15 Sep 2017

Bio-plastic fantastic

From Country Life, 9:15 pm on 15 September 2017

Net clips for the wine industry made with grape skins? Kiwifruit spoons that include traces of kiwifruit skin? Ornaments made with crushed paua shell?

Fruit and vegetable growers and other primary producers are looking with new eyes at the waste they produce, a scientist at Scion says.

Dr Florian Graichen is Scion's science leader for biopolymers and green chemicals and part of a team that has successfully incorporated horticultural waste and aquaculture waste into bio-plastics.

When the new products were presented at a recent horticulture conference, people started to ask how they could better use waste, he says.

"'What could I do that is more environmentally friendly and uses some New Zealand biomass and traditional waste?' We don't use kiwifruit but we have tomato skins. What could we do here? Could you do something similar for us?'"