Ma bi Ku Marin bioabbaubare biobasierte Kunststoffe

Bio-based and biodegradable plastics – a possible answer to the marine litter problem?

Project overview


Marine pollution with solid waste, the so-called marine litter, is an increasing "creeping" environmental pollution. Every year, about 10 million tons of waste are discharged into the oceans, of which about 70% are plastics. Most of these plastics do not degrade and cause considerable ecological problems. There are different approaches to reduce marine litter. One possible, but so far hardly investigated, secondary measure against marine litter is the substitution of persistent plastics by bio-based and biodegradable plastics (BACs), which completely degrade even under marine conditions. In order for bio-based plastics to be considered, however, their complete degradability under marine conditions must be ensured by appropriate test methods but also by a satisfactory property profile in the use phase.

The targeted development of marine-degradable bio-based plastics, as well as the improvement of existing and the establishment of new test methods (e.g. determination of the practical disintegration of field and mesocosm samples) is the overall goal of the project.

Project term: April 2019 to September 2022

Project structure

MabiKu is divided into three consecutive work packages, which are worked on synergistically by four different project partners, each of which is coordinated by one project partner (in bold). Due to the different specialisation of the project partners (material development, test methods/analytics, marine biology, microbiology, standardisation and certification) an interdisciplinary work on the different sub-goals is carried out.

Project partners

Institute of Plastics and Circular Economy

In its research work, the Institute of Plastics and Circular Economy considers the entire life cycle of bio-based and conventional plastics, from material development via application-oriented implementation to sustainability assessment. In this thematic complex, the focus lies on recycling and resource efficiency.

In addition to classical plastics technology, the institute is equipped with extensive materials testing (destructive and non-destructive methods) and chemical analysis for the qualitative and quantitative characterization of polymer materials.

Institute of Plastics and Circular Economy, Produktionstechnisches Zentrum der Leibniz Universität Hannover / PZH, An der Universität 2, 30823 Garbsen, Prof. Dr.-Ing. Hans-Josef Endres, +49 511 762 13302,

HYDRA Marine Science GmbH

As a member of the HYDRA network we use our decades of experience in the aquatic field to support research partners, media and interest groups with solutions.

Our missions take us into all waters, from high alpine lakes, to the Dead Sea; into streams and rivers; from Antarctica to the Mediterranean Sea and the tropical reefs of the Caribbean, Australia and Southeast Asia. Our experience in such diverse ecosystems also benefits our partners and customers.

Since more than a decade HYDRA has accumulated a wealth of expertise in testing the performance of biodegradable polymers and blends in the aquatic environment. Together with academic partners, public institutions, NGOs and industry we have been involved in research projects, workshops, expert hearings, outreach and the development of international standard tests.

HYDRA Marine Sciences GmbH, Steinfeldweg 15, 77815 Bühl, Dr. Miriam Weber, +49 7223 9949560,

IfBB - Institute for Bioplastics and Biocomposites

At the IfBB - Institute for Bioplastics and Biocomposites (Faculty II - Mechanical and Bioprocess Engineering of the Hannover University of Applied Sciences and Arts), research on bio-based as well as conventional plastics and composites is the main focus, while taking sustainability into account. The aim is application-oriented material development, optimised processing and the adaptation of new materials to existing processes. In cooperation with the Application Centre HOFZET of the Fraunhofer WKI, the IfBB has access to a state-of-the-art technical centre for bioplastics and composites.

Mechanical, thermal and rheological testing laboratories as well as imaging techniques are available for material testing. Other important research topics include the pollution of the oceans by plastics and the associated marine degradability of biomaterials, as well as the recycling of plastics and the use of residual materials for use in biomaterials. Sustainability assessments according to ISO 14040/44 complete the field of activity of the IfBB.

Hochschule Hannover, University of Applied Sciences and Arts, IfBB - Institute for Bioplastics and Biocomposites, Heisterbergallee 10A, 30453 Hannover, Dipl.-Ing. (FH) Marco Neudecker, 0511-9296-2232,

Institute of Sanitary Engineering and Waste Management

The Institute of Sanitary Engineering and Waste Management (ISAH) is part of the Faculty of Civil Engineering and Geodesy at Leibniz Universität Hannover. As a scientific institution, ISAH has been involved in university teaching and research for many years.

In the research group of Prof. Nogueira we investigate fundamental and applied questions regarding biological processes and their key microbial players in water and wastewater systems. Classical and advanved tools are combined to detect the occurrence, determine the activity and reveal the function of microrganisms in mixed microbial communities occurring in the environment.

This translates in a wide range of research topics: biofilm formation by nitrifying and heterotrophic bacteria, persistance and elimination of bacterial and viral pathogens in the water envirinment, and biopolymer synthesis by engineered microbial mixed cultures.

Leibniz Universität Hannover, Institute of Sanitary Engineering and Waste Management, Welfengarten 1, 30167 Hannover, Prof. Dr.-Ing. Regina Nogueira, +49 511 762 3371,,