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Environmentally Friendly Recycling

We tend to place the majority of the burden on consumers when we consider recycling. Manufacturers and leaders of the industry aren't those that force us to use certain packaging options, or in many cases, make no choices at all.

Recycling goods is a good way to conserve resources and reduce waste, especially in the food industry.

Wouldn't you like to see more sustainability responsibility at the front end, instead of the back - additional info?

Some businesses are making it much easier for themselves to be "environmentally responsible".

1. Water Filtered by Fruit Peels

Mexican researchers discovered a new way to filter out heavy metals (and other pollutants) from water. They used an absorbent substance made from citrus skins.

These are plentiful. Fruit peels are discarded by the food industry in large quantities. It is estimated that 38.2 million tonnes of waste fruit peels are produced worldwide each year.

The material can be made by using an Instant Controlled Pressure Drop treatment, and is then packed onto fixed bed columns.

The findings show that there is a huge potential to use these materials as adsorbents, which can compete with commercially available activated carbon in the adsorption process and in the recovery of metals. In this way it may be possible for food wastes to become products with significant commercial value.

- Researcher Luis Alberto Romero Cano

2. For a longer, fresher food experience with biodegradable packaging

Food packaging made using cellulose composites (or plant-based material) and then coated in 'active ingredients' with antimicrobial, antioxidative, and antibacterial properties.

This could replace the traditional plastics (the disposable containers in which everything is packaged).

The clove oil has been found to have the greatest ability to bind free radicals.

The silver is what you need. Adding the iconic silver particles gives it long-lasting antimicrobial qualities, as well as making it stronger and more flexible.

Degradation of these materials takes two years.

The greatest challenge is making heat resistant, ready-to-use packaging made from natural materials.

Still, it's difficult to design something durable enough for an oven and microwave but that also decomposes over a set period. In this case, cellulose cannot be used.

Similar products have already been introduced to the market. There is a growing interest in edible or compostable bottles. There are a variety of options, from the somewhat appealing to those that don't appeal at all.

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