David Attenborough and Blue Planet II have focused the world’s attention on the environmental scourge of single use plastics. To solve the problem, laws are being introduced to tax plastics with less than 30% recycled content, and retailers are moving towards recycled or fully compostable packaging. However, more rapid action is needed, especially since bio-based plastics make up only 1% of the 2.26m tonnes of plastic used each year in the UK.
Food waste due to over-production is another serious problem in the UK and worldwide. WRAP identified that 3.6m tonnes of food waste is generated in the UK each year. This equates to 7% of the entire annual UK food harvest and is worth £1.2bn.
This Ceres project is addressing both these issues by turning crop waste into bio-based, compostable, plastic free packaging that is comparable to plastic in terms of performance, price, and availability. This will help reduce both the prevalence of single use plastic packaging and food waste, giving significant environmental benefits.