Millions of tonnes of vegetable residue, such as green peas, are disregarded annually. These non- marketable, economically un- viable legume residues have found a new lease of life thanks to the European Union’s funded project Leguval. Converting these often over looked food waste- products into functioning, practical bio- plastic applications and ecological materials provides a more sustainable plastic than that provided with use of oil for example, which is primarily not reusable.
Aside from boasting complete renewability, these bio- plastic plant pots retain and share nutritional value and proteins which actually enrich the earth, soils and plants when left to decompose after use. Eva Straser, Co- Owner of Bokri D.O.O, the Slovenian company pioneering this innovative product, sums up the process succinctly, “If you don’t want or need it any more, just throw it into the compost or even better, put it in the soil, after 3 or 4 months it decomposes and that’s it”.
Within the framework of this European research project, a promising future has been planted for bio- plastics and it is expected that the innovative, sustainable plant pots are just the start. High protein purity secured, around 80%, in addition to the nutritious fibres that can be used to make composite materials means that the field of applications are varied. Among the fields envisaged are food packaging and agriculture, it is expected that more innovations within this sector will soon take root with the current low levels of European production of the grain legumes in conjunction with a high consumption rate.
Find out more about Leguval in this post and watch this video from Euronews Futuris Program