Many of the artificial pigments that are used to color clothing or to produce paints can be toxic. That’s why a graduate of the Imperial College London has designed a system called Kaiku that turns plants into powdered paint pigments that can replace artificial pigments.
Using vaporization technology, Kaiku can turn fruits and vegetables that would otherwise end up in the landfill or compost into raw material for paints, inks, and dyes. All kinds of fruits and vegetables can be used in the Kaiku system. For instance, because they contain tannins, avocado skins and peels can produce a ruby-red dye that appears orange as paint or dyes fabric a pinky-blush color. Meanwhile, pomegranates and onions can create a yellow dye which can be modified simply by adding vinegar or baking soda
Considering that paints and other artificial dyes can release petrochemicals into the air long after they have dried, the natural pigments produced by the Kaiku system are a solution we can get behind—especially since it curbs food waste as well.
This story was one of the best from 2019, and we are happy to include it in our “12 Days of Optimism” as we welcome in the new year!