University of Oulu

Keränen, Outi, Lehtimäki, Tuula & Pohjosenperä, Timo (2021) Deliverable D6.7 : report on the value chain analysis. Council of Europe.

Deliverable D6.7 : report on the value chain analysis

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Author: Keränen, Outi1; Lehtimäki, Tuula1; Pohjosenperä, Timo1
Organizations: 1University of Oulu.
Format: report
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 1.4 MB)
Persistent link:
Language: English
Published: Council of Europe, 2021
Publish Date: 2022-02-15


The present study is Deliverable D6.7 Report on the value chain analysis, resulting from Task 6.5 Study of Value Chain. The objective of Task 6.5 is to conduct a thorough description and analysis of the value chain to assess and optimize the entire process up to the delivery of the biopolymers in their final applications, including perspectives of logistics, and current and future value networks. As a result, Deliverable 6.7 Report on the value chain analysis 1) identifies and analyses existing value networks in plastics and related industry sectors and the core actors and the relevant business models in the current situation of the industry, 2) provides understanding of the market potential of the developed materials, and 3) includes a study of the existing value networks as well as of formation of new value networks to support the dissemination of the developed materials. As a part of the value chain analysis, a logistics study is carried out to optimize flows between all the steps in the value network.

The primary data was gathered during the years 2018–2021, and it includes thematic interviews and workshop data, embracing viewpoints from the NEWPACK partners and from organizations and experts involved in the plastic food packaging value networks and bioplastics industry. Based on this data, the report describes the actors, activities, and resources of the conventional plastic food packaging value network, the NEWPACK project value network, and the potential new commercial value network for NEWPACK products, as well as information about the relevant flows for producing the NEWPACK materials for the purposes of the logistics analysis. The primary data was supported by the data that was acquired through different online sources that allowed us to understand more the plastic and food packaging industries and how their characteristics influence the nature of existing plastic food packaging value networks, and the formation of new value network for the NEWPACK materials.

The data was inductively analyzed by identifying the themes emerging from empirical insights, and by following the logic of data reduction and display, and conclusion drawing. In the data analysis, the value networks for conventional plastic food packaging were identified and compared with the NEWPACK project network and the general commercial value network for the production of biobased plastic food packaging, in order to detect the differences between them, and to identify the actors, activities, and resources needed to form a new value network that supports the larger scale production and dissemination of the NEWPACK products in the future. This analysis further allowed evaluating the market potential of the developed materials. For the logistics analysis, all the flows were mapped to find the most challenging phases of the NEWPACK logistics network from the feedstock obtaining to the final disposal after the biopolymer use. The flows and processes are analysed using heuristic and qualitative methods such as analogies and scenarios for assessing the optimised logistics solutions in the value network.

Furthermore, the report detects network changes that can promote the formation of new value networks for the NEWPACK materials, and more generally, the change from conventional plastic packaging value networks toward value networks involved in production and use of biobased biodegradable plastic food packaging. The changes include: 1) identifying and engaging new actors to perform new value activities and provide new resources, required in transforming agro-food waste it into bioplastics, and in managing the end-of-life processes, 2) creating new connections between new and existing actors to distribute agro-food waste and transform it into bioplastics, develop the material for the specified needs of brand owners and produce it at large-scale, and manage the end-of-life processes, and between existing actors to communicate the market demands and make more sustainable and safe packaging decisions, and 3) creating a network type of collaboration.

The main results related to the logistics analysis underline the most critical flows taking place in the beginning of the NEWPACK logistics network where the volumes are high and durability low. Therefore, structuring the feedstock flows between potato processor, glucose production and polyhydroxybutyrate (PHB) production has the biggest impact in minimizing the costs and environmental effects of the NEWPACK value network. The first presented scenario to optimize the flows is based on one PHB production plant with multiple potato peel sources, the second scenario presents a PHB plant close to a large potato processor, and the third scenario illustrates a decentralized pre-production for PHB close to multiple potato processors. The benefits and challenges are presented for each scenario.

Finally, if considering the increasingly growing bioplastics market and demand for polyhydroxyalkanoate (PHA) plastics, of which PHB is one example, and especially in the packaging sector, the future market potential of the NEWPACK products is relatively good. However, the developed processes and materials need still further research and optimization to be more economically and sustainably viable. Regardless of this, there are other ways in which the knowledge gained from the project can benefit the wider audience interested in this type of material. The members of the NEWPACK project can utilize the knowledge acquired from the project either by selling their knowhow to other businesses or license their intellectual property rights (IPRs) to commercial enterprises for the commercialization or further development and utilize the gained knowledge in their current operations with business actors and research organizations.

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Pages: 1 - 46
Type of Publication: D4 Published development or research report or study
Field of Science: 512 Business and management
Funding: This project has received funding from the Bio-Based Industries Joint Undertaking under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 792261.
EU Grant Number: (792261) NEWPACK - Development of new Competitive and Sustainable Bio-Based Plastics
Copyright information: This material is posted here by permission of the European Union’s Horizon 2020 NEWPACK project (Grant agreement ID: 792261).