Gruppo CAP, the water utility company managing the integrated water service in the Milan metropolitan area, and bioplastics manufacturer Novamont have signed an agreement in which both companies commit to putting into practice the principles of the circular economy and the bioeconomy.
To that end, the two companies have identified a series of potential projects, the first of which are the ecodesign of microplastics for the cosmetics industry and the production of raw materials from wastewater, at which their joint research efforts will be targeted.
The former project will add an important element to the construction of a model of sustainable development and focus on studying the impact of these products on treatment plants and sludge, with particular reference to the definition of environmental sustainability parameters in relation to water quality.
The research into the production of raw materials obtainable from wastewater follows from the Gruppo CAP’s current work at its plants on the recovery and enhancement of products and by-products derived from sewage sludge, such as PHA materials.
PHAs are well-known biodegradable plastics, which are obtained through the bacterial fermentation of sugars and lipids; Gruppo CAP’s research, supported by Novamont’s experience and technological know-how, aims to demonstrate the feasibility of producing PHAs from urban sludge on an industrial scale thanks to naturally occurring microbial populations.
The public/private synergy, of which Gruppo CAP and Novamont are an excellent example today, is ‘the key to finding innovative solutions’ to reuse waste and convert to new resources, according to president and CEO of Gruppo CAP, Alessandro Russo. “We at CAP want to capture the great opportunities that technology and research can offer us, to create new models of development that are environmentally conscious and aimed at a sustainable management of resources.”
“We are particularly pleased to be able to collaborate with the CAP Group on the development of technologies capable of regenerating natural resources such as water and soil, two essential resources for life and which human activities put at risk. A further example of the bioeconomy as a bridge and accelerator of innovation between different sectors,” said Catia Bastioli, CEO of Novamont.