Innovation That Matters

Just Bones/Bioplastic Skin | Photo source Valdís Steinarsdóttir

Slaughterhouse waste products turned into bioplastic packaging

Food & Drink

The biodegradable plastic could indicate produce freshness, eliminating the need for best before dates

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Spotted: Independent Icelandic designer Valdís Steinarsdóttir focuses on creating new objects and forms by recycling organic matter. Her latest project turns slaughterhouse waste into two different items. Bioplastic Skin food packaging is made from discarded animal hides, and Just Bones bowls and vases are made from ground animal bones.

For both sets of products, Steinarsdóttir boils the waste to release gelatine. For the Bioplastic Skin wraps, she adds sugar alcohol to the liquid to enhance elasticity. Since the packaging is biodegradable, the design would mean that wrapped meats may no longer require best before dates. The freshness of the meat would be determined by the freshness of the packaging, both of which would have the same expiration date.

For the Just Bones vessels, the designer grinds the bones and combines the powder with heated gelatine. After moulding and drying, the resulting mixture is strong enough to be drilled and sawed. As they too are biodegradable, neither the bowls nor the vases can hold water, and Steinarsdóttir uses different temperatures to achieve the range of colours in the finished bones products.  

Other types of bioplastic that Springwise has spotted being used to replace traditional materials include sugarcane-based shoe soles and biodegradable plastic wrap, made from fish waste.

Written by: Keely Khoury

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