Biodegradable Packaging Waste


This is the most clever way to reduce packaging material waste. 100 % biocompatible self-constructing protective packaging. How does the new intelligent cargopack work?And what services will be provided by the bacteria-constructed material to the product and the consumer?

Consumer and shipping packaging can be incredibly wasteful.  Some companies are downsizing their packaging, but many products sitll come wrapped and boxed in ridiculous amounts of plastic, paper, cardboard – you name it.  One designer has come up with a way to get rid of the waste by wrapping objects in bacteria, creating a biodegradable, custom-fitting shell.  Both gross and exciting!

Mareike Frensmeier just won third place in the Cargo Packs 2020 challenge for his bacteria wrap idea called Bacs.  The packaging is made by covering an object with a culture of the bacterium acetobacter xylinum, then starting a sugar feeding frenzy.  This creates a “fibrous nano-scaled cellulose network” that encases the object and keeps it safe along its journey.

Bacteria are good for a whole lot more than getting you sick and helping you miss work. As we’ve seen, bacteria may be able to help make fuels like ethanol, put the brakes on desertification, clean up radioactive waste, and detect pollutants. Bacteria-based computing is also a field getting a growing amount of attention.

While we can’t call Bac packaging a proper case of biomimicry (one of the principals of biomimicry is that is draws inspiration from nature-doesn’t harvest or harness it), creating custom-shaped biodegradable packaging at room temperature could be a boon for a sector that is wasteful to the max

The Bacs system can be manipulated to offer damp, gel-like packaging for food, dry, paper-like packaging or freeze-dried, foam-like packaging for the most fragile objects.  Now, I’m not sure bacteria wrap will ever take off but the idea of a world free of packing peanuts sure is a nice one.

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