1.5 million tons of plastic packaging waste is produced by UK households every year and a large contributor is the 59 billion items of single-use plastics that UK supermarkets sell annually. In an effort to move towards more sustainable consumer habits Scobio, a colourless and biodegradable plastic replacement biofilm grown from the waste of Scottish gin distilleries, was created. It has been developed alongside a commercially optimised production process with the goal to reduce the use of single-use plastic films in medical and packaging applications. The cellulose's high water holding capacity and inherent antimicrobial abilities suggest a superior performance to existing wound dressings and absorbent pads in food packaging. Meanhwile, improved mechanical properties (similar to LDPE), translucent appearance and soft tactile feel also makes it ideal for semi-dry food packaging and as a replacement plastic wrap. Find out more at the online exhibition here.
Scobio has been featured in the Glasgow School of Art's online showcase blog as well as the Daily Record and the Metro UK newspapers. It has gained international recognition and interest from angel investors, gin producers and potential customers. More recently, it has reached the final of the Scottish Gin Awards 2021 for Excellence in Sustainability. For more information, here is a short explanation of the project:
The Daily Record | Sarah Ward:
"The next big cling! Brewing fan Fergus creates amazing eco-friendly wrap from booze waste"
Metro UK | Stephen Deal:
"Greener cling film created from gin is just the tonic! A student who started experimenting with home brewing has invented a form a biodegradable cling film - using waste from gin distilleries"