In an article published on May 25, 2015 by the news provider Food Production Daily (FPD), journalist Daisy Phillipson reports about a novel packaging concept based on up-cycled wheat straw and made entirely from agricultural waste. Two German companies, Zelfo Technology and Upgrading, have developed and produced the Micro and Nano Fibrillated Cellulose (M/NFC) packaging; they will install a research and development plant near Hannover within the next three months.
Eduardo Gordillo, Managing Director at Upgrading, told FPD in an interview that the packaging is made from wheat straw. However, most fiber-based crop waste is suitable for conversion using the Zelfo/Updrading system. Further he explained that the packaging does not need additives because the fibers are self-binding. There are clear ecological and cost saving benefits as the packaging can be made of any fibers from food production waste; there is no need to use standard cellulose sources, Gordillo said.
Examples of product possibilities could include tomato trays for retail packaging, chocolate packaging and olive oil bottles. The product range will focus on containers for fruit and vegetables at first and fully waterproof containers will form part of the second wave of products. The companies believe that “all kinds of packaging made from petroleum based plastics, processed energy or resource intensive cellulose should be replaced as soon as possible.”
In the article there was no mention of whether or not this new packaging concept has been approved by an authority such as the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) or the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
Daisy Phillipson (May 25, 2015). “Companies collaborate on packaging made from agricultural waste.” Food Production Daily