European S3 Partnership Food Packaging

Access to new sustainable and smart packaging technologies and other innovations through collaboration on a European level.



Circular Economy and its principles are highly promoted by the European Commission as a holistic solution to reduce the environmental footprint of packaging.

In the European Plastics Strategy, ambitious targets were set to address the problems and challenges of packaging throughout their entire value chain, taking into account the entire life cycle (e.g. 70% of all packaging waste needs to be recycled by 2030 (EU Directive2018/852)). In 2018, recycling rates of plastic packaging waste in Europe ranged between 26 and 52%. Consequently, much remains to be done to reach the European goals in time.

While the concept of circular food packaging has been taken up by policy and industrial initiatives at European and national level, its implementation remains limited due to the high degree of required cross-chain collaboration. To overcome the implementation barriers of sustainable food packaging, joint forces via collaborations along the whole food packaging value chain are needed.


The objective of the European S3 Partnership Food packaging is to establish a European collaboration between (i) clusters, (ii) industrial stakeholders in the whole food packaging value chain (e.g. food and packaging companies, packaging machine suppliers, retail, sorting- and recycling companies, among others), (iii) research and technology organizations, (iv) consumer organizations, and (v) government institutes. This partnership will lower the barriers for the agri-food and packaging industry to access and implement new sustainable and smart packaging technologies and innovations. This will support the food packaging industry to build new value chains, and thus facilitate and accelerate the European transition to sustainable and smart food packaging.

This Partnership is unique in Europe by building a strong cross-sector network between the quadruple helix actors in the European food packaging value chain.

Website: S3 Food Packaging (