Aussies leading in sustainable food packaging!
A PhD student has pitched his method for turning coffee waste into biodegradable plastic coffee cups.
Macquarie university researcher Dominik Kopp has developed a method to turn coffee grounds into lactic acid, which can then be used to produce biodegradable plastics.
He is now refining the process as he finishes his PhD.
“Australians consume six billion cups of coffee every year, and the coffee grounds used to make these coffees are used only once and then discarded,” Kopp says.
However, 50 per cent of coffee grounds are made up of sugars, which are ideal candidates to convert into valuable bio-based chemicals, or chemicals derived from plant- or animal-based feedstocks rather than crude oil.