Pumpkin to replace plastic packaging

Pumpkin to replace plastic packaging

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    In gratin or crumble, if not to make lanterns for Halloween, squash can be used in many ways. In Uzbekistan, they have found an additional utility by transforming one of their congener, the calabash, into packaging to replace single-use plastic.

    It’s as if Mother Nature had already planned everything… Do you know the calabash, a vine plant that gives rise to gourd-shaped gourds? In pre-Columbian times, this gourd was already used as a container for serving mate, the traditional drink of the Guarani Amerindians. We dug its flesh to dry the bark before using it. The containers now made of terracotta or glass have also kept this ovoid shape at the base.

    Less known than the pumpkin or butternut in temperate latitudes, this squash is no less interesting today. In Uzbekistan, the cafeteria chain Zërna had the idea of ​​bringing this preservation method out of grimoires to reduce the pollution generated by plastic packaging. Spotted by Creapills, this initiative uses the same principles operated in Antiquity by peeling and drying the calabash in order to use it as a container for packaging dried fruit, away from light and humidity.

    Imagined in collaboration with the marketing agency Synthesis, this natural packaging is interesting in more ways than one: not only its shape but also its thick bark make it easy to transport, but in addition it degrades in a single year. By comparison, a plastic bag can take between 100 and 400 years to decompose, depending on its composition.

    Remember that plastic was invented in the 19th century and invaded everyday life. According to’Ademe, which is based on data from PlasticsEurope, 368 million tonnes of plastic were produced in 2019. And according to WWF projections, its production is expected to double by 2040. If no action is taken to reduce the pace, we could find more plastic in the oceans than fish by 2050, had pointed out the Ellen MacArthur foundation. It is estimated that a plastic garbage truck pours into the seas every minute.

    In France, the anti-waste law provides for a 20% reduction in single-use plastic packaging by 2040. While the printing of receipts will no longer be automatic from August 1, fast food is now obliged to use reusable containers for table service.