Skip to main content
European Health and Digital Executive Agency (HaDEA)
News article21 April 2023European Health and Digital Executive Agency2 min read

World Earth Day – Horizon Europe projects working to find Safe and Sustainable by Design alternatives to Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances

World Earth Day PFAS-free coating solutions through Safe and Sustainable by Design alternatives

World Earth Day is an annual event celebrated on 22 April to promote environmental awareness and encourage individuals to protect the planet. It highlights the urgent need to address environmental issues such as climate change, pollution, deforestation, and loss of biodiversity.

One of the ambitions of the European Commission is to restrict the use of Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS), which are persistent, bio-accumulative and toxic synthetic chemicals. Their hydrophobic and oleophobic features make them well-suited for a range of applications, including coating materials for textiles, food packaging, and kitchenware. Although they are widely used, they pose a threat to human health and the environment.  

HaDEA is playing an important role in supporting the European Commission's efforts by managing EU funded projects which are developing PFAS-free coating solutions through Safe and Sustainable by Design alternatives (SSbD). These projects are founded on the use of renewable and bio-based materials and leverage predictive models and computational tools.

Find out more about some of these projects:

BIO-SUSHY is creating a complete operating framework for the development of innovative repellent organic and hybrid coatings to challenge widespread and polluting PFAS. These coatings, with both hydrophobic and oleophobic properties, are obtained from acknowledged processing technologies, i.e., bio-based thermoplastic powder and hybrid sol-gel. These sustainable and PFAS-free coatings will be validated to cover a wide range of applications and fields, such as textiles, glass, cosmetics, and food packaging.

PROPLANET designs and optimises 3 innovative coatings for industrial sectors: textile, food-packaging, and glass. All coatings are designed based on SSbD concepts and optimised with mathematical computational tools such as first-principles-based models, in silico models, environmental fate models, and sustainability assessment. A tool based on data-driven algorithms and multi-objective optimization (MO) promotes the integration of the novel coatings on different applications, supporting their route to market, operating at different conditions, and following an Eco-design thinking.

TORNADO project aims to contribute to the transition to a safe circular economy by developing two new PFAS free organic and hybrid free-toxic coatings with water and oil repellence following SSbD criteria. The two coatings will be validated in industrially relevant environments to obtain a performance at least identical to PFAS coatings in terms of water and oil repellence and tested according to the main textile, packaging and kitchenware specifications and requirements.

ZeroF develops SSbD coating alternatives to replace PFAS compounds in food packaging and upholstery textiles value chains. The coatings have limited water absorption, high oil/grease resistance for packaging and high water and oil repellence for textiles. PFAS are replaced by two chemistries, cellulose fatty acid esters for packaging and silane-based organic-inorganic hybrids for textiles. The project includes three work streams: food packaging, upholstery textiles and SSbD analysis.


Publication date
21 April 2023
European Health and Digital Executive Agency
Programme Sector
  • Industry
  • Horizon Europe
  • Horizon Europe Cluster 4: Industry
  • EU financing
  • Industrial research