Avocados the next Biodegradable Plastic?

A sustainable and innovative company based in Morelia, Mexico, called BIOFASE, is leading the way in creating biodegradable plastic from agro-industrial waste, according to a report by Forbes. The company is utilizing avocado pits to create cutlery and straws containing 70 percent biomass content, which are extra strong, suitable for hot and cold food, and are the first to be made from fully renewable and sustainable sources.


As Mexico produces 300,000 pounds of avocados, or roughly 50 percent of the world’s supply, BIOFASE is able to tap into this resource by using 15 tonnes of avocado seeds a day to create bioplastic, which is set to be worth $5.8 billion by 2021, according to Bioplastics News. This is a great step towards tackling plastic waste, as avocado seeds often pile up in Mexico and are burned at landfill sites.

The technology behind the avocado-derived plastic began being developed in 2012 by Scott Mungía, who was studying chemical engineering at the time and looking for ways to combat plastic pollution. He tested the properties of raw materials like mango and the seeds of mamey sapote, a creamy and sweet fruit native to Mexico. Once avocado was chosen as the key ingredient, Mungía spent a year and a half looking for ways to extract a molecular compound from the avocado pit and obtain a biopolymer, which could then be molded into various shapes.

The final cutlery and straw products are designed to biodegrade after 240 days of being buried in the ground or exposed to the elements, according to NowScience. This is in contrast to plastic bottles, which can take more than 450 years to decompose, and plastic bags, which can take 10 to 1,000 years to break down.

With a team of 14 employees, BIOFASE produces 130 tons of biodegradable plastic products in its Morelia plant every month, and the company plans to open a new plant with a capacity of 700 tons a month in November. Prior to BIOFASE, all biopolymer products had to be imported from other countries into Mexico, and these imported products are “at least twice as expensive” as BIOFASE’s, according to the company’s website.

Furthermore, BIOFASE exports 80 percent of its products to the United States, Canada, Costa Rica, Columbia, and Perú, which helps tackle plastic waste on a global scale. This is a great achievement for a company that has set out to make a difference in the world, and its avocado cutlery and straws can be purchased online.

In conclusion, BIOFASE has demonstrated the importance of innovation and sustainable practices, showcasing how agro-industrial waste can be repurposed to create biodegradable plastic products. By utilizing avocado seeds, which would have otherwise ended up in landfill sites, BIOFASE has taken a significant step in the right direction to reduce plastic waste and protect our planet.


Avocados the next Biodegradable Plastic?

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