green and renewable energy concept for ecology web banner

Dr Hana Mušinović, from international natural cosmetics standards body NATRUE, will be talking at next month’s Natural & Organic Products Europe on one of the hottest topics for the natural beauty sector – how can the natural beauty industry lead by example in sustainable packaging?

In Plastics & Natural Cosmetics: reuse, renew, recycle or replace? Dr Mušinović (pictured), will highlight an innovative new project that NATRUE is closely involved with, transforming urban waste into marketable bio-products. 

NATRUE says that lowering waste and reducing environmental impact, as well as respect for sustainable biodiversity, are concerns that motivate its commitment to guaranteeing the vital continuity of high quality natural and organic beauty products. 

URBIOFIN has been established to demonstrate the techno-economic and environmental viability of an innovative bio-refinery for the transformation of the organic fraction of Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) into new bio-based products and biopolymers that could be used for packaging.

Today in Europe each consumer generates on average 500kg of municipal solid waste (MSW) per year. Around 40-50% of that is bio waste (from food). This organic fraction mainly contains carbohydrates, proteins and lipids, which are all useful raw materials that can be converted into valuable products. 

NATRUE says that valorisation of this bio waste will not only help avoid greenhouse gas emissions and pollution, but also contribute to the transition from a linear to a circular renewable economy. Digestion and composting contribute to the reduction of the biodegradable fraction of MSW sent to landfill. 

New bio-based products obtained from waste treatment could contribute to environmental and socio-economical sustainability, producing marketable products for the agriculture and cosmetics industries for example. URBIOFIN will demonstrate the techno-economic and environmental feasibility of conversion at a semi-industrial scale (10 tonnes/day) into products such as: 

  • bioethanol produced from plants that could be used as an alternative to petrol 
  • biogas to be used as biofuel
  • biopolymers such as polyhydroyalkanoates which are a class of polyesters, or other bio-composites which could be used for cosmetic and hygiene packaging, or for use as agricultural bio-plastics and household bags, or bioethylene which can be used to make sustainable plastics
  • bio-additives such as microalgae to be used as agricultural bio-fertilisers 

The URBIOFIN Consortium is composed of 16 partners from different sectors of industry including NATRUE, Waste Management, Bio-processing Technologies, Bio-products, Bio-materials, Biofuels, Municipal Solid Waste, industrial processes and integration, together with universities and research organisations. 

Plastics & Natural Cosmetics: reuse, renew, recycle or replace? presented by Dr Hana Mušinović, will take place at 13.00 on Sunday 7 April 2019 in the Natural Beauty Theatre at Natural & Organic Products Europe, ExCel, London.