Biomaterials and sustainable products made out of Mexican pineapple production waste.
How does it work?
Sustrato is an experimental design project that transforms pineapple industry waste into biomaterials and sustainable products. In this way, the line between monetary product and waste is fliped by giving value to otherwise forgotten material. Through this project, wastes were analyzed and compared with different materials, as well as ancient techniques to define different contemporary alternatives that can be used for the creation of biomaterials. Then, the collection pairs ancient extraction techniques with modern technology, featuring four tangible products that give the leaves a new life. The results of this project were four biomaterials made out of pineapple leaves and some applications: rope, bioplastic, felt and an agglomerated material.
Why is it needed?
Around 50% of the national waste is organic and it is mainly generated by agro-industries, which produce great amounts of homogeneous waste. So, it has the potential to be used as raw material for the fabrication of other products. This is also the case of the pineapple industry. Since pineapple leaves account for 80% of the fruit’s mass, however, they have little to no purpose within the pineapple industry. In Mexico alone, this organic byproduct comprises up to a tonne of waste every day per company. In addition, pineapple industries don't follow proper waste management and the national legal framework isn't enough to compel industries to create strategies to do it. Therefore, the aim of this project is to show the potential of organic waste to be transformed into new products that can offer sustainable solutions.
How does it improve life?
With this project, we can offer a sustainable solution for producers and end customers. Producers can get an extra income from what they are currently discarding while introducing an efficient waste management system. Consumers can get sustainable products made out of high-quality and cost-effective materials. Sustrato's bioplastic is a permeable film, which can be used as packaging for solid products and has shown a short term degradation. The agglomerated and felt materials have an amazing performance for acoustic absorption and can be produced with different thicknesses and shapes. The rope is resistant and its production process is easy and sustainable.