Zelfo Technology and Upgrading put sustainable packaging production in the hands of the food producers themselves.

Eco-business partners Zelfo Technology GmbH and Upgrading GmbH (both from Germany) have carried out trial production of an up-cycled wheat straw based […] packaging solution. The material uses only the food producers’ lingo-cellulosic fibre (in this case wheat straw) and requires no additional binder. Designed to meet food industry packaging demands, the resulting products have a robust and flexible form and smooth ‘closed’ product contact surface.

The trials used wheat on this occasion, however almost all fibre based crop residue or waste sources are suitable for conversion to packaging using the Zelfo/Upgrading system. There is therefore massive potential to solve or in fact to monetise agricultural residue or waste. Simply, the concept virtually bypasses the need to use standard cellulose sources (new or recycled) and focuses on any food source producers’ own residue or waste fibre. This massively reduces production and logistics factors as well as costs. Effectively the producer becomes the raw material supplier of his or her own packaging material. Alternatively M/NFC conversion of residual or waste fibre at a single regional source by a centrally placed processor could also supply other growers in the same region with raw material. This game-changing situation places control of supply and price of the raw material for packaging in the hands of regional food producers.