By 2075, the United Nations’ mid-range projection for global population growth predicts that human numbers will peak at about 9.5 billion people. This means that there could be an extra three billion mouths to feed by the end of the century.
Today, we produce about four billion metric tonnes of food per annum. Yet due to poor practices in harvesting, storage and transportation, as well as market and consumer wastage, it is estimated that 30–50% (or 1.2–2 billion tonnes) of all food produced never reaches a human stomach.
“Food waste has a negative impact on the environment, on the economy, on food security and on nutrition,” Ludovica Principato said, a Ph.D candidate in Management at the La Sapienza University of Rome and a BCFN Foundation researcher.
Fruit waste can contain many reusable substances of high value. Depending on there being an adequate technology this residual matter can be converted into commercial products either as raw material for secondary processes, as operating supplies or as ingredients of new products. Composting the food waste into a valuable soil amendment is one way to deal with it, and feeding livestock with it is another, but one group of designers from the Netherlands has yet another idea – turn it into leather.
In this project they created a solution for one of Rotterdams biggest social issues, food waste. This project is a process leading towards our individual graduation projects. This is really an innovative idea toward a sustainable environment.
The Fruit Leather Rotterdam project, which is the brainchild of a collective of designers studying at the Willem de Kooning Academie in Rotterdam, found that about 3,500 kg (7,700 lb) of unsellable fruits and vegetables are thrown away on an average day at the city’s largest outdoor market, which vendors must pay to dispose of. According to the project’s website, having to pay to get rid of the unusable produce leads some vendors to illegally dump it instead, which causes additional issues.
The team came up with an alternative use for at least some of these spoiled fruits by processing them into a new material,”fruit leather” that could be used for a variety of applications, including making bags or furniture, and perhaps even clothing.
What they want to achieve with this project is to create awareness for the problem that is food waste, and show that there is a solution. They are interested in working together with companies and organizations to make the material better and better, and create a wide variety of products. Increasing the quality of the technical abilities of the material as well as the wide range of products created with fruitleather. (Source: Fruitleather-rotterdam