Two Belgian companies have taken on the challenge of giving food packaging a new life. Special Fruit has the materials - used avocado and berry crates made from recycled plastic. Connectum - the technology. This company grinds the packaging into plastic granules. It is reused in educational toys, water basin covers, and, now, CO2 meters.
CO2 meters made from recycled packaging check buildings' ventilation
Sufficient ventilation is an essential weapon in the war against COVID-19 and other viruses. Store and office indoor spaces have to have good airflow. A good indoor climate is vital for good health. The Flemish Technological Research Institute, Special Fruit, and Connectum have, thus, developed CO2 meters that look like little houses.
The device is an accessible way of making staff and customers aware of good air quality's importance. If the house is green, the ventilation is in order. Orange and red indicate that thresholds have been crossed. The airflow then needs to improve.
From food packaging to water basin covers: ClicFloats and Icos
Connectum gives Special Fruit's plastic crates an additional second chance too. It uses these to manufacture smart water basin covers. These are made under the names, ClicFloats and ICOS. Growers can use these covers to float solar panels on the water. That is via modular, quickly fitted connections.
Currently, Special Fruit is trying to improve the recycled plastic's quality. And Connectum's packaging designers are working on a circular design.
"Our company is contributing as a sustainable society. That's thanks to reusing our food packaging and our partnership with Connectum," believes François Maes, Special Fruit's founder. "The greenhouse sector can also use the ClicFLoats and ICOS."
"These provide additional green energy and improve water quality. That means greater operational security. We focus on collecting and using recycled materials in our packaging stock. That fits entirely in with the European Green Deal."
"It wants to move towards a circular chain model and short chains with growers. Special Fruit wants to, for example, be using at least 50% recycled materials by 2030. We'll keep trying to find ways to reduce the ecological burden. That's on the earth and its inhabitants," François concludes.