Home / Science / News /  How scientists develop packaging boxes from popcorn. Watch video

Scientists have found an extraordinary material for packaging that can easily be reused and is also eco-friendly.

A scientist at Gottingen University in Germany, Alireza Kharazipour, has created a new kind of packaging that has been developed from popcorn.

According to the World Economic Forum video, the German professor came up with this idea when he went to a movie theatre. He realised that popcorn was similar to polystyrene.

The packaging is made by using by-products from a cornflake factory.

The Gottingen University has partnered with German cereal processing firm Nordgetreide to turn professor Kharazipour's idea into a commercial reality.

Stefan Schult, Managing Director of Nordgetreide, which holds an exclusive licence, adds: "Each and every day we pollute our Earth with an ever increasing amount of plastic waste that will be a burden on our eco-system for thousands of years. Our popcorn packaging is a great sustainable alternative to polystyrene which is derived from petroleum. The plant-based packaging is made from the inedible by-products of Cornflakes production and can actually be composted after use without any residue."

Driven in part by pressure from increasingly environmentally-conscious consumers, many companies are changing the way their products are packaged to be more sustainable.

Supermarkets like Tesco and ASDA in the UK, have been phasing out the use of unnecessary plastic films for products such as yogurt pots, greeting cards and bed linen. In the US, Walmart has stopped using clear plastic in doll packaging and is removing the wrapping from some vegetables like individual peppers, WEF wrote in a blogpost.

Coca-Cola has started selling Sprite in easier-to-recycle clear, rather than green, bottles. Colgate-Palmolive has developed toothpaste tubes made from a single recyclable material.

Around 80 lakh tonnes of expanded polystyrene is produced annually for packaging purposes.

Globally, 300 million tonnes of plastic waste are generated every year. Of which 99% of plastics are derived from oil, gas, or coal.

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