Polish company manufactures edible plates to reduce plastic consumption

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Polish inventor and entrepreneur Jerzy Wysocki
Polish inventor and entrepreneur Jerzy Wysocki holds a wheat bran plate he invented 15 years ago at the Biotrem factory in Zambrow, Poland

European Union has decided to ban all sorts of plastic utensils, cutlery from 2021. If you are wondering about the possible alternatives, you should know about the biodegradable plate that can also be eaten. Eaten? Yeah, you read it right.

Polish entrepreneur and inventor Jerzy Wysocki invented a biodegradable plate nearly 15 years ago which can also be consumed. Today, Biotrem manufactures almost 15 million such plates per year. Standing in the Biotrem production unit in Zambrow, northeast Poland, Wysocki says that a pork chop will certainly taste better in his wheat bran plate than on plastic.

Due to the ban, the production of these plates will certainly be skyrocketed. The plate itself does not contain many flavours. It will remind you something similar to dry flakes of cereal.

The idea for this kind of tableware came to Wysocki when he was looking for ways to use the leftovers from the flour production which took up a huge amount of space. He is also concerned about the increasing quantity of wastes which are polluting the oceans thus destroying the marine life. For manufacturing these plates, only wheat bran is used. It is then compressed at a very specific pressure and temperature with the help of a machine customized only for this use.

CEO of Biotrem, Malgorzata Then acknowledges the fact that these plates are certainly more expensive than the plastic products as they cost 17 US cents a piece, added with 20% for exports. However, for the cheap price of plastic, we have been compromising on environmental degradation and aquatic pollution for a long time.

The company’s first clients were those organisations who were conscious of the environmental damages caused by plastic and the hotel chains, restaurants who wanted to come up with something unique in their offerings. However, now due to the decisions taken by the European Union, companies ignorant about the environment are also paying extra attention.

Biotrem currently distributes the plates in several continents such as Europe, Asia, North America. The taste of the plates is even liked by the earthworms. Increase in the distribution would also mean a decrease in the prices. And on top, it would also be possible to use the same technology for making plates out of corn, barley, oats etc.

Wysocki says that although these numbers are not very high, they are big enough to remain positive for the future. Biotrem is considering the production of edible boxes for takeaway meals. Its research is at an advanced level, however, some changes are needed to make it more resistant to heat and fluids.

Besides Biotrem, scientists at the Gdansk University of Technology have come up with a way to manufacture cutlery from potato starch. They have been also tested on aquatic creatures and they can be easily consumed by these organisms.

 

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