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Good things in eco-friendly food packages

Media release

Curtin research has been named among this year’s recycling and waste champions at the 2020 WA Waste Authority Infinity Awards, an annual ceremony recognising individuals, businesses, and institutions for their innovative solutions to reduce waste and promote reuse and recycling in Western Australia.

Plastic bottle garbage for recycling concept reuse

Dr Yu Dong from Curtin’s School of Civil and Mechanical Engineering was the only WA university researcher named as a Finalist in the Waste Innovation of the Year Category for his work on eco-friendly bioplastic films, designed to prolong the shelf life of fruits and vegetables.

“Our nanocomposite films are completely biodegradable and environmentally friendly, and they serve as a significantly more efficient barrier against water vapour, air and oxygen – key factors which reduce the shelf life of foodstuffs,” Dr Dong said.

“Many fruits and vegetables are currently wrapped in traditional single-use plastics, but noting the huge amount of plastic waste generated annually around the world, we believe it is important that alternative and eco-friendly materials are developed, such as these biodegradable and water resistant films.

“Our films also benefit growers and the food industry in general by effectively increasing the longevity of their produce.”

The research associated with the project was supervised by Dr Dong, in collaboration with Curtin PhD student Mrs Zainab Waheed Abdullah and Professor Shaomin Liu from the Curtin WA School of Mines: Minerals, Energy and Chemical Engineering.

For more information on the team’s research, please visit here.