39% of the American population feels strong feelings of guilt for food waste, how do you Italians feel about it? It doesn't seem like that either economic crisis manages to make ends meet the food budget of companies and families, so large quantities of food are thrown away at the end of the month. Starbucks, the coffee shop chain so loved by young people, has decided to focus on the matter and with a strategy of recycling is setting up a new business that deals bioplastics.
With the recycling expired ingredients and food waste such as baked goods and coffee grounds, Starbucks will start a production of sustainable plastics, laundry detergents and other commercial products. The new business of Starbucks it uses the waste from coffee shops to feed a real one biorefinery.
The pilot project is the result of the collaboration between Starbucks and researchers from the University of Hong Kong. The project was presented at the 224th Nation & Expo Congress of the American Chemical Society. During the event, Carol SK Lin stated that Starbucks intends to transform yours waste into a new wealth sustainable as detergents bioplastics and products of daily use: "the strategy aims to reduce theenvironmental impact food waste and generate income by treating waste in a sustainable way“.
There biorefinery will exploit the food waste produced by Starbucks through a chemical process that uses particular organisms capable of converting the carbohydrate bases present in food waste into simple sugars. With the addition of nitrogen, the compound will be ideal for promoting bacterial growth. Starting with the sugars, the bacteria will produce succinic acid, the byproduct that the researchers will crystallize into a white powder.
Starbucks is about to get its second gold mine! Just recently, theUS Department of Energy, has drawn up a list of 12 raw material fundamental for industrial production, thesuccinic acid is among them. Succinic acid could find applications in various sectors so as to be used for the production of detergents, bioplastics or even drugs.
The pilot project is awaiting the final tests - and funding! - before being widely applied.