources, do not only aim to reduce the environmental impact of fiber reinforcements compared to their carbon and glass counterpart but will also reduce the cost and increase the technical properties of composites.
Moreover, harnessing the intrinsic properties of plant fibers for use in high-value niche markets will encourage the development of hemp cultivation which will help to store CO2 and create local jobs in rural areas through the relocation of hemp fibres transformation factories in Europe.
Keeping in mind that bio-based does not necessarily mean better for the environment, the project will conduct LCAs to find the best solutions for both polymers and fiber reinforcement. Last but not least, the results of SSUCHY’s research could help redesign certain concepts as they move to demonstration and full industrial scale.
Following the significant impact of the current BBI-JU, its founding partners, the EU and the Bio-based Industry Consortium (BIC), have come up with an even more ambitious plan: the Circular Bio-based Europe (CBE) . This new partnership will continue to foster collaboration between the scientific community and industry for 2021-2027 and aims to contribute to the EU’s climate objectives in line with the European Green Deal.
CBE will build on the achievements of the BBI-JU and will actively support the deployment of biorefineries in Europe. It will also reinforce its environmental protection objectives, including biodiversity, by defining and implementing relevant environmental and socioeconomic indicators. To fulfil that ambition, the program will continue to involve various stakeholders, notably primary producers and end-users.
More information about the Zero pollution action plan: https://ec.europa.eu/environment/strategy/zero-pollution-action-plan_en
Take a watch at “The 2030 EU Biodiversity Strategy”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AkOaRmWi0Cg