New edible plastic-free packaging material is all what the environment needs
Plastic is a never-ending nuisance that plagues most industries and households. However, there are several companies and individuals working hard to change that, and Roza Janusz is one of them. As a part of her graduate project for industrial design at the School of Form in Poznan, Poland, the polish design student created her alternative to plastic called Scoby.
This eco-friendly material grows the same way as Kombucha, which is basically a variety of fermented black and green tea drinks. The raw materials used for Scoby are fermented bacteria and yeast, which combine to form a liquid that resides in a shallow container where the zero-waste membrane grows. Added sugars and agricultural waste aid in the fermentation of the liquid. After two weeks, a thin membrane forms on the surface. After harvesting, this membrane acts as a substitute for plastic food packaging. It doesn’t only store lightweight foods like seeds, nuts or salads; rather, Scoby is also perfectly safe to consume after use.
Janusz designed this product to aid farmers into creating their own plastic-free packaging. According to her, “Scoby is grown by a future farmer not only for the production of packaging, but also because of the valuable by-product, which is, depending on the concentration, natural fertilizer or probiotic drink. So maybe the packaging production will no longer litter the environment, and it will even enrich it.”
Scoby is a lightweight and translucent material that can change its shape according to its intended use. Its malleability also ensures lesser spoilage. Being organic, the designer kept the packaging’s shelf life in mind and created it under low pH to make it more long lasting. The shelf life increases even more when acidic foods are contained within the edible membrane. Furthermore, the material has the ability to absorb the flavors of food that it contains, which means, the membrane won’t taste completely bland whenever you eat it.
Roza Janusz is currently considering Scoby’s commercial value and has entered her idea for the Golden Pin Concept Design Award 2018.
All Images: © Scoby