I want to receive new articles by email
Avocado pits converted to plastic
By Jinny Throup
There is growing awareness that plastic straws, cups, plates and disposable cutlery are very damaging to the environment. One way to face this challenge is to come up with new forms of plastic that are biodegradable and sustainable. A company in Mexico is doing just that by manufacturing a bioplastic that is made from avocado pits. Biofase was founded by Scott Mungia who, as an engineering student, had been motivated to find a reliable source of biodegradable plastic. After testing the properties of numerous raw materials, he came up with the idea of extracting a molecular compound from the avocado pit. This eventually proved to be successful by creating a biodegradable biopolymer which could be moulded into the shape of cutlery, plates and straws.
Mexico produces about 50% of the world’s supply of avocados and, for the most part, the pits end up being burned at landfill sites. So there is a ready source of raw materials for making these avocado-based bioplastic products. The difference for the environment could be massive. The products made with Mungia’s process biodegrade after just 240 days compared to regular fossil-fuel based plastics which can take more than 100 years!