“Zero waste” and “upcycling”, here are two words that are now commonly used and heard when talking about the environment in general. These two trends match with the objective of reducing the huge amounts of waste dumped into the world every day.
Some numbers as a reminder:
- 89 million of plastic bottles are sold each year
- 10,1 metric tons of plastic are produced every second
- 91% of plastic is not recycled – it means that only 9% of the plastic created is recycled!
The same is true for many sectors other than plastics: raw materials (wood, stone…), agri-foodstuffs and so on. There is far too much waste when the amount of such waste could be reduced, in particular by "upcycling".
“Zero waste is not a trend, it is a necessity.”
One of the answers to the problem of waste and the use of resources is upcycling.
The practice of upcycling is, basically, taking something that’s no longer needed or wanted and, rather than disposing of it, transforming it into something new. It is recycling a product with added value.
For example, using fibers made out of recycled plastic water bottles to make new sport outfits is upcycling.
Upcycling exists in multiple sectors, such as the cosmetics one. In cosmetics, one of the trend pillars of 2020 is zero waste.
Natural and local assets, a trend that is increasingly asserting itself
76% of consumers are now looking for products made with natural and local ingredients. It is a trend that the cosmetics industries cannot longer ignore, and they have made quite developments to meet consumers’ expectations.
Expanscience Laboratories’ goal is to develop assets from co-products from the food industry. In particular, they use lupin shells, which are usually not valued, to create collagen. Passion fruit seeds are used to make an oil, which will then be used to obtain the passioline ingredient. Maca leaves and its roots are also valued by Expanscience.
One of the most interesting fruit these laboratories use is the avocado. In this fruit, everything is valorised. They use downgraded and/or damaged avocados (categories 3 and 4). That is to say, they cannot be used for any consumption. Expanscience has found a way to make the most of them, by extracting the active ingredients that the avocado naturally contains. It allows the firm to get 6 different ingredients.
The AgriWasteValue project corresponds to this desire to move towards zero waste and puts the concept of "upcycling" perfectly into practice. Indeed, residues from pruning vines, apple and pear trees are used to create local and natural bioactives (North-Western Europe)! This is one of the new ways of creating cosmetics using natural ingredients that are usually left out.
Source : Webinar “Imaginez… une beauté zero déchet ! » by Expanscience Laboratories, June 4, 2020.