German eco-business firms Zelfo Technology and Upgrading have teamed up to introduce an up-cycled packaging material based on wheat straw for the food industry.
The Micro and Nano Fibrillated Cellulose (M/NFC) packaging solution requires cellulosic fiber alone, without the need for any additional binder.
It also nullifies the need for standard cellulose sources and only requires residue or waste fibers available at food source.
As a result, the producer can supply the raw material for the packaging solution that he would use.
Besides, a single regional source could also supply the growers with raw material via a centrally placed processor.
The production system, which is scalable and repeatable, could facilitate a 'just in time' output.
Upgrading managing director Eduardo Gordillo said: "Having been in packaging and product promotion for several years now, I feel that our business has taken an intelligent leap of faith into the world of sustainability with this product and processing system."
The companies have tested their technology by producing 250 x 150 x 50mm moulds.
The sellers could use non-toxic dyes to color the product to fit their requirements.
While the trial was carried with wheat, all the fiber-based crop residue or waste sources could be utilized for their conversion to such up-cycled packaging.
The packaging products can be derived through a mix of up-cycled plant based M/NFC with varying proportions with new cellulose or de-fibred waste material.
The de-fibred source material augurs well for carbon footprint as it has a very low embodied energy requirement.