GIMED: Bioplastic materials produced from oil, wine and agricultural-food wastes in Sicily


Bioplastics (or bio-based plastics) are plastic materials produced through industrial fermentation from renewable biomass, sources instead of fossil fuels. In the way to reach our collective sustainability goals, bioplastics are being used as a more circular solution to conventional plastics made from petrol.

Ecos-Med is a solution born in Italy that has benefited from GIMED, an EU-funded project under the ENI CBC Med Program. The social cooperative in Sicily, after a benefiting from training and coaching services, has recently been prized with a 7,500€ grant as part of the sub-grants awarded by Fondazione Communità di Messina, the Italian partner from GIMED.

This innovative and sustainable start-up uses agricultural-food wastes, brewer's spent grain and wastes from oil and wine production to generate new biopolymers replacing fossil fuel polymers.

"GIMED gave us the possibility to make connections with other projects and to learn from expert professionals in different fields."

Ecos-Med will be implemented in Roccavaldina, a small municipality in Sicily, and aims at recycling more than 1.000 tons of agricultural-food waste every year and produce more than 600 tons of highly sustainable and recyclable bioplastic. It also aims to produce electric energy by means of solar panels and to fund educational and research activities in a context characterized by demographic decline.

Thanks to the GIMED program, more than 200 families (almost 600 persons) got back their right to decent housing with no public land consumption and a large part of the area has been turned into a park open to the public.

Giuseppa Sindoni, President of Ecos-Med shared some pieces of advice for entrepreneurs who are just starting out their projects. She underlined the need of keeping an open perspective (socially, environmentally and legally speaking), which will help in directing and connecting the different project actions, seizing all available opportunities.