Empa's Green Packaging Breakthrough

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Empa’s Green Packaging Breakthrough

Posted by: Baris Karapinar
Category: ESG News

In Switzerland, scientists have found a new way to use leftover materials from brewing beer. They turned this waste into a type of lightweight, sponge-like material that can break down in the environment. This material could soon be used to package food. The team, based in Dübendorf, St. Gallen, and Thun, worked with used grains from beer making, which are usually thrown away or fed to animals. They made a special kind of cellulose from these grains, which can also be used to make strong plastic-like materials.

This discovery is important because it offers an alternative to using wood for making cellulose products. Wood takes a long time to grow and is better used for things like building houses or making furniture. The new method uses fast-growing plant waste, making it a smarter choice for the environment. It also helps small businesses make the most out of their leftovers, offering a cheap and abundant source of materials.

The material, called an aerogel, is very light and can keep heat in or out, making it perfect for packaging foods that need to stay at a certain temperature. The process to make it is straightforward and cheap, which means it could be easily adopted by industries. The researchers hope to use it for more types of waste in the future, helping to reduce environmental impact and support sustainable practices in Switzerland.

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