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Manufacturing process of biodegradable and compostable packaging by the molded pulp method using the cellulose of coffee bean skin, used coffee grounds and other industrial and urban residues from renewable sources

Grant number: 19/15746-4
Support type:Research Grants - Innovative Research in Small Business - PIPE
Duration: December 01, 2020 - August 31, 2021
Field of knowledge:Agronomical Sciences - Agricultural Engineering - Process Engineering of Agricultural Products
Principal researcher:Patrícia Ponce
Grantee:Patrícia Ponce
Company:Da Natureza Produtos Biodegradáveis Ltda
CNAE: Fabricação de produtos à base de café
Fabricação de embalagens de papel
Fabricação de produtos de pastas celulósicas, papel, cartolina, papel-cartão e papelão ondulado não especificados anteriormente
City: São Paulo

Abstract

Around 1.5 million birds, fishes, whales and turtles die every year due to the plastic pollution in the ocean. And, as incredible as it might seem, it can still get worse. Amidst the Pacific Ocean, a plastic patch of gigantic proportions threatens the life of several marine species and puts the planet in great danger. In April 2018, the Committee of Environment (CMA) approved a project (PLS 92/2018) establishing the gradual withdrawal of plastic in the composition of plates, cups, trays and cutlery. In ten years, the plastic in packages designed to store ready-to-eat foods should be completely replaced by biodegradable materials. http://g1.globo.com/natureza/noticia/2016/01/oceanos-terao-mais-plasticos-do-que-peixes-em-2050-diz-estudo.html. Since 1950, there was a 200-fold increase in the manufacture of virgin plastic and a large portion of this material was discarded in the nature without any form of recycling or reuse. (https://revistapesquisa.fapesp.br/2019/07/08/planeta-plastico/#capa-plastico-3). This is a shameful data to the whole world but especially to Brazil, since our country is the fourth of the world's biggest plastic polluters, behind only the USA, China and India (source: Revista Veja, March 2019). Even more alarming is the fact that we are placed last in the recycling rate - only 1.28%, as opposed to the global average of 9%. Gabriela Yamaguchi (Engaged Society Director at WWF-Brasil - one of the most influential environmentalist entities in the world) states that "in the face of a precarious recycling infrastructure, the only possible solution is to replace the plastic with other raw materials." There are some isolated initiatives to diminish the consumption of plastic in Brazil. In some cities such as Rio de Janeiro, Ilha Bela, and more recently, São Paulo, the usage of plastic straws was forbidden. Fernando de Noronha has forbidden the entrance, commerce and usage of disposable packages in the island. On June 26th, 2019, came into force a new law that prohibits the usage of plastic bags in Rio de Janeiro. According to a feature in Revista Veja, the waste tide is turning against our planet - and against us - PLASTIC IS THE ENEMY (Revista VEJA, April 2019). Therefore, RECYCLING and REUSING IS A NECESSITY. To get a sense of the situation, in São Paulo only 3% of the recyclable material are recovered and, in Rio de Janeiro, only 1,9% of all the waste is repurposed. São Paulo produces an average of 20 thousand metric tons of waste per day and it has only two recycling plants with the capacity of merely 240 metric tons of waste per day (Revista VEJA, June 2019). Therefore, the problem is not only in the prohibition of straws and plastic bags. The garbage must be correctly sorted, and there must be public policies that encourage the recycling and the reuse of domestic and industrial waste. Coffee is one of the most consumed beverages in the world. In 2018, each Brazilian consumed an average of 893 cups of coffee (the highest number in the world). But the byproduct of this tasty and energetic beverage, the used coffee grounds and coffee bean skins, are simply thrown away in the trash - what a waste! The used coffee grounds are one of the most common residues; approximately 14,000 cups of coffee are consumed per second around the world - and they produce 22 million kilograms of used coffee grounds which are discarded every year (each metric ton of coffee produces around 480 kg of used coffee grounds). Can you imagine if all the coffee residue that is thrown away daily could be recycled and reused by the commerce as new packages to supply the market? Well, this is exactly our proposal! (AU)

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