Biodegradable Avocado Plastic Begins in Mexico
I’ve lived in Mexico for three years now. It humbles me to see how creative people here can be. There is a real emphasis on finding real-world solutions. Biodegradable avocado plastic is one great example!
Uses for Biodegradable Avocado Plastic
From houses built out of recycled plastic to the use of plastic products made from avocado pits, the ingenuity of the Mexican people is constantly on display. I’ve seen it on small scale and now it’s getting a lot more attention globally. The world is looking for sustainable and regenerative environmental solutions.
How it Began
Since 2013, there’s been a company by the name of Biofase in Michoacan. Chemical engineer Scott Mugia developed the plastic. He wanted to find a way to produce a bioplastic to help rid the world of regular plastics. He spent over a year and a half in trials and research to come up with the process of creating avocado plastic, which he managed in about 2012. By 2013 he had a patent and founded his company, Biofase.
A Purpose for the Pits
For those who don’t know, Michoacan is known for growing food specifically fruits like avocado, guayaba, and more. Mexico produces a hell of a lot of avocados. That means there’s a lot of waste in the form of those ball-shaped seeds that nobody knows what to do with, other than sprout to grow their fruit. As the production of avocado increases, it’s cool to see avenues to create less waste.
Biodegradable Avocado Plastic is Spreading
He opened his first factory in Morelia, producing raw material bioplastics. This was in 2013. In 2016 he opened another factory that produces cutlery. If there’s one thing he learned, it’s that it is not easy to get people to pay more for a disposable plastic product just because it’s biodegradable. Yet he has managed to build a successful business. The majority of his customers seem to be food chains like those in the United States.
No More Plastic Straws?
They process about 15,000 tonnes a day with a monthly yield of 130 tonnes of avocado plastic. Forty percent of that is straws to help with the new movement of getting people off plastic straws and onto other more environmentally friendly options. Currently Biofase exports 80% of the product to the US currently and other countries. They supply corporate food chains, especially in areas where governments have been banned straws.
Fortunately, there’s still a lot of growth to look forward to with this project and business. I’m excited to see solutions like this. I too have always wondered, as a do-it-yourselfer, what to do with all those damn avocado seeds everyone just throws out.
Check out this other example of Mexican ingenuity which is Vegan Cactus leather made from nopales!