Chemical engineer David Edwards is famed for his ‘breathable food‘ invention, and now plans to develop and commercialise a new idea: edible packaging.
The invention, called WikiCells, is derived from nature’s very own packaging system: its digestible skin. Potatoes, tomatoes, apples… they all have an edible exterior protecting the fruit within. Even lemon peel ends up eaten in the form of zest.
According to the WikiCells website, small particles of chocolate, dried fruit, nuts, seeds and other natural – edible – substances are used to create a packaging to protect soft foods such as cheese, yoghurt and even ice cream, which the company plans to market to a French audience later this year.
So far the team has experimented with a gazpacho-stuffed tomato membrane, a wine-filled grape-like shell and an orange juice-protecting shell. According to Edwards, an edible milk bottle is not out of the realms of possibility, either.
“No wrappers. No plastic. No artificial anything. Just all natural everything,” reads the WikiCells website. Are you eco-conscious enough to eat your own packaging?
But did you know that recycling a 400g steel pet food can could save enough energy to power a fridge for over two and a half hours? This is just one of the messages pet care company PURINA is touting in its new campaign ‘Together We Can’.
The Nestle-owned brand surveyed more than 1,000 dog and cat owners and found that the recycling rate for pet food tins falls below the rate for other waste materials, with just 66 percent of respondents saying they always recycled their tins. Curiously, though, a third of those that claim to recycle their cans say they do so to protect the environment for their pets.
PURINA’s Regional Marketing Director Antal Van Hout said: “We know the special bonds between pet owners and their pets mean that many will go out of their way to make their pets’ lives happy and healthy.
“We also know that the environment we all live in is as important to our pets as it is to our own health and wellbeing and we want to encourage British pet owners to help make a difference to all our pets’ futures by recycling their steel pet food cans.”
The brand’s new campaign encourages pet owners to pledge to recycle their pet food cans, and offers them the chance to win a whopping £2,000 off their energy bills. Check it out here.