Sustainable Packaging- The Power of Microbes

Posted: August 24, 2010 in Uncategorized
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There is no doubt that packaging is one of the main forms of waste that fill our waste bins. Even from surveying businesses in my street, the main conclusion all forms of packaging- whether it be primary, secondary, plastic, cardboard or glass- is the main culprit in the daily waste quota. While the concept of recycling is now in place for materials such as cardboard, students in the University of Lapland in Rovaniemi, Finland have turned to bionics to lessen packaging waste.

What you see is a 3-D render from Finnish student Anssi Ahonen, of a concept for biodegradable packaging for potatoes. Students came up with the idea of tackling the packaging waste problem by  changing the design of the actual packaging. The proposal involves using microbes to disintegrate the packaging into humus or soil, which would not only save space in your local waste bin but also help nourish the land for the plants. This process takes place after the expiration date and the render demonstrates the decomposition of the package.

Does this mean you can just throw away the package in the ground instantly in the future? Probably not, as I would imagine the decomposition process to not be the best thing to see in your local park- it does take time after all. I doubt councils would like people throwing this kind of packaging at every corner of the street but it is a start in creating a more sustainable solution in turning waste back as a resource for the earth. Certainly it would help ease the reliance on landfills and hopefully, these would revolutionise package design in the future.

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