Vegetables packed in tomato stalks and sweets in cocoa shells. It might sound a bit strange at first, but it’s true: the packaging industry is increasingly using food waste from food production to manufacture new, more sustainable packaging. For example: Cardboard packaging made from tomato stalks and paper packaging made from the leftovers from chocolate production.
And oranges appear to be a particularly rich resource for the manufacture of sustainable packaging. When the citrus fruits are processed to orange juice, half of the fruit alone is lost, according to estimates. Three packaging innovations demonstrate how orange peel can be turned into useful food packaging.
FRUIT PACKAGING MADE FROM ORANGES
A British student at Brunel University London successfully developed robust and at the same time environmentally-friendly packaging material made from orange peel. A large part of the new Bio-Peel material consists of orange peel, a waste product in industrial juice production. After numerous series of experiments, the student finally found the perfect mixture of orange peel and other biodegradable products: the innovative alternative to plastic was created by adding biopolymers, vegetable glycerine, a biodiesel by-product and water. Shaped, baked and hardened, the biodegradable cardboard keeps food fresh for a particularly long time. Information on the procedure’s implementation in industrial use is still pending.