The final goal of the FUNKIFIBRE project initiative is to obtain new materials for packaging applications achieving better mechanical and barrier properties. One of the main objectives is to obtain MFC from cereal residues coming out from the manufacturing of oat-based food products, which contain important cellulose contents. A consortium of companies and research organizations leads this initiative, funded by the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme. The microfibrillated cellulose (MFC) is a novel type of cellulose with nano-scale dimensions and very interesting properties for the development of composite materials due to its high strength and stiffness combined with its low weight, biodegradability and renewability.

So, the MFC will be modified to make it suitable for the development of plastic composites.
This will make possible the generation of lighter packages and the improvement of limited properties of some bio-based and biodegradable plastics.

The relevance of this project is based in the possibility of using cereal waste biomass as a potential source of valuable compounds such as bio-based fibres that can be used in new potential applications.

The achievement of this result will impact in the cereal SMEs since agricultural wastes have become an environmental and economic problem producing economic losses due to extra costs for the management.

In addition, the development of improved renewable and biodegradable packages will impact on the plastic and packaging SMEs since bio-based materials are seen as a growing alternative by the European consumers to conventional packaging plastics which currently generate over 5 million tons of landfilled plastics.

Elastopoly OY (Finland) is the coordinator of this inititative, which also involves the Ireland's leading producer of top quality oat-based products for the retail, wholesale and export sectors, the company Flahavan’s; the Packaging, Transport & Logistics Research Center (ITENE) and the company Almuplas (Spain); the Centre Technique du Papier (France), Arctic Fiber Company Ltd. (Finland).