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This edible packaging grown from kombucha wants to replace plastic

Apparently, kombucha is not only good for your health, but also good for the environment.

Roza Janusz, a design student at the School of Form in Poznan, Poland, has created biodegradable packaging that can be grown (yes, grown) by modifying the process used to make kombucha.

Here’s how it works. In making kombucha, a yeast starter called ‘scoby’ is applied to drive bacterial fermentation. Janusz modifies this by adding sugars and other organic substances into the mixture, which after two weeks, forms a membrane of scoby on the surface of the liquid.

Once collected, the thin layer of scoby is dried out to become a packaging material that looks like dried pig bladders but acts like plastic.

SCOBY: growing packages helps to replace single-use plastic? Will we accept living materials witch smell and taste but better for soil than microplastic? Can we accept unperfection in objects when we struggle to accept unstandarized foods like too green apples or too curve bananas? #scoby #growing #biocelulose #livingmaterials #growingmaterials #growingpackages #futurefarmer #bacteria #bacterialcellulose #kombucha #yeast #future #futurematerials #futuretextiles #futurepackaging #packaging #packagingdesign #fooddesign #plasticfree #microplastics #zerowaste #noplasticbags #biomaterials #biodesign #sustainability #material #materialdesign #process #cradletocradle #3dprint #fungi #bioplastic #sustainable #sustainablefarming #sustainablefuture #nextnature #bio

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However, unlike plastic, this natural ‘skin’ is biodegradable and edible. In fact, you can use it to carry produce like herbs and seeds, then plop it into a pan or oven to give those items a light taste of kombucha.

And since scoby is the product of fermentation, it has a long shelf life too. Janusz told Fast Company: “[It has a] low pH so it stays edible very long. My first material prototype made a half year ago is still edible.”

We more than happy to see ideas in use, we can only face waste society by sharing economy. Thank you @pickfoodup ・・・ Adorable “all I can use” of tea! We reuse the environment friendly “spring pouchong tea” stalk of @sanpuku_tea by milling it into fine part and tough part. The fine part is for chia desserts making, the tough part is exactly good for kombuchia making. Furthermore, we even try to reuse the surplus old scoby making dehydrated scoby bowls, referring to an article about @make_grow design. #pickfoodup #chia #teasweets #kombucha #teastalk #teastem #dehydratedscoby #scoby #zerowaste #reuse #surplusingredients #plasticfree #biodesign #fooddesign #waste #futurefood

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According to Janusz, the hope for her idea is that farmers will eventually learn how to make scoby, as it is easy to make using readily-available materials. They will then package their farm goods with the vegetarian wrapping to significantly reduce plastic waste.

Hopefully, she’ll be able to find the right commercial partners to trial her system and implement it as soon as possible.

You can learn more about Janusz’ innovative project here.

Via Springwise

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