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STEPS – Sustainable Plastics and Transition Pathways

STEPS' research programme started in autumn 2016 after being awarded the funding for Mistra´s call of proposals on “Plastics in a Sustainable Society”.

The program, with strong support from important stakeholders, has a vision of a future society in which plastics are sustainably developed, produced, used and recycled in a circular economy. STEPS is planned in close dialogue with industrial partners, and thus reflects the market needs for sustainable plastic systems both on a short-term and long-term basis.

It is based on the concept of designing eco-friendly plastics with desired material properties by matching appropriate carbon-neutral building blocks and their derivatives. The main focus is on polyesters, which represent a plastics group with varying properties for wide range of applications and a sizable global market.

STEPS' ambition is to play a key role in instigating and accelerating this sustainability transition by strengthening the knowledge and research base for technology- and product development and innovation, developing and assessing key niche products with industrial partners, and analysing the sustainability, institutional and policy implications of potential transition pathways.

Project website:


  • Lund University (lead)
  • Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Alnarp
  • IKEA of Sweden AB
  • Bona
  • IKEM - Innovations- och Kemiindustrierna i Sverige
  • Lyckeby Starch AB
  • Nordzucker AG
  • Orkla Foods
  • Perstorp AB
  • Svensk Etanolkemi AB (SEKAB)
  • Södra
  • Electrolux
  • Hans Andersson Plastics
  • Flextrus AB
  • Clariant
  • Bioprocess Control AB
  • General Plastics Scandinavia AB (GPS)
  • SYSAV Utvecklings AB
  • Region Skåne