Food Packed in Food
Each year, roughly one third of food produced for human consumption is wasted — approximately 1.3 billion tonnes! From the scraps of leftover food to the packaging that gets thrown away, the waste from the food industry adds up. As a way to combat this, companies have started to develop packaging made from byproducts of the food itself!
Whey protein is a waste produced in the cheese making process. Scientists in Italy have created a method to turn whey into plastics, which they can then layer on cardboard and aluminum to create a multi-layered packaging material.
Nutella is the worlds largest hazelnut buyer, using 25% of the worlds supply in order to make 180m kg of the spread annually. With so many hazelnuts bought, a lot of shells get thrown away, which is why the Nutella manufacturer Ferrero is teaming up with Sorta Enso and PTS to use the shells in their packaging. The group is still trying different combinations of nutshell fibers in the pulp, but it works well for stiffness and bulk.
Each year, a residual flow of 85 million kg of tomato plants is composted by growers. But instead of composting, Solidus Solution has been working in partner with Bio Base Westland and have found a way to mix old paper fibers with tomatoes to create a solid board.
Packaging in the chocolate industry is big business, but also a big waste. For every metric ton of dry cocoa bean produced there are 10 tons of husks left over as waste. By using 10% cocoa husk fiber combined with unbleached cellulose, researchers have been ably to produce a light brown paper that doesn't require burning or gradual degrading of the cocoa fibers.