A company in Colombia is making eco-friendly plates out of the tops of old pineapples. Amazingly, these plates, made by Lifepack, contain seeds that can sprout in soil.
The plates are Lifepack's latest effort to reduce plastic waste worldwide. The 12-year-old company also makes sandwich containers and coffee cup sleeves that contain seeds from edible plants like cilantro, amaranth, and strawberry.
"We are using agricultural residues that people were just throwing away, and we are transforming them into useful products," Lifepack cofounder Claudia Barona told Business Insider Today. "That's where we make a difference."
On a busy day, workers at the Lifepack factory in Cali can churn out 10,000 eco-friendly plates. The company sources its pineapple crowns from a nearby processing plant, whose owners don't charge Lifepack for the crowns.
"We are trying to promote the creation of circular economies," said Gloria Estela Ramirez, manager of the processing plant, Deli Agro Foods. "And when it comes to our pineapple crowns we think they couldn't be in better hands. Lifepack is doing an important job and it’s something we support."
From there, Lifepack workers shred the pineapple tops, mix them with recycled paper, and flatten them into sheets that are left out to dry under the sun. A machine then presses them into form.
"We were not just designing a biodegradable plate. We wanted to go further and create a plate that generates life," cofounder Andres Benavides said.
Image: Manuel Rueda - Business Insider Today
Lifepack's plates retail at around $2.50 per dozen — more than double the price of plastic plates from a big box store in Colombia.