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PlasticTwist: An open platform for plastic lifescycle awareness, monetization, and sustainable innovation

Although modern life is unthinkable without plastic there is a catch. Some of the properties that make it so useful, like its low cost, light weight and durability, also make it hard to dispose of and designed to last, plastic can take thousands of years to break down. Plastics drawbacks has become a large-scale problem which needs a global response.

The Plastics waste impact on societal wellbeing, economy, and environment has already triggered the need for a new Plastics Economy movement (1). The recent “The New Plastics Economy: Rethinking the future of plastics (2) and “The New Plastics Economy: Catalysing action” (3) reports by the World Economic Forum and the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, now set the vision of a global economy in which plastics never become waste, but become an asset which can inspire and mobilize innovative solutions. This new plastics economy vision of immediate effective actions gains wide acceptance and momentum as proven by Gartner’s (4) report of top very high-profile vendors who are committed and recently announced zero waste to landfills goals (via the popular „4 R” approach: reducing, reusing, recovering, recycling).

The EU research project PTwist aims to design, deploy, and validate an open platform which will twist plastic reuse practices, by boosting citizens awareness, circular economy practices, and sustainable innovation inline with the new plastics economy vision.

This will be achieved by offering:

  1. crowdsourcing tools to enable generation of an evolving plastic materials reuse taxonomy and an open plastic reuse machinery designs repository;
  2. a monetary system of PCoins and PWallets maintained by a blockchain based architecture which will safeguard trusted plastics reuse transactions among citizens and inventors (such as fablabs);
  3. a citizens and communities rewarding and engagement experiences by interactive and collaborative gamification which embeds Pcoins crediting;
  4. a virtual marketplace for exhibiting and commercializing of PlasticTwist inspired plastics reuse products monetized in the proposed PCoins unit. Cutting edge gamification, analytics, and circular economy mechanisms will be integrated under an open platform to be validated and stress tested under a common use cases methodology.

Three local and globally synchronized pilots (Switzerland, Netherlands and Greece) will intensify stakeholder (citizens communities, inventors, innovators, and entrepreneurs) involvement and engagement, with emphasis on the social gains and sustainability potential. PlasticTwist will largely impact : citizens and grassrooted groups co-creation, innovative and trusted collaboration and knowledge transfer by increasing all stakeholders awareness; plastics as an asset potential due to increasing its circular economy re-entering; and blockchain based novel routes to markets. Innovation activities in PlasticTwist will be based upon existing open source, blockchain, gaming, crowdsourcing components, open data solutions and developments to the largest possible extent.

Future Laboratory Crealab collaborates with the larger consortium with the following partners:

  • University of Thessaloniki Department of Informatics (lead),
  • BETTER FUTURE FACTORY BV, Rotterdam,Netherlands,
  • Almerys, Clermont-Ferrand France,
  • EOLAS S.L.,, Badajoz, Spain,
  • DIKTYO MESOGEIOS SOS,, Athens, Greece,
  • Stichting BlueCity Rotterdam, Netherlands,
  • Teknoloji Arastirma Gelistirme Endustriyel Urunler Bilisim Teknolojileri San Tic AS, Istanbul Turkey.

The project is part of the Pilot on Open Research Data in Horizon 2020.

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(1) The New Plastics Economy: Catalysing action; World Economic Forum, January 2017. economy-catalysing-action
(4) The Gartner Supply Chain Top 25 for 2016


European Commission Horizon 2020


Next Economy


Wirtschaft (W)
FabLabLuzern – Technik & Architektur (T&A)


Patricia Wolf (W)
Julie Harboe (W)
Chris Obrist (T&A)
Urs Gaudenz (T&A)


400’000.- CHF


01.01.2018 – 31.12.2019


Im Juni 2020 stellten Patricia Wolf, Julie Harboe und Urs Gaudenz das Projekt an der Swiss Plastics Expo vor.