Politecnico di Torino - Corso Duca degli Abruzzi, 24 - 10129 Torino, ITALY

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alternative materialsBiodegradableFood wasteplasticRecycle


In many countries, the amount of organic waste has reached levels that are no longer acceptable. In order to save food waste, be it domestic or industrial, from going to landfill laws or in being just incinerated, laws have been put in place to encourage sustainable disposal methods and encourage its re-use/re-purposing. Currently dehydrated vegetal wastes, such as radicchio leaves, carrot wastes and parsley or cauliflower stalks, are disposed of by incineration, composting, or used as fillers in animal food. In recent years, research has focused on using these raw materials for the production, for example, of biodegradable plastic films.

Technical features

The inventors at IIT, have developed a method for manufacturing biodegradable plastic films in aqueous environment, starting from vegetal wastes in powder form. A fully green process that does not cause any degradation or oxidation of the starting material, applicable to a variety of wastes (carrot, broccoli, tomato, coconut shells, spinach, etc.). This process does not involve the use of chemical reagents (including organic solvents) nor harsh operating conditions, which may compromise the environment. The final product is an elastic film, with good mechanical properties, which can be subjected to various kinds of post-processing, including colouring, decoration, waterproofing treatments, etc. or be used as a composite on substrates such as paper or fabrics.

Possible Applications

  • Suitable for the manufacturing and packaging industry;
  • Can be used as a coating, composite or filler;
  • Finds applications in paper and textiles production.


  • No use of chemical reagents/organic solvents;
  • Absence of any harmful residue in the final product;
  • Operating conditions do not harm the environment;
  • Easily scalable.