Students turn peanut waste into packaging

Monash University

Thursday, 08 April, 2021

Students turn peanut waste into packaging

A student-led design that turns leftover peanut husks into packaging has won a global award for sustainable innovative packaging.

The Australian Institute of Packaging (AIP) entered seven Monash student teams into the global WorldStar Student Awards, where they represented Australian innovations from a field of more than 300 submissions. Of the seven submissions all were recognised, with one team winning silver in the Sustainable Packaging Design category.

Through the industry-focused, student-led New Frontiers Program at Monash Food Innovation (MFI), the winning team partnered with energy ball food company Camel to develop sustainable packaging from peanut shells/hulls — a major by-product of the company’s peanut manufacturing process. This by-product, or waste, was traditionally headed straight to landfill or burned, adding to atmospheric carbon dioxide. The student team began to think about ways to turn this by-product into something useful.

Using 30% peanut husks in the production of fibreboard food packaging, the team turned it into a product that is organic, vegan and 100% compostable.

“We are very pleased to receive the silver award for sustainability. To have our concept judged and recognised on the global stage makes all of our hard work and ambitions for packaging in the future worth it,” said Monash student Caterina Palma, who won the award with her peers Sherlyn Marvella and Tamanna Kibrea.

“This award means that new innovative sustainable product packaging is being recognised now. We are excited to see our peanut by-product fibreboard concept potentially being introduced and used in the future of sustainable packaging.”

Image credit: Monash University. 

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