When does biodegradation makes ecological sense? Are there already suitable materials for such applications? What are the conditions in market economy?

These and further questions are going to be answered within the project "BioSinn – products for which biodegradation makes sense".
Together with the university of Stuttgart's department Institut für Kunststofftechnik (Institute for Plastics Technology) nova-Institute is investigating which plastic products, even when used correctly, often remain in the environment or nature and thus cannot be collected for recycling or thermal use.
For such applications, biodegradation can be a viable end-of-life option. Examples of such products are materials used in agriculture and forestry or consumer products such as lawn trimmer threads, coffee capsules or even film for dishwasher tabs.
Lawn trimmer threats
coffee capsules
The result of the project will be a guide for decision makers in industry and politics including 25 product profiles of the most relevant applications. For each product it will be explained to what extent biodegradation is a feasable option and what substitutions are available for a more sustainable use of plastics.
The project also aims to show the potential for biodegradable plastics, which has often been overlooked up to now because public debate is largely focused on packaging. These can usually be collected and recyled. BioSinn is therefore concentrating precisely on those applications in which collection is not or hardly possible in practice. 
The project will be accompanied by experts, which will help to identify suitable applications and discuss the substitution by biodegradable materials. 
Duration of the project is one and a half year (November 2019 until April 2021), experts are involved online, via telephone calls and three workshops.