The first results of the Foodwaste for Foodpack project to promote the circular economy are presented

Submitted by Judith Marti on 30 May 2023


The companies Amatller Origen Obradors SL, Delafruit, Cobeveragelab, Samtack and Gráficas Salaet, Zona Franca and Mercabarna, IRTA and the BIMATEC and LEPAMAP research groups of the UdG and the Packaging Cluster are participating.Foodwaste for Foodpack will improve the efficiency of resources and reduce the generation of resources.
The general objective of the innovative pilot project Foodwaste for foodpack by the Operating Groups of the European Association for Innovation is to materially value the waste from the fruit and vegetable processing industry as a resource to obtain a packaging material for the agri-food industry based on fibers and the utilization of the waste generated by fruit and vegetable processing companies, turning it into a local resource for the packaging sector that offers an alternative to the use of virgin raw materials such as plastic and cellulose.
The first step of the project, in which Amatller Origen Obradors, Delafruit and Cobeveragelab, have played an important role, was the selection of waste from fruit and vegetables to subsequently obtain fiber-based packaging materials. With this matter, IRTA has compiled the necessary information to know the production process for obtaining fruit and vegetable juices from Delafruit, creams and vegetable soups from Ametller Origin Obradors and the waste that derives from them.
The next steps consisted of drying tests of the waste provided adapted according to the availability of waste at any given time and sent to the IRTA to be subjected to a stability study, which is currently being carried out, to lead to carry out a pre-treatment of the waste at the request of the UdG, depending on the needs of the material.

On the part of the BIMATEC and LEPAMAP research groups of the University of Girona, the fiber-based material is being obtained with 75% coming from waste fruit and vegetable juices, with the collaboration of Samtack to provide the organic material to join these fibers. The next phase of the project will be to explore the applications of fiber-based materials from waste as packaging in the agri-food sector to identify uses and potential users. The expected result of Foodwaste for Foodpack is the creation and design of a prototype agri-food container obtained at pilot level from the fibrous material from waste, made at Gràfiques Salaet facilities.
Foodwaste for foodpack is an innovative pilot project financed by the Operational Groups Program of the European Association for Innovation (AEI) in terms of agricultural productivity and sustainability (operation 16.01.01 of the Rural Development Program of Catalonia (PDR) 2014-2020). The pilot project drives the agri-food industry in its transition towards a circular economy that reduces the pressure on the environment, improves the efficiency of resources, reduces the generation of waste and, at the same time, develops an alternative that allows facing the high pressure legislative and fiscal that the sector will have to deal with.

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