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Italian Smart Materials research team

Biodegradable packaging made from artichokes

In Berlin, the Smart Materials research team at the Italian Institute of Technology (IIT), collaborating with Genoa’s Wholesale market management company and Ascom Confcommercio, presented a project aiming at converting leftover produce into 100% biodegradable plastic for the production of eco-sustainable fruit and vegetables packaging.

IIT researcher Giovanni Perotto displayed the experimental product, obtained from technologies patented by IIT. It consists of a bioplastic packaging product, made entirely by recycling leftover artichokes from Genoa’s wholesale produce market.

According to an article by, there are different processes for a total conversion of waste vegetables into bioplastics, ranging from the conversion of the vegetable into bioplastic through an aqueous process to the preparation of composites (from 100% sustainable sources), thermoplastics and thermoformables. These technologies allow the reduction of vegetable waste while obtaining a resource from such waste, and to cut-down on the use of non-biodegradable plastic derived from fossil fuels.

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