When foods become materials

The international Made in Food Waste research study, produced by the International Matrec Observatory in partnership with the Chile University of Architecture and Design, presents examples of how food waste can become a resource for new industrial products.

Coffee grounds, nutshells, apple and orange peel, kiwi skins, casein from milk, rice husks and fish scales are just some of the waste food products now being processed and used as a resource to create materials for furnishing products, gifts, clothes, footwear, packaging and accessories.
In recent years a large number of companies have undertaken research and development into the production of materials starting from food waste products, which in many cases identify the food’s specificity and territoriality, thus giving the material an increased environmental and social value.
Thanks also to creativity and technology, many of these materials have been distributed internationally to be used by big names in fashion and furniture to make expensive items of clothing. This is just the start of the process and it promises to lead to an increase in the value of all kinds of waste food products: for example coffee grounds, properly treated and processed, can be turned into lamps, vases, bowls, cups and thread and yarn for clothing fabrics, while sugar, tea leaves, waste rice, mycelium from mushrooms and peanut shells are other materials that represent resources used to make bowls, vases, shoes and household items.
Other food waste products are used as natural dyes for textiles and leathers or coatings and surface treatments for furniture and chairs.
These are just some of the examples that emerged from the international Made in Food Waste research study, produced by the International Matrec Observatory in partnership with the Chile University of Architecture and Design, to present examples of how food waste can become a resource for new industrial products.
It is a priority, and also ethically correct, to take immediate action aimed at reducing food waste on account of the unequal distribution of food in different areas of the globe without commercial interests prevailing at the expense of basic needs.

Edited by:
Matrec – Sustainable Material & Trend. The first International Observatory for the Sustainable Innovation of materials and products. www.matrec.com


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