Young entrepreneurs in Istanbul have come up with a way to turn olive seeds into environmentally friendly bioplastics.
Their mission is to fill a gap in the bioplastics industry by recycling waste products from olive oil production into a green alternative to petroleum derived plastics.
The idea was sparked when co-founder and CFO, Duygu Yilmaz, became concerned about her father’s habit of eating olive seeds. She decided to carry out some research to determine if the olive pips were detrimental to his health.
During her research Yilmaz discovered similarities in the chemical make up of olive stones and plastics. This discovery led her to team up with two other young Turks, Ahmet Fatih Ayas and Mehmet Emin Öz and launch Biolive in 2016.
Biolive began transforming the cellulosic agent sourced from olive pits, which are discarded during the olive oil production process, into biodegradable plastic products. These leave a much smaller carbon footprint and offer a sustainable substitute for plastic packaging.
“The plastic granules we produce can be used in industry, in packaging [and] in toys,” Yilmaz told Energy News Live. “We will establish a production plant and sell to industry regarding to industry demands.”
The trio claim they can transform five tons of olive seeds into 3.5 tons of bioplastic which decomposes within one year and is absorbed into the earth as fertilizer. This would be a stark contrast to the environmentally damaging, oil-derived plastics that produce high levels of carbon emissions and take around 450 years to decompose. More