Cornflake waste eyed as future packaging material

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In Germany, researchers at Göttingen University have developed a packaging material out of the popcorn-like material left over from manufacturing the corn flakes popular in many cereals. 

GU’s chemistry and process engineering of composite materials group developed the process. The material is also water-repellant and compostable. 

“This new process, based on technology developed in the plastic industry, enables the production of a wide range of molded parts,” says Professor Alireza Kharazipour. “This is particularly important when considering packaging because it ensures that products are transported safely which minimizes waste. And this has all been achieved using a material that will even be biodegradable afterwards.” 

The material is sturdy, recyclable, and can be used in place of polystyrene or other plastics. The team has licensed the process to Nordgetreide to commercialize for packaging applications. 

According to the University, almost 40% of plastic produced is used for packaging, but consumer pressure is forcing many brands to look for more sustainable alternatives.