Startup turns food waste into fully compostable plastic

When it ends up in landfills, food waste becomes a source of methane — a greenhouse gas even more potent than carbon dioxide. A Toronto-based startup called, Genecis, has figured out a way to turn these emissions into something valuable instead: compostable plastic that can replace plastic made from petroleum.

To achieve this incredible transformation, the company uses two types of bacteria: the first one breaks down the food waste into fatty acids, while the second type eats these fatty acids and eventually turns them into a polymer to store energy into.

And because it’s a naturally occurring polymer, it makes the material fully compostable, meaning that once you throw it away into a natural environment, bacteria will quickly rush to eat it. In contrast, other types of compostable plastic can’t break down as easily; a corn-based plastic fork, for example, acts like regular plastic if it ends up in the ocean.

The startup is partnering with the foodservice company Sodexo, which sees it as a potential circular solution—food waste from corporate cafeterias could be turned into compostable food ware for those same cafeterias, closing the loop on both food and plastic waste.

Solution News Source

Startup turns food waste into fully compostable plastic

When it ends up in landfills, food waste becomes a source of methane — a greenhouse gas even more potent than carbon dioxide. A Toronto-based startup called, Genecis, has figured out a way to turn these emissions into something valuable instead: compostable plastic that can replace plastic made from petroleum.

To achieve this incredible transformation, the company uses two types of bacteria: the first one breaks down the food waste into fatty acids, while the second type eats these fatty acids and eventually turns them into a polymer to store energy into.

And because it’s a naturally occurring polymer, it makes the material fully compostable, meaning that once you throw it away into a natural environment, bacteria will quickly rush to eat it. In contrast, other types of compostable plastic can’t break down as easily; a corn-based plastic fork, for example, acts like regular plastic if it ends up in the ocean.

The startup is partnering with the foodservice company Sodexo, which sees it as a potential circular solution—food waste from corporate cafeterias could be turned into compostable food ware for those same cafeterias, closing the loop on both food and plastic waste.

Solution News Source

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