16 Mar 4 companies working for change
One third of all the food produced in the world is wasted, But innovative companies are finding ways to use that waste.
A Spanish start-up is manufacturing a range of skin care products from ‘ugly’ fruits, and food waste is becoming sustainable textiles for the fashion industry.
An estimated one-third of all the food produced in the world is simply wasted, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.
Ending that waste would clearly help address world hunger, which is one of the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Meanwhile, finding innovative ways to put food waste to productive use is helping to create jobs and improve sustainability.
These four diverse projects show how clothing, cosmetics and business opportunities can be powered by food waste:
Not so ugly food
Have you ever considered applying food waste to your face? Spanish designer Júlia Roca Vera hopes that one day you will. She has created a range of cosmetics, including cleansers and moisturizers, based on unwanted food products. However, in this case, instead of using waste, the raw material it uses is fruit that has been considered too ugly to attract buyers, which led Roca Vera to name his new company Lleig, which means ugly in Catalan. . The products are sold in reusable ceramic containers to improve their sustainability.
An alternative to polyester
Toronto-based Alt Tex is a startup that produces polylactic acid (PLA) from food waste, to form an alternative to polyester. Starch and sugars from unwanted foods are ideal for PLA production, says Alt Tex. Unlike polyester, PLA is a substitute for biodegradable plastic. And unlike other PLA manufacturers, who use commercially grown PLA crops like corn, Alt Tex is working with the food and beverage industry to collect and use the waste.
And an alternative to plastic
Another Toronto-based start-up that works with food waste is Genecis. Using bacteria, Genecis is turning food waste into a polymer that can be used as an alternative to plastic packaging, called polyhydroxyalkanoate, or PHA.
“Food waste is more or less a concentration of carbon, very similar to crude oil in the soil, from which many products can be made. We believe that with current technology, we can convert carbon from food waste as low-cost feedstock into high-value chemicals and materials, ”Luna Yu, CEO of Genecis, told Fast Company.
A completely new supply chain
Food waste occurs at all stages of the supply chain and for many different reasons. It may be due to superficial reasons, such as appearance, or it may be due to oversupply and poor storage. For women farmers in Kenya and Uganda, both are major challenges. East African start-up Agricycle started with an easy-to-use solar dehydrator that enabled fruit growers to turn perishable produce into a longer-lasting dried fruit snack.
We cannot stop, we can transform the world and be part of the change we want to generate, the goal is to raise awareness and continue to make a difference, one day we will get more people to join this beautiful cause that seeks to save millions of lives and ecosystems, You can create an enterprise or be part of it by supporting it and in that way you are also being part of the change.