Ecofriendly fruit package finalist in sustainability award
A Curtin University researcher was the only tertiary finalist in the Waste Innovation of the Year category at the 2020 Infinity Awards for his work on eco-friendly bioplastic films designed to prolong the shelf life of fruits and vegetables.
Dr Yu Dong from Curtin’s School of Civil and Mechanical Engineering said his nanocomposite films are completely biodegradable and environmentally friendly.
“They serve as a significantly more efficient barrier against water vapour, air and oxygen — key factors which reduce the shelf life of foodstuffs,” Dong said.
“Many fruits and vegetables are currently wrapped in traditional single-use plastics, but noting the huge amount of plastic waste generated annually around the world, we believe it is important that alternative and eco-friendly materials are developed, such as these biodegradable and water-resistant films.
“Our films also benefit growers and the food industry in general by effectively increasing the longevity of their produce.”
The research associated with the project was supervised by Dr Dong, in collaboration with Curtin PhD student Zainab Waheed Abdullah and Professor Shaomin Liu from the Curtin WA School of Mines: Minerals, Energy and Chemical Engineering.
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